|15 June 1917|
|King Bee Studios|
|Director: Arvid E. Gillstrom Producer: Louis Burstein Cinematography: Herman Obrock Jr. Editor: Ben H. Cohen|
|Billy West is "at liberty" (according to the opening title card), dressed in his Chaplin-tramp clothes and walking down a country lane.
At the bakery, the cashier (Ethel Burton) flirts with a baker (Budd Ross) using a piece of candy, which comes to the attention of the chef (Babe Hardy, heavily made up with a ridiculously fake moustache and beard). Ever the bully, Babe man-handles a worker and kicks him down into the cellar. The worker spills the beans to the hot-headed chef Pierre (Joe Cohen) downstairs, who takes matters into his own hands and confronts Babe with a concealed machete!
Billy arrives at the bakery, after first stopping off at a grocers where he was just about to pinch some fruit when he is seen by a policeman. Immediately upon his arrival chaos ensues, as the machete-wielding chef accosts Billy talking to the cashier. He draws his weapon, but is fended off in spectacularly casual fashion by Billy who uses his cane as a defence. Finally, the owner (Leo White) separates the feuding men, and with the help of Babe, ejects the baker from the building.
The owner is obviously delighted with the turn of events and offers Billy a job as the replacement baker. Billy accepts and is quickly robed in an apron and led down into the cellar by the enthusiastic owner and shown the ropes. Upstairs on the shop floor, the cashier starts to flirt with a Babe, who gets really stuck in, whilst the owner comes from the cellar to find them and orders Babe back to work.
|Billy gets straight to work, making a blackberry pie whilst a co-worker stokes the ovens and pulls out cooked pies. The two somehow manage to find themselves entangled and after a brief tussle the worker burns his rear on flames from the oven. He runs upstairs and through the shop, sending everybody scattering out of the way before his flames are extinguished by the owner who spits his drink on the burning trousers. Billy lends his help by donning a conveniently-placed fireman's helmet and throwing a pale of water over the chef. During the commotion, Babe is enraged over a subtle kick he received in the kitchen as Billy ran past him and lunges at the new man. Naturally Billy ducks Babe's attempts to strangle him and Babe ends up throttling the owner instead.
Babe and the owner chase Billy back down into cellar but Billy gives them both the slip. A hatch in the wall allows Billy to escape, but a fellow worker is waiting on the other side to clobber him. Billy sees the threat and punches the man back through the same hatch. Thinking it is Billy coming through the hole on the other side, Babe smashes him with a bag of flour over the head. On the shop floor, the owner soon changes his opinion on Billy when he is caught flirting with the cashier. She has to get between the two men after they start pushing and shoving one another.
In the basement, Babe has the cellar door slammed on his head when Billy goes back to work, sending Babe down the stairs and out for the count. He is helped back to his senses with a bucket of cold water from the co-worker he previously clonked. Upstairs in the shop, Billy washes the floor with a slippery bar of soap, which seems to fly around everytime he tries to touch it.
|Billy is sent back to the kitchens when a woman customer complains about his antics. Babe is just about to emerge through the trap door from beneath, but is sent flying when Billy jumps on his head. The disgruntled chef who was discharged earlier (Cohen) returns with an accomplice to cause trouble. They wrestle with the cashier but Billy re-emerges and overpowers both men, and wins back the respect of the owner. But Babe is not amused and throttles Billy until Babe realises that Billy had saved Ethel from the two men.
REVIEW HALF COMPLETE.
•Also known as "The Bakery", though not to be confused with the Larry Semon/Babe Hardy film The Bakery (1921), which is a completely different film.
•There are XXXXX intertitle cards - shown below.
Did you notice?
•In the second scene, at the bakery, the waitress holds a piece of candy up to the baker's mouth before taking it away teasingly. As he opens his mouth to receive it, she also opens her mouth at the same time. Was this scripted or a natural response? All parents will probably remember that when feeding their babies with a spoon that it was quite normal for us to open our own mouths without realising it as you push the spoon into your child's mouth. Well, at least, that is what I did!! Seeing this moment on screen brought back those memories for me.
•There are a stack of bills/receipts pinned on the cashier's desk.
•In the cellar there are four containers labelled for ingredients: Sugar, Salt, Pepper and Cinnamon.
•When the chef is kicked out of the bakery you can see the reflection of a street car passing by in the shop window.
•As Billy West comes running up the stairs wearing the fireman's helmet he gives Babe a very brief kick as he passes him.
•Here's an interesting observation: when Billy West punches the baker through the hatch, the baker falls back and flips over. This would have resulted in him landing on his stomach, faced down and facing the hole he just came through. However, when we see the edit with Babe pulling the man through the hatch hole on his side, the man is lying on his back, feet up. This could not have been possible as he is clearly the wrong way around.
•Babe shows a good show of strength when he picks up the unconscious worker off the floor in the basement.
Billy, new baker
|Ethel Marie Burton
Ethel, the cashier
Babe, the chef
Camembert, the proprietor
Boob, the assistant
"Laurel OR Hardy" by Rob Stone (book)
This page was last updated on: 15 September 2014