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Shop Talk (1936)

A former art student returns from Europe to run the department store he inherited from his father and finds his employees behaving very bizarrely.



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Cast overview:
Sheet Music Clerk (as Johnnie Berkes)
Elevator Operator (as Tommy 'Cecil' Mack)
Bill Hobbs


Art student Robert Hope Jr. returns from Europe to inherit his father's department store on the condition that he manage it successfully for a year. Ambitious acting manager Bill Hobbs wants to maintain his position and conspires with store employees to behave very bizarrely to the young heir in hopes that he will be too stressed to adhere to the will's provisions. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy





Release Date:

15 February 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big V Comedies (1935-1936 season) #10: Shop Talk  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reels #1901-1902. See more »


Robert Hope Jr.: Where's the china?
Dora: Oh, I don't know anything about China. I love America. I love the old American game of football, don't you?
Robert Hope Jr.: Well, I don't...
Dora: Don't you thrill when you think of football? The bases are full, it's the end of the third quarter, the ice is slippery, and the pigskin's bowling down the alley for a strike. The crowd roars and rises as one man. The car rounds the curve, skids, crashes! AAH HAH-HA! and the side is out in a love game!
See more »


Happiness Ahead
Music by Allie Wrubel
Played when the music salesman is fumbling with the sticky sheet music
Also played when the men are discussing mother songs
See more »

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User Reviews

Starts Off Well But Falls Apart
9 July 2012 | by See all my reviews

Shop Talk (1936)

** (out of 4)

After the death of his father, art student Robert Hope, Jr. (Bob Hope) returns to American to take over the family department store. The only problem is that the higher ups don't want him there so they decide to make the store seem like nothing but morons work there. SHOP TALK starts off good but it quickly falls apart for a number of reasons including the fact that they not once use Hope for anything good. The short runs 19-minutes and there's not a single good moment with Hope so if you're watching this just for him then it might be best for you to look someplace else. The problem with the film is that we're pretty much given the same thing over and over again and after a while it just grows boring. Some examples include an information girl who gives out $100 to anyone who asks her a question. We also have an elevator man who is constantly fighting with people. The furniture sellers "test" the merchandise by sleeping on it during working hours. These type of "comedy" bits happen for all of the running time and I thought it started off fine but the film just never goes anywhere. It's just one situation after another, which as I said, grows boring and why they didn't bother giving Hope anything to do is beyond me.

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