Tight Shoes  
 
25 February 1923
Pathé Exchange
silent short
1-reel

 

Director: George Jeske  Producer: Hal Roach

AVAILABLE ON DVD

Paul (James Parrott) is a shoe salesman.  After he clumsily hands over a shoe box to a lady customer containing all the money he has taken from sales, Paul quickly realises his mistake and rushes outside the store.  He frantically searches boxes of passers-by, scattering a mess all over the sidewalk until he finds the box he is looking for.  The money spills out onto the floor and he grabs the janitor's vacuum cleaner to suck the notes up into the machine.  However, it appears that Paul has again lost the money when he presents it to the manager (Eddie Baker), but fortunately the doorman (George Rowe) has scooped it up and given it to the cashier (Jobyna Ralston), who hands it to Paul.  He thanks the cashier and tells her how grateful he is.
A suspicious customer walks in carrying a fruit basket and asks to buy a pair of shoes.  Paul gladly obliges but steals the basket from the man when he isn't looking and sends it on a carrier towards the cashier.  She eats the contents and sends it back on the pulley, empty.  When Paul sees the vacant basket, he thinks quickly to cut some plastic grapes from a woman's hat who is sitting nearby and re-fills the basket.  Paul turns away to get some shoes off the shelf for the man when the customer puts a pair of socks on over his shoes, making the shoes appear bigger than they are, but in actual fact he is does it so that he can steal the shoes.
The customer then takes a bite out of the grapes, not realising they have been substituted with the plastic ones from the lady's hat, and then bursts out into a major spasm!  During his fit, others gather around to help and Paul accidentally pulls the man's socks off, exposing the man's scheme.  The man is kicked out of the shop and taken away in comic fashion by two passing cops.
Another lady (Helen Gilmore) enters the shop and tries on some shoes, but she puts her own shoes down on another woman's gown and as she leaves the shop the shoes go with her.  Helen throws a fit and Paul is fired.  As he leaves, he spots a potential customer (Mark Jones) with a small monkey and escorts the gentleman back into the store.  The manager seemingly forgives Paul and allows him to serve the man.  The monkey breaks loose and creates absolute havoc in the shop, toppling boxes from shelves and biting Paul on the ear.
The carnage continues with Paul climbing up the stacks of shelving to apprehend the creature and spilling hundreds of shoe boxes all over the shop floor.  As Paul sits among the mess, the monkey pops up to offer him some comfort by rubbing a cloth across his head.  The film ends at this point on rather an inconclusive moment in the storyline.

Favourite bit
In an uneventful comedy with very few gags to choose from, I have to conclude the best scene is of James Parrott's stunt at the end where he is hanging onto the shelves as they topple over in the shop.

Facts
•Production C-78 - Hal Roach series with Paul Parrott.
•Filmed December 2-9, 1922.
•Copyrighted February 23, 1923.
Did you notice?
•Paul says the money recovered from the shoe box was enough to pay his wages for 66 years.
One of the best intertitle cards comes up as Paul tries to sell a pair of shoes to a customer: "This is our reversible number - you can wear them backwards."
The store is called "The Royal Shoe Store".  It caters for "Men, Women & Children's Fine Footwear".
The monkey's name is Jocko, according to the credits.

James Parrott
New clerk
Jobyna Ralston
Cashier
George Rowe
Doorman/janitor
Eddie Baker
Manager

Mark Jones
Customer with monkey
Sammy Brooks
Short customer at reception
Helen Gilmore
Customer who loses shoes
   
UNIDENTIFIED
Customer with basket

Acknowledgements:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0467272/ (IMDb.com)

This page was last updated on: 03 August 2015