Series: All Stars w/The Taxi Boys

Director: Del Lord
Producer: Hal Roach
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Richard C. Currier
Sound: James Greene

Stars: Ben Blue, Billy Gilbert, James C. Morton
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 18 February 1933
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: T-7
Filming dates: November 15-19, 1932
Rating: 3/10

Wreckety Wrecks

Two incompetent taxi drivers mistakenly think they have killed a man (it's really a dummy) so they look for a place to bury him.

We start with Ben Blue attempting to clean the windscreen of his taxi whilst becoming confused and fascinated with the wiper which has switched itself on. A fellow cabbie (Pat West) tells him, "Hey, intelligent. The boss wants you, you'd better call up the garage right away". Ben calculates that in order to stop the wiper from moving that he has to smash a wrench through the windscreen. He then takes a woman passenger, Miss Winterbottom (Nora Cecil) and her many bags of luggage to her destination but en route he crashes into Billy's stationary taxi, which rolls into a cop car. The patrolman (James C. Morton) reprimands both cabbies and warns them they will face jail if they get into any more accidents.
With more accidents obviously to follow and with Ben's taxi now damaged, it is up to Billy to use his own taxi and push Ben's taxi from behind, all the while Ben is carrying his hysterical passenger. When Ben's horn becomes stuck and won't turn off the woman begins yelling for the police. They finally come to a stop when Ben runs over what he believes to be a pedestrian in the road, not realising that it is in fact a dummy owned by a drunken man. The drunk tells the cabbies that should now bury the 'body', so they load it onto the taxi and drive away leaving Miss Winterbottom traumatised after she witnessed the whole thing. The cops show up and she tells them how the cabbies killed the man and drove off. The cops, already on alert due to the earlier incident, give chase. The cabbies stop by the side of the road when they see a building with the sign 'seminary', but mistake it for a cemetery. Grabbing their conveniently placed shovels and axe's they make their way over the wall and into the grounds with the body.
After a series of clumsy misadventures, the cabbies stumble upon another body within the grounds. It turns out that their passenger from earlier was on her way to this very location and she has wandered out to investigate the noises she could hear before fainting with fear after seeing the dead body left by the cabbies. Ben mistakenly thinks she is their dead body and picks her up and takes her inside the "Morgan Seminary" thinking it is the "morgue in the cemetery". The two hapless cabbies walk along a corridor carrying the body when they hear groaning sounds. Unable to identify the sounds as those coming from the body, Ben becomes confused when after sitting down next to the body for a rest he suddenly notices that he has three hands. When Billy sees this as well, and after the body stands up, they quickly run into a side room where a half-dozen young ladies are taking a nap.
Thinking this is a morgue, the guys are bewildered when one of the girls sits up in her bed. As all the other girls begin screaming, Billy and Ben try to make their getaway, crawling along the floor and back out into the corridor where they are confronted by all the screaming girls (wow all the legs in this scene are marvellous!) Ben manages to get his head between one of the girl's legs (oh yes!) and ends up hoisting her up on his shoulders before running off and letting her fall to the ground. Ben runs off out into the grounds and falls into the open grave [see favourite bit], closely followed by Billy. They are seen by the cops who have climbed on top of the perimeter wall and are chased away into the night. Billy gets his shoe stuck on a car horn so that every time he runs his feet make loud car-horn sounds!

Favourite bit
Right at the end as Ben Blue tries to flee the screaming girls, he runs out into the grounds and falls into the open grave. Given his complete lack of comedy talent I do wish somebody would have covered him up and left him there....

Copyrighted March 13, 1933.
Released as part of the "All Star" banner, this was the sixth film in the Taxi Boys series.
Arthur Housman calls his dummy 'Charlie'.
The drunk, played by Arthur Housman wears a tag around his coat which reads 'Special $4.98'.
When Billy and Ben stop their car outside the 'Seminary' - that is the Hal Roach Admin building on the left of the screen.
There just happens to two axe's in Billy's taxi cab. Oh, and two shovels as well.
When the unseen cop car crashes and its pieces fly over the wall the radio still works. What exactly was it plugged into?
The gag with Ben Blue sitting with the body with its hand on his lap, making it appear that he has three hands was later re-worked by Laurel and Hardy in "A Chump At Oxford".

My opinion
It was so hard having to sit through this utter shit. Probably the worst film in the series so far. Absolutely unfunny and annoying. No laughs whatsoever.

Ben Blue
Billy Gilbert
James C. Morton
Nora Cecil
Miss Winterbottom
Pat West
Cabbie messenger
Eddie Baker
Arthur Housman


CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

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Jim Dallape (Back Lot images and locations identification)

This page was last updated on: 18 February 2023