|10 June 1933|
|Del Lord||Hal Roach||Walter Lundin||William H. Terhune||James Greene|
|Schmaltz (series regular Billy Gilbert) is in the taxi garage but not paying attention when he hoists his co-worker (Billy Bletcher) up into the air with the car on a lift. The foreman (you cannot fail to spot him, as he has the word "foreman" conveniently attached to his overalls) demands to know what it going on. Schmaltz begins to mumble his excuses to the foreman but forgets the car is still in the process of being raised into the air. The loud crushing sound of the car hitting the roof of the garage abruptly ends the explanation. Another cabbie (Clifford Thompson, a giraffe of a human being) walks over and gets upset, though restrains himself to a gentle quip in Schmaltz's direction (see "Favourite bit"). The foreman forcibly ejects Schmaltz.
Schmaltz and his mechanic drive down the road and stop outside a taxidermists, where a sign in the window is looking for assistance inside. Mis-reading the sign to say "taxi driver" wanted, Schmaltz ventures inside the store to meet the shop-worker (James C. Morton), who sends him to meet the boss. The boss is in the back room giving one of his workers (Richard Cramer) a stiff talking-to over sleeping on the job as a night watchman. Schmaltz catches the tail end of the grilling when he tells the boss he has come about "the job". The boss hires him in place of the tough-looking Cramer, and is given his first assignment - to stuff a large bird. He gets straight to work, plucking the feathers from its carcas until a violent sneeze blows them all clean off!
|A strange, twitchy man (Ben Blue - who else?) walks into the store and strikes up a conversation with a mannequin, believing it to be a real person. The young lady who is partially concealed behind the counter nearby thinks he is addressing her and therefore answers him. When he realises his error the lady leads him - and his empty bird cage that he brought into the store - to see the new taxidermist in the back. Ben tells Schmalz that he wants his pet flea to be stuffed, but first offers to show off the fleas' tricks for their entertainment (this goes on a while). Ben gets the flea to jump into his arms but then loses it. The secretary, who has watched on with a complete bored expression (can't blame her) finally does what everybody else watching the film was thinking - and gives the guy a great big slap across the face.
The owner of the store gives Schmaltz a shotgun and tells him to guard a valuable shipment that arrived that morning.
REVIEW COMPLETE TO 10 mins 22 secs
After the bumbling, incompetent and careless Schmaltz (Billy Gilbert) manages to crush a taxi-cab in the garage, a tall cabbie (Clifford Thompson) confronts him - with surprisingly restrained and unexpected composure!
Tall cabbie: "Who did this to my cab?"
Mechanic: "He's the one what did it!"
Tall cabbie: "Oooh, you nasty person!"
•This was the ninth, and penultimate entry in The Taxi Boys series.
Did you notice?
•The film opens outside "The Black And Blue Cab Co." Their motto on the wall reads, "Cabs Every Where". To the left there is a sign which reads "Drive carefully".
•When Billy Gilbert is laughing at the mis-fortunes of co-worker Billy Bletcher, the foreman walks over. He wears the tag "Foreman" on his overalls. Seriously, who would have the word "foreman" etched onto their clothing unless it was for the benefit of the viewing audience?!
•The license plate on the crushed cab in the opening scene is 14430.
•Top-billed Ben Blue doesn't show up until 5½ minutes into the film.
•Watch the secretary's face when she finally establishes contact with Ben Blue. It says it all! "Unimpressed".
•The name of Ben Blue's bird is 'Oscar'. Oscar's wife, a flea (you couldn't make this up) - is called 'Minnie'.
•The secretary asks for Billy Gilbert to "take care of this gentleman" (referring to Ben Blue). He responds, "I've got to stuff him too?" Please Mr. Gilbert... if you would, that would be a great help to mankind!
•Ben claims that he feeds his flea on steak.
Taxicab company mechanic
Taxicab company boss
Sacked night watchman
|James C. Morton
"A History Of The Hal Roach Studios" by Richard Lewis Ward (book)
Two stills courtesy Richard Finegan (T10-1 & T10-7)
Jesse Brisson (identification of George Gray)
This page was last updated on: 17 October 2015