Series: The Taxi Boys

Director: Del Lord
Producer: Hal Roach
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Louis McManus
Sound: James Greene

Stars: Clyde Cook, Billy Bevan, Blackie Whiteford, Muriel Evans, William Gillespie
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 24 June 1933
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: T-1
Filming dates: June 6-14, 1932; retakes July 16, 1932
Rating: 5/10



Thundering Taxis

Unavailable on DVD

A speeding taxi races down Washington Boulevard with a woman's foot sticking out over the driver's seat. The driver doesn't notice that the salesman passenger he is carrying has a bunch of dummy legs which he is examining and becomes so distracted that he crashes into a stationary car at a stop. The driver drops off his passenger and then checks in the back seat expecting to see the legs but finds nothing. When the passenger walks off a woman enters the back of the cab from the road side. Her legs are groped by the driver and he is smacked for taking liberties. As the women leaves the cab she catches her dress in the car and it rips off. A bunch of perverts on the sidewalk with nothing better to do with their lives gather round to watch the event. The driver covers her with a Made In USA blanket as she walks off to complain to her husband, who happens to be the boss of a rival 'Blocker' taxi cab company.
Blocker declares war on the rival 'Black & Blue' company. He and his colleagues taunt and intimidate the B&B rivals, who are located directly opposite. The B&B drivers hide in their garage until the coast is clear. Their boss (Bud Jamison) tells his drivers there is a taxi war on and that they need to go out and get some business. A cab with electronic eyes nervously pokes its front out of the gates before driving off quickly (you need to see it). Clyde Cook, representing the B&B company takes to the street but is harassed by two rival cabs which block him and ultimately run him off the road.
Back at the garage (actually the Hal Roach back lot) the Blocker cabbies continue to cause trouble for the B&B guys. One of them throws away his lighted match in the direction of Clyde Cook, causing his uniform to catch fire. Worse still, the bullies from the Blocker company have managed to chain all of the B&B cabs to a metal pole without anybody seeing. In a tit-for-tat response the rivals hook up one of the Blocker cabs to a lamppost which is promptly brought down when the driver tries to pull away. The post falls onto one of their own cars, wrecking it. This then leads to a violent altercation between the driver and a poorly disguised Clyde Cook who is sent flying across the road and into a diner where he puts fresh oysters in his cup of tea.
Clyde sits there at the table fishing for oysters in his mug using a fork and baited piece of string (as we listen to the sound of a duck for some strange reason?) Eventually the oyster spits the drink into his face - as we the viewers are wondering just what the bloody hell is going on with this film? We're back on the move again in an awful piece of continuity where Cook and a rival cabbie spy a potential customer hailing a cab. The rival causes Cook to crash his car into a group of parked cabs by the side of the road (back lot). Cook takes off again in his badly damaged vehicle as the rivals all follow in pursuit. The roads start to fill up with cab drivers from both companie which are all chasing each other but ultimately all end up crashing into each other and exploding. Cook and his colleague are catapulted to the top of a telegraph pole as the film ends.

Favourite bit
Muriel Evans getting her dress caught in the taxi door, followed by those shots of her lovely, shapely legs. Yummy.

Trivia
Copyrighted May 22, 1933.
Released as part of the 'All Stars' series. This was the tenth and final entry in the Taxi Boys series to be released, though was the first film in the series to be produced. It was originally scheduled to be released as the second entry in the series, but then shelved and finally released on June 24, 1933 - a full year after shooting began. This explains the continuity of Bud Jamison and Clyde Cook reprising their roles from What Price Taxi, which was the first film in the series to be released.
The opening shot of the film is on Washington Boulevard with the Culver Hotel on the left of the screen, looming in the distance.
There's a weird moment early in the film when the pedestrians in the background seem to completely stand still for some reason. Just before Muriel Evans hits the taxi driver.
The two taxi companies are Budd Fine's Blocker Cab Company and Bud Jamison's Black & Blue Cab Company.

My opinion
With the exception of a briefly seen Muriel Evans in the opening sequence this feels very basic in terms of plot and comedy. Still on the plus side there is no Ben Blue so it gets an extra point just for that! There is some poor continuity, an odd scene in the middle with Clyde Cook doing battle with oysters and at times the film seems like it's all over the place.

Clyde Cook
Taxi boy
Billy Bevan
Taxi boy
Blackie Whiteford
Blocker cabbie
Muriel Evans
Mrs. Blocker
William Gillespie
Salesman
Al Thompson
Traffic cop
Bud Jamison
Black & Blue company boss
Budd Fine
Blocker boss
Dick Gilbert
Blocker cabbie
Jack Herrick
Blocker cabbie
Frank Rice
Black & Blue cabbie
Charles Dorety
Husband
Leo Sulky
Blocker cabbie
Leo Willis
Blocker cabbie
Jack Hill
Blocker cabbie
Billy Engle
Taxi driver
Pat West
Blocker cabbie
[*he may have been mixed up with Dick Gilbert?]

UNIDENTIFIED CAST

CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

STILLS
(click any image to enlarge)

RE-ISSUE TITLE CARD
(click any image to enlarge)

SHOT ON THE BACK LOT
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SHOT ON LOCATION
(click any image to enlarge)

Chris Bungo's "Then & Now" video presentation

Acknowledgements:
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/228679846/ (mentions additional cast)
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/373329942/
Chris Bungo (video comparisons)
Jesse Brisson (help and information)
Richard Finegan (information and still)
Jim Dallape (Film Classics title card + backlot images)

This page was last updated on: 22 August 2021