The Chief Cook
(Globe Hotel)

Series: N/A Distribution: King Bee  Director: Arvid E. Gillstrom  Cinematography: Herman Obrock
Production: N/A Type: Silent short Producer: Louis Burstein  Editor: ?
Released: 01 October 1917 Length: 2-reels Writer: Rex Taylor


The film opens in the lobby of the Globe Hotel where the desk clerk/owner (Budd Ross) is addressing three members of staff: the cook, the waiter and the bellboy. It is obvious from their reactions, particularly the cook (Leo White) that whatever was said did not go down too well and as a result, they simultaneously quit. They storm off into the adjoining kitchen where the maid (Blanche White) is on the floor scrubbing the floor, then leave.
A messenger brings a telegram into the lobby, riding his bicycle, which informs the hotel clerk that a dramatic company are due to arrive shortly for their reservation at the hotel. The clerk isn't happy to have lost his staff, and goes outside to look for them. As he does, he discovers the hotel's only guest (Billy West) trying to make his escape from a first-storey window. The clerk ushers the guest back into the hotel via the kitchen, though the guest does dome ushering of his own by pushing the clerk around. The guest and the maid get friendly before the clerk collars him and warns that the guest will work out his board or face jail.
The guest now acting as a porter goes to the train station to meet the new guests and immediately falls for the leading lady of the outfit (Ellen Burford), much to the annoyance of the boss (Babe Hardy). The three disgruntled employees who had quit the hotel earlier are at the station, armed with a knife (I think this is Joe Bordeaux) and attack the guest, who fends them off. With the seven new guests checked into the hotel, and after their luggage walks up the stairs all by itself, they are shown to their rooms. The first call for dinner and everybody rushes out of their rooms like a stampede before descending to the dining room. The first order is for a glass of fresh milk, so the newly-promoted waiter fetches a cow from a storage room and milks it. The second order is for ham and eggs. You can see where this is going, right?
Billy the waiter continues to flirt with the leading lady whilst pouring coffee for another guest, as the boss (Babe) grows increasingly frustrated with the apparent rubbish service, which includes a cat being delivered to their table. Meanwhile, the three ex-employees of the hotel return to cause mischief and throw a bomb into the kitchen (I mean that is just taking things too far, don't you think?) A newspaper boy delivers some papers to the front desk, and for some reason takes Billy's photograph and leaves. Upstairs, the leading lady wamts to take a bath and tells Babe to call down to the front desk at which point Billy shoots a snake on the counter. Babe comes downstairs, manhandles Billy and demands the water for his lady's bath. Billy takes the pales of water up to her room, fills the bath then watches through the keyhole as she bathes (pervert). He even pulls up a bucket and a cushion to sit on as he spies on her. A leak seems to have come through the floor and down into the lobby. Billy attends to it before returning to the upstairs room and forcibly trying to make out with the woman. Babe walks in and immediately starts to chase the cheeky Billy, who escapes through an open window before returning. Babe pulls out a gun and fires at Billy but instead he hits his lady.
As the guests finally leave, one remains behind in the lobby acting out his performance whilst continually dropping his hat from his head. Billy follows the leading lady out of the hotel when she leaves with Babe. They arrive at the opera house where Billy cannot afford the admittance fee so he manages to sneak in through the stage entrance and ending up back stage. The actors, including Babe, take to the stage to act out their parts when Billy gets hit by a flying prop. He storms onto the stage and all hell breaks loose with the set falling down. Billy runs out of the theatre and back to the hotel and into the upstairs room where the leading lady had bathed. She returns to the room, as does Babe, and a fight breaks out before the film finishes.

Favourite bit
It's 1917 and the film features a topless Ellen Burford naked in the bath. No kidding! Wow!

Billy West comedy with Babe Hardy in support.
No copyright registered.
Filming dates
Filmed in Bayonne, New Jersey, USA.
Previewed as The Star Boarder, but title changed prior to release.
Released onto home video as Globe Hotel.
The Western Union telegram is dated 7th July 1917.
The name of the hotel is the Palace Hotel, in Bingville.
Babe Hardy's hotel room number is 8.
There is a scene featuring Ellen Burford naked in a bathtub. This scene is missing from most prints of the film, but does exist (see below for screenshots).
There is a sign on the hotel lobby wall which reads "In God we trust, No others need apply." Another sign, behind the front desk reads "All guests must pay in advance. This means YOU." In the bathroom there is a sign that says "Ring bell for towels".
The large kitchen knife used by Babe Hardy at the table to cut the chicken is the same one used by the three villains at the train station when they try to attack Billy West.
Babe shares an upstairs room with the leading lady yet when Babe chases Billy West around and shoots through the window, he is on the ground shooting through a ground floor window.
The name of the play the actors are appearing in is called The False Woman, and it is being staged at the Bingville Opera House.

What the experts say
"It's just a typical Billy West comedy, with Babe Hardy as the heavy, set in a hotel. The stand-out scene is extremely surprising, given that it features an actress completely topless in the bath - and seen on film. Not only that but there is a strong suggestion of rape later in the film as Billy West pursues the leading lady, forcing himself upon her - after his voyeurism of her in the bath." ~ Lord Heath.

Billy West
Budd Ross
Boggs, the hotel proprietor
Oliver Hardy
Babe, the heavy
Ellen Burford
Dolly, the leading lady
Leo White
Blanche White
Maggie, the slavey
Joe Bordeaux
Hotel ex-employee
Florence McLaughlin
Hotel guest
  Ethelyn Gibson
  Joe Cohen
  Polly Bailey



Laurel OR Hardy by Rob Stone (book)
Florence McLaughlin and Joe Bordeaux are my own obersavtions

This page was last updated on: 01 October 2017