Series: All Stars w/The Boy Friends

Director: Edgar Kennedy
Producer: Hal Roach
Dialogue: H.M. Walker
Photography: George Stevens
Editor: Richard C. Currier
Sound: Elmer Raguse

Stars: Mickey Daniels, Grady Sutton, David Sharpe, Mary Kornman, Dorothy Granger, Gertrude Messinger
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 25 October 1930
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: S-33
Filming dates: June 2-16, 1930; retakes June 29-30, 1930
Rating: 6/10

Bigger And Better

The gang are on a train, heading for a vacatiion filled with picnics, booze - and bonfires. Dorothy is jubilant, though Alabam is less than enthusiastic: "sunburn, indegestion and mosquitos". Mickey has brought along his pet pig, which Mary says looks like him every day. Mickey tries sitting next to Gertie but she brushes him off, so Alabam turns on his charm and tries it for himself but gets the same cold response from her. Gertie sticks a pin in her hat and places it on the vacant seat beside her to ward off anybody else who might try sitting there. Along comes Dave.... who successfully manages to take the seat, whilst giving the hat back to her. An intervention from Mickey and Alabam cause Gertie to get up and walk off, where she bumps into Dorothy and Mary in the next carriage. Alabam tells Dave that a telegram has arrived for him from Alabam's father stating that Dave has a job at his father's store beginning on Monday morning. Dave performs some cringe-worthy acrobatics to celebrate.
Monday morning comes and Dave is put to work inside Mr. Sutton's store. Alabam shows Mickey around the shop floor, providing him with some clothing from the shelves as they go before they head upstairs to talk to Mr. Sutton. Sutton tells Grady - and Mickey that they will both be put to work in the store. Grady's first job is to try selling some fabric to a woman who is completely bewildered by his gibberish talk. Mickey is less enthusiastic when the supervisor tries to encourage him to work in random departments. Mickey notices a potential shoplifter stealing candy and calls the supervisor over, who tells him the man is the store detective. Dave, on the other hand is left with dozens of opened boxes of stockings for an awkward customer who doesn't want to buy any of them.
So Mickey decides he is going to help himself to some free candy and pose as the store detective in order to impress the girl behind the counter. Mr. Kornman (DELL HENDERSON) makes his way to the shop floor along with a girl friend of Mickey's who tries to get friendly with him. Mickey then crawls to chase a dog that has stolen a customer's handbag which leads to Mr. Kornman and Gertie tripping over him. Dave witnesses the incident and tries to assist but puts his foot through Mr. Kornman's hat, ruining it. The supervisor orders Dave to assist the gentleman in purchasing a new hat and the costs will be coming out of his wages. Gertie helps out and cons Mr. Kornman into buying a cheap hat in order to spare Dave. But a few moments later another accident results in the new hat being damaged again.
A prolific shoplifter (LYLE TAYO) is spotted stealing items from the store and the detective keeps his eyes on her but when a similar-looking woman, Mrs. Vanderveer (ISABELLE KEITH) is seen by Mickey he mistakes her for the shoplifter and arrests her. The mistake brings about outrage from the woman and a threat of dismissal from the supervisor. In a surprising twist when the owner, Mr. Sutton hears about it he decides to promote Mickey, Dave and Grady to the rank of "CDs" and tells them their canoes are awaiting them at Lake Arrowhead. The boys are excited and go to tell the girls the good news only to find they have all been hired in the store for the summer. Gertie accidentally crushes another hat and is warned by the supervisor that if she breaks one more hat she will be fired. So she and Dorothy go and get themselves fired!

Favourite bit
When Gertie tries to convince Mr. Kornman that his $1.50 hat is really worth $20. A nice scene.

Copyrighted November 24, 1930.
The second film in The Boy Friends series.
Dave reads a book entitled Letters From A Self-Made Merchant To His Son.
Regarding the extra characters in the film; there are several unidentified people on the train in the opening scene, as well as several customers in the shop. I'm not going to attempt to try and work out who is who!
Edgar Kennedy refers to Grady Sutton as 'Grady' - as opposed to 'Alabam'.
When Mickey arrests Mrs. Vanderveer in the store a crowd of around 20 people gather around to witness it. Seriously, have they got nothing better to do?
Okay, we get it. Dave Sharpe was athletic. He could do gymnastics, backflips and was fit. Do we have to see repeat reminders of it every bloody time he is on screen?
Even though Dell Henderson plays a character named Mr. Kornman, there is no hint that his character is in any way connected to Mary Kornman's character in the film.
The actress playing the wrongly-identified shoplifter Mrs. Vanderveer is Isabelle Keith. It's very likely the name Vanderveer is a reference to Roach extra Ellinor Vanderveer.
This was the fifth film released by Hal Roach to feature the Crane sisters during the talking titles at the beginning.
My opinion
Decent. A slow start but the story builds and we do get some good scenes later on in the store, particularly when Dell Henderson buys the same hat for $20 that he just saw for $1.50 [see favourite bit]. The story centres mostly around Mickey and Dave but the supporting cast do their bit too. Dell Henderson is brilliant as always, Edgar Kennedy has a relatively small role but he is efficient as the store's boss. Nice cameo supports from Isabelle Keith and Lyle Tayo - and there's Jack Hill again. Not bad. Not great, but not bad.

Mickey Daniels
Grady Sutton
David Sharpe
Mary Kornman
Dorothy Granger
Gertrude Messinger
Edgar Kennedy
Mr. Sutton
Carl M. Leviness
Mr. Shipman
Jack Hill
Store extra
Joe Forte
Store detective
Dell Henderson
Mr. Kornman
Isabelle Keith
Mrs. Vanderveer
Lyle Tayo
Hollywood Kate, the shoplifter
Baldwin Cooke
Store extra
Eleanor Fredericks
Jerry McGowan
Girl who recognizes Mickey
Gordon Douglas
Mam exiting elevator
Betty Mae Crane/
Beverly Crane

Talking titles


CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

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Richard Finegan (10 stills)
Richard W. Bann (identification of Eleanor Fredericks and Jerry McGowan)
The identification of Gordon Douglas is my educated guess, which is backed up by Richard Bann)

This page was last updated on: 03 August 2022