Series: Paul Parrott

Director: Gilbert Pratt
Producer: Hal Roach

Stars: James Parrott, Jobyna Ralston
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 08 November 1925
Length: 1 reel
Production No.: C-41
Filming dates: March 1-14, 1922
Rating: 4/10

Are Parents Pickles?

Available on DVD:

A music-loving woman (JOBYNA RALSTON) stands outside a shop when a salesman (MARK JONES) tries to sell her a trombone. She tells him to speak to her father so Jones pays a visit to the office to try and sell his product but gets booted out for not having an appointment. Meanwhile, fire salesman JAMES PARROTT also turns up at the office but receives the same treatment from the clerk. That is, until the clerk realises that they are both members of the fraternity and invites him into the office. But before James can advance he encounters a second clerk, and then a third clerk. James advances using the same method of producing similar cards [see Trivia].
When James meets the girl's father Mr. Smith (EDDIE BAKER), he introduces himself by setting fire to his waste paper basket. Before Mr. Smith can become enraged, James demonstrates his ability to extinguish the fire with his contraption. James is told to seek out a particular man in order to be put up for membership. After finding CHARLES STEVENSON on the street, the two men are brought before an initiation ceremony, which James passes. Afterwards he is ordered to burn down Mr. Smith's house as his next test. Mark Jones delivers the trombone to Mr. Smith's house, just before James turns up and tells Mr. Smith that he has been sent to burn his house down but assures him it's all an ellaborate practical joke and to play along. The two of them set fire to the house and soon Mr. Smith takes out the trombone and starts playing it, thinking it will put the flames out. He's wrong. When James sees the error he rushes into the burning house to retrieve his extinguisher and in a split second manages to put out the flames [see favourite bit]. Mr. Smith is happy and starts to write a check until he sees the interior of his torched living room before shooting a gun at the fleeing James!

Favourite bit
OMG this made me laugh out loud!! When James takes his extinguisher and fires it at the house the fire goes out in a split second. It's in the art of the editing of course but it did make me laugh!

Copyrighted November 6. 1925.
An incomplete copy of this film survives at The Library of Congress.
Released over three years after filming was completed.
When James Parrott encounters the first clerk, he is refused admittance. James notices the clerk is wearing a badge that reveals him to be a member of a fraternity known as the "Raindeers" (not reindeers). James then conveniently just happens to have the same badge and is then invited into the office when he shows it. The second clerk belongs to the "Brick Layers" lodge. Again, James produces the same badge before going forward. The third clerk belongs to the "Irish Rites" lodge. Mr. Smith is a member of the "Shiners" lodge.
What the hell is a doo-hinkey?
My opinion
The first nine minutes are pretty dull and messy, but the last minute of the film is actually quite funny. It's your typical Paul Parrott comedy with little plot, even fewer laughs and a leading lady who is hardly seen, along with a stupid middle section and a mindnumbing story. Other than that it's watchable.

James Parrott
Fire salesman
Jobyna Ralston
Miss Smith
Mark Jones
Trombone salesman
Gaylord Lloyd
Rain-deer lodge member
Eddie Baker
Mr. Smith, the girl's father
Charles Stevenson
Lodge member with matching paper
Wallace Howe
Lodge member
Roy Brooks
Tall lodge member
Brick Layer lodge member
Irish Rites lodge member
Two lodge members

INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

Jesse Brisson (identification of Wallace Howe)

This page was last updated on: 09 November 2023