|Index||5 reviews in total|
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Laurel & Hardy lite., 21 January 2011
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
While there were several different cast changes in this small-time Hal
Roach series, the Taxi Boys were most often played by Ben Blue and
Billy Gilbert. Here Blue and Gilbert are back in a film that is, like
their others, highly reminiscent of a Laurel & Hardy film. This is not
unintentional, as the fat and skinny comics play roles very similar to
Stan and Ollie's. Being the skinny one, Ben plays the dumb Stan
Laurel-type--though his rather effeminate and exaggerated mannerisms
made him less enjoyable to watch.
Early in this film, the Boys destroy a policeman's motorcycle and they are being chased for some time. Eventually, they stumble into a fancy society party and are assumed to be the guests of honor--a Baron and his trusted General. Although it's obvious to everyone these are NOT who they claim to be, the society folk naturally don't realize the mistake--even when the supposed Baron and General have atrocious table manners.
While the situations are mildly amusing, the film is only okay--mostly because the pair aren't all that interesting. I did, however, like the very end--it was pretty clever.
A Real Misfire, 22 January 2011
Author: lzf0 from United States
Ben Blue and Billy Gilbert had appeared in a handful of "Taxi Boys" shorts before this one. Why did Billy have to use his "Dutch" dialect in this one? True, he impersonates a European baron in the middle of the film. But couldn't he have used the accent only during his impression? Couldn't he have played "himself" during the opening sequence in the taxi garage? Blue refers to him as "Bill" during the entire film and treats him as a regular American guy. The accent does nothing to improve the comedy in the first reel. Maybe Del Lord, the director, was trying to prevent Ben and Billy from being compared to Laurel and Hardy. But that was already being done! Hal Roach had advertised them as ANOTHER Laurel and Hardy, just as he had advertised Thelma Todd and ZaSu Pitts as the FEMALE Laurel and Hardy. It is well documented that even from the beginning, Hal Roach had difficulties with Stan Laurel. Was he using Ben and Billy as an insurance policy against Laurel? We can only speculate.
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Weak Taxi Boys Entry, 23 January 2011
Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
Taxi Barons (1933)
* 1/2 (out of 4)
Another weak entry in Hal Roach's "Taxi Boys" series has Ben Blue and Billy Gilbert playing cab drivers who accidentally run over a police motorcycle. They take off to hide and end up at a society party where they're mistaken for royalty but it doesn't take long for them to show what idiots they are. TAXI BARONS is certainly a major misfire as there isn't very much going for it and what it does have doesn't happen until the very end. You've seen countless mistaken identity comedies as Roach was an expert at them as was everyone going back to the Keystone days. This short really doesn't do anything new with the idea and we get the predictable scenes where the two idiots eventually show that they're not the people they're claiming to be. The finale has the boys sitting at the dinner table and making a mess out of everything because they don't understand the "rich" food. We've seen this type of humor before but Gilbert really works hard and manages to get a few laughs especially the scene with the turkey. Blue, on the other hand, comes across very annoying and doesn't add anything to the picture.
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Pretty bad, actually, 22 January 2011
Author: frankfob from California
I've seen one other "Taxi Boys" short so far, "Thundering Taxis", and it was pretty good. This one is flat-out awful. I've seen very little of Ben Blue's work, and based on what he's done here, I'm not particularly interested in seeing any more. He's not even remotely funny, mugs outrageously and seems to spend most of his time trying to upstage Billy Gilbert--and failing miserably. I'm a HUGE Billy Gilbert fan, but I'm sorry to say he's not particularly good in this, either, hamming it up almost as much as Blue does. The plot is even more brainless than your average two-reel slapstick short--two dimwitted taxi drivers get mistaken for foreign dignitaries while running from the law--and everything about this entry, from the writing to the direction to the music, is second-rate at best. Very, very disappointing.
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Crashing Society, 18 July 2010
Author: boblipton from New York City
Let's get the bad points out of the way: Gus Meins was not a great
comedy director, the series was a retread of one done at Sennett, the
plot -- two low-class guys get confused for visiting European nobility
-- had whiskers on it when Chaplin did it, this had no budget and Ben
Blue is as funny as the guy who emphasizes his dirty stories by poking
his elbow into your ribs.
On the other hand, you have Billy Gilbert. I don't think he ever gave a performance that wasn't great, and here he does a lot of his befuddled Dutchman act. The result is a comedy that is not great, but Mr. Gilbert will keep you chuckling throughout. Despite Ben Blue's efforts.
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