The night and next morning in the lives of a taxi driver and a couple who's eloping. The groom doesn't want to wake his bride's father on the night of the elopement, but Ben the cabbie gets a few things wrong. Next morning, after the wedding, while the newlyweds nap in the back seat, Ben has traffic problems. When he can't get the hack started, the police insist he push the cab out of the way. Not wanting to wake the couple, he gets help from Billy, a fellow cabbie, and the push turns into an adventure that ends in court. Written by
This Hal Roach "Taxi Boys" short subject is quite funny and charming, and a cut above the two other entries in the series that I've had a chance to see. It has areas where it lacks cohesion (the entire beginning segment, for instance, to do with the elopement, seems to add nothing to the short and could have been removed) and some attempts at humor that simply don't work (Ben Blue's valiant efforts to make his "Well, I'm a..." lines into a catchphrase), but overall it's a very pleasant film.
Largely this is because instead of trying to build the film on the never-quite-right comic chemistry of the comedy team Roach studios was trying to create out of Billy Gilbert and Ben Blue, the filmmakers allow it to process logically but absurdly -- like the better Charley Chase or Laurel and Hardy films -- off a single good gag idea (Billy and Ben pushing the chain of cars). A lot of legitimately good gags follow from this, including an excellent one involving a cameo by Roach Studios' inveterate drunk Charlie Hall, and one that gives Billy Gilbert the opportunity for his well-known sneezing routine. Worth a look if you get the opportunity.
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