Series: Max Davidson

Director: Leo McCarey
Producer: Hal Roach

Stars: Max Davidson, Spec O'Donnell, Jesse De Vorska, Lillian Elliott
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 03 July 1927
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: H-18
Filming dates: February 22 - March 7, 1927;
retakes March 29, April 1-2, 1927

Rating: 6/10

Don't Tell Everything

Available on DVD:

A party at the Doodlebaum house is under way but Papa Ginsberg (Max Davidson) and his "pest" son Asher are late on account of car trouble. They stop at a garage and tell the mechanic to fix the problem before arriving at the house on foot. Asher (Spec O'Donnell) spots his girl in the next room and begins to dance with her before she crashes him into the sofa. Papa, on the other hand has better luck when he is introduced to a guest, a rich widow by the name of Finkleheimer (Lillian Elliott).
Lawyer Goldblum (James Finlayson) entertains the guests with magic tricks but a bored Asher decides to interrupt proceedings by repeatedly flicking elastic bands to break the magician's glasses of punch. The widow spots the brat in action and is appalled by his behaviour. Aware of this, Papa decides on discretion instead of identifying his son to her. The lawyer is done - literally, in tears over his failed show and leaves, but not before one last indignity of having his hat knocked off with another flick of a band by Asher. Outside the house, the mechanic has Papa's car in bits which are scattered all over the road and sidewalk.
The annoying Asher then sneaks behind an open window where Papa and the widow are seated and plays matchmaker between them. Whilst concealed behind the curtain, he reaches through to tickle his father's beard. Believing it was the widow, Papa playfully pinches her on the cheek in return but she tells him off. The boy continues his mischief unseen until he messes up Papa's hair and Papa goes wild at the widow, thinking it was her. Papa in turn messes up the widow's hair as Asher reveals himself. She asks Papa who the brat is, for the second time, but Papa maintains he does not know the boy.
Papa suggests he and the widow go for a ride in his car, and as if right on cue they go outside just as the mechanic is finishing his work on repairing it. Papa wisely tells the mechanic that he will pay him once he establishes that the car runs ok. The mechanic hides around the corner as bit by bit the car falls to pieces, starting with the headlights and then the bodywork; and ending with a passing water truck which completely wrecks the car. Piece by piece the bits of car are swept away down a drain as Papa is left standing in the wet road holding his license plate in his hands.
Ten days later, the mechanic walks into Papa's clothes store to buy a new suit and tells Papa that he is taking the suit as payment for the work the mechanic done on Papa's car! The cocky mechanic leaves Papa's store, locking the irate owner inside, but then gets himself knocked down by a passing car for showing off! [see Favourite bit].
Papa marries the widow but fails to tell her about his annoying son. In a bizarre twist, Papa receives a note from his son informing him that he intends to live with him but not as his son, but instead, as a maid dressed as a girl. The son arrives at the house dressed as the maid and tells Papa of his plan but unbeknownst to them, the widow overhears and thinks Papa has a new lover. The new Mrs. Ginsberg is introduced to the new "maid" and then pretends to leave. Papa and his son/the maid go into the bedroom where Asher undresses. The widow then comes back to witness the pair frolicking and tells Papa she is through with him before storming off out.
Racked with guilt, Asher confesses to Papa that he should tell the widow the truth about him disguising himself as the maid. The son chases his new mother-in-law down the street before being stopped - and then chased by a policeman. Asher hides in a barrell to evade the cop but doesn't realise it is full of black paint. He makes his way home and is put into a bath by Papa. The widow returns to the house with the lawyer who tries to convince her she has it all wrong but she catches Papa with the maid in the bath and is about to explode when all is revealed. Papa comes clean and tells her the maid is his son, the brat whom she doesn't like. A knock on the door reveals one last surprise... the widow also has a son....

Favourite bit
The mechanic boasts about taking a new suit from Papa Ginsberg due to money he says is owed to him for "fixing" Papa's car. As he shows off about being "all square" with Papa, the mechanic casually steps out into the street and is promptly run over by a truck. Karma!

Copyrighted May 18, 1927.
Also listed as an All-Star film.
Other sources give July 2, 1927 as a release date.
Papa Ginsberg leaves his car at Palms Garage.
It is possible that Max Davidson's character name is in honour of Henry Ginsberg.
Blimey is the widow playing hard-to-get or what? She sits there on the sofa smiling and cosying up with Papa, yet when he pinches her on the cheek affectionately, she gets cross with him. I mean, come on woman, which way do you want it?
The license plate on Papa's car is B53 367 (California 1926).
The stunt performed by Jesse De Vorska when the truck runs over him is pretty impressive.
When Asher is stopped by the policeman, what is with all the nosey pedestrians?
When the policeman starts to chase Asher down the street, it is in Culver City, but the next shot switches to the Back Lot.
I think Spec O'Donnell shows good agility to get out of the barrel of paint in the way he lifts up his leg and climbs out. Not an easy thing to do.
I got a good laugh out of watching that fat girl Pearl Harbour him in this film. Geez, she really came in from downtown with a full head of steam and totally *obliterated* him on that couch. I will give him credit for toughness as he clearly bounced off the back of the couch and looked like he may have had the wind knocked out of him. I am surprised there wasn't just a poster of ol' Spec left after she wasted him like that. It's worse when you slow it down. Spec is obviously suffering there (he's pulling on his collar like he cannot breathe) and the scene ends abruptly because he likely hit the floor. see here. [Steve Wright]

Max Davidson
Papa Gibsberg
Spec O'Donnell
Asher Gibsberg
Jesse De Vorska
Mechanic Finkelheimer
Lillian Elliott
Widow Finkelheimer
James Finlayson
Lawyer Goldblum
Lyle Tayo
Mrs. Doodlebaum
Budd Fine
Sidney Franklin

CREDITS (click image to enlarge) INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

Steve Wright (trivia observations)

This page was last updated on: 22 August 2022