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Charley's Aunt (1925 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charley's Aunt
Charley's Aunt (1925, poster B).jpg
Directed byScott Sidney
Written byJoseph Farnham
F. McGrew Willis
Based onCharley's Aunt
by Brandon Thomas
Produced byAl Christie 
StarringSyd Chaplin
Ethel Shannon
Lucien Littlefield
CinematographyPaul Garnett
Gus Peterson
Music byDavid Drazin
Christie Film Company
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • February 8, 1925 (1925-02-08)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)
Box office$556,529 (by December 1926)[1]

Charley's Aunt is a 1925 American silent comedy film directed by Scott Sidney and starring Syd Chaplin, Ethel Shannon, and Lucien Littlefield.[2] It was one of a handful of leading roles for Syd Chaplin, older brother of the more famous Charlie.[3]

It is an adaptation of Brandon Thomas' 1892 farce of the same name about an Oxford University student who dresses up as a woman to fool a visitor. One of several film versions of the play, it was adapted again by Columbia Pictures as a sound film in 1930. The film was a commercial success, grossing over half a million dollars. It was popular in Germany, where it released by the leading film company UFA.


As described in a review in a film magazine,[4] while on vacation, Fancourt Babberley (Chaplin), known to his friends as Babbs, falls in love with Ela (Shannon) and schemes to help her father (Francis), who has lost heavily at roulette. Babbs sends him away and later learns the truth, starts for England with her chaperon Donna Lucia (Jenson). In the meantime, Babbs friends Jack (James) and Charlie (Harrison), on hearing that Donna, Charley's wealthy aunt from Brazil, will visit him, invite their girls Amy (Akin) and Kitty (Bonner) to a luncheon, hoping to propose to them. Donna does not arrive, and Jack and Charley persuade Babbs to use some stage makeup left over from a college play to pose as Charley's aunt. The situation is then complicated when Spettigue (Page), the guardian of the young women who opposes their love affairs, and Jack's father Sir Francis Chesney (Smalley) show up. Both are interested in Charley's aunt because of her supposed great wealth. In the midst of the exciting situation Donna, the real aunt, appears but conceals her identity. Finally, Babbs gets consent for the young women's marriage by promising to marry Spettigue, and then reveals that he has been masquerading. In the end, all is straightened out and Babbs wins Ela while Donna marries Sir Francis, who was her old sweetheart.



Copies of Charley's Aunt are located in several film archives including the BFI National Archive, George Eastman Museum Motion Picture Collection, and Academy Film Archive.[5]


  1. ^ Box Office Information for Charley's Aunt
  2. ^ Progressive Silent Film List: Charley's Aunt at
  3. ^ McCaffrey & Jacobs p. 75
  4. ^ Sewel, Charles S. (February 21, 1925). "Charley's Aunt; Screen Version of Famous Stage Farce with Syd Chaplin Is Riot of Laughs and Box-Office Winner". The Moving Picture World. New York City: Chalmers Publishing Co. 72 (8): 785. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  5. ^ Library of Congress American Silent Feature Film Survival Database: Charley's Aunt


  • Donald W. McCaffrey & Christopher P. Jacobs. Guide to the Silent Years of American Cinema. Greenwood Publishing, 1999.

External links

This page was last edited on 11 September 2021, at 21:08
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