Taxi For Two
Series: All Stars w/The Taxi Boys
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 03 December 1932
Type: sound short
Length: 2-reels
Production: T-5
Filming dates: September 12-17, 1932
Director: Del Lord
Producer: Hal Roach
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Richard Currier
Sound: James Greene
Cabbie: Ben Blue
Cabbie: Billy Gilbert
District Attorney: Billy Bletcher
Judge: James C. Morton
Traffic cop: Bud Jamison
Drunk: Charlie Hall
Sidewalk cop: Pat Harmon
UNAVAILABLE ON DVD

Under the cover of darkness, a man tries to summon his girlfriend into eloping with him by calling up to her bedroom window but at the same time trying not to arouse the suspicions of her father. Cabbie Ben Blue is on hand to "assist", which he does by throwing a rock through one of the windows and hitting the father. Ben scales a ladder and enters the house through an upstairs window (conveniently left open) so that he can retrieve the woman's bag but he is seen and chased out by the gun-wielding father (who we later learn is the District Attorney, although no reference is ever made to him being the father of the eloping girl?) After making a quick getaway in his cab Ben breaks down on a small lane with the eloping couple in the back seat.
The next morning Ben is sleeping on the fenders of his cab and not realising he has caused a huge traffic jam. Traffic cop Bud Jamison wakes Ben up as the eloping couple sneak out of the cab. Then along comes bumbling, sneezing cabbie Billy Gilbert to interject into the situation. The cop finally breaks up the blockage in the road by telling the cabbies to push their vehicle out of the way before the District Attorney shows up and demands to know what is going on. The cop roughs him up before the D.A. tells him who he really is. Meanwhile Ben and Billy have managed to push their cab into town, collecting lots of others cars along the way until they get stuck behind a streetcar. With several pedestrians looking on at their 'humorous' attempts to push their now-stuck cab, Billy sneezes to send the streetcar on its way!
A drunken pedestrian (Charlie Hall) asks a policeman to direct him to a streetcar but the cop tells him there aren't any in the area. Just then, the streetcar goes by.... and the drunk jumps on board and takes control of it! The conductor (Baldy Cooke) grabs the cop and complains that his streetcar has been hijacked by the drunk, who whoops it up, ringing the bell. The boys manage to push all the cars, along with their cab and somehow the streetcar down a huge hill before they flee on foot in the opposite direction. It seems the cabbies get a lucky break when their cab parks itself neatly by the kerb but their celebrations are short lived when the drunk drives the streetcar straight into them and crumples the cab into a heap. Things get worse when the District Attorney shows up and threates to see them in court and ends up being seen hanging out the back of a parked car's radiator (watch the film, you'll see what I mean!)
Charged with "causing a nuisance on a public highway" (although Ben Blue could just have been charged for being a "public nuisance" in my opinion); "attempted murder in the second degree", "petty larcony", "grand larcony", "grand theft" and "assault & battery" - the cabbies argue their case in front of the judge as the D.A. walks into the courtroom heavily bandaged from his ordeal. With the crumpled cab being parked in the courtroom as "exhibit A", the cabbies tell the judge their version of events. Ben gets up on top of the cab and starts the motor, which drives the car around in circles and sends everybody - including a janitor running for their lives. Ben and Billy are locked up in a cell with their cab, having obviously lost their case!

Favourite bit
Seeing Ben Blue fall flat on his f***ing face!

Trivia
Released as part of the "All Star" banner, this was the fourth film in the Taxi Boys series.
Apparently the eloping girl - and her father both sleep with their respective bedroom lights on!
The exterior shots of the eloping girl's house are actually the side/rear of the Hal Roach Admin building. The small road where Ben Blue's cab breaks down at night is actually a road between the rear of the Hal Roach back lot and the cutting room. Although we cannot see it due to the darkness, but on the right of this shot is the swimming pool (labelled as 81).
In the first couple of scenes where Ben Blue is making a right prat of himself, he calls up to the eloping girl and we hear the sound of a car horn (the same one used in Laurel & Hardy's "Be Big!" as Stan's doorbell); and then when he throws the rock up at the window we hear the sound of the famous gong (from "Perfect Day") as it lands on his head.
Did anybody else notice that a rock landing on Ben Blue's head made absolutely no difference whatsoever to his stupidity?
When Ben Blue throws the rock through the window and it hits Billy Bletcher on the head, why does it sound like a wood knocker?
Billy Bletcher sleeps with a shotgun in his bed, which is almost the same length as it!
Ben Blue has trouble reading a sign that says "dangerous". That's not the only thing he has trouble with!
So Billy Gilbert, where were you for the first 6 and a half minutes of the film?
Judging by the shadows cast by Bud Jamison and Billy Bletcher during their scene in the road, that was shot during the mid afternoon (due to the geographical location of the back lot).
When Ben and Billy are pushing their cab into all the other cars along the street, the shots alternate between being on the back lot and in Culver City.
In the scene where Billy Gilbert and Ben Blue get stuck behind the streetcar you can see pedestrians on the sidewalk laughing at them. They surely must have been paid to do so because I cannot imagine for one second anybody would have found Ben Blue funny unless they were financially compensated.
"Consolidate Street Railways" number 27 is printed on the side of the empty streetcar.
The cabbies are in court charged with the following crimes:
- "causing a nuisance on a public highway", "attempted murder in the second degree", "petty larcony", "grand larcony", "grand theft" and "assault and battery".
Right at the end when Ben Blue drives the cab through the courtroom and out into the corridor, just what in the hell is that janitor doing? If that isn't the most stupid piece of over-reacting gone embarrassingly wrong....?

What the experts say
"If you can make it through the twenty minutes without feeling some form of aggression towards Ben Blue then you did better than me." ~ Lord Heath.

Ben Blue
Cabbie
Billy Gilbert
Cabbie
Billy Bletcher
District Attorney
(eloping girl's father)
James C. Morton
Judge J.A. Morton
Charlie Hall
Drunk
Pat Harmon
Sidewalk cop
Bud Jamison
Traffic cop
Joseph Young
Eloper
Dorothy Layton
Eloper
Baldwin Cooke
Streetcar conductor
Ham Kinsey
Pedestrian

CREDITS STILLS




SHOT ON THE LOT
The following scenes were filmed on the Hal Roach Back Lot and are included in the TOUR








SHOT ON LOCATION







Acknowledgements:
https://silentlocations.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/mid-city-views-how-hal-roachs-taxi-boys-filmed-taxi-for-two/ (John Bengston)
Richard Finegan (help with identifying Dorothy Layton, and for three film stills)
Richard W. Bann (still of Ben Blue & Dorothy Layton on bike) [used with permission, still severely reduced in size and quality]
Jim Dallape (some Back Lot images and locations identification)

This page was last updated on: 22 June 2018