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Passenger
Frank Guy
Bill McLaughlin
Steve Rosenbaum ...
Mugger
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Evil Hooker
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Comedy

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1 April 1987 (USA)  »

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Weak attempt at creating a movie from an unfilmable book.
14 March 2003 | by (Mountain Mesa, California) – See all my reviews

One need not be prophetic in order to predict a lack of success for a cinematic adaptation of Jim Pietsch's popular volume: "The New York City Cab Driver's Joke Book", for which he enjoyed nearly ten printings, followed by a second compendium. A good many of the hoary examples within the book have probably attained characteristics of folk culture, and to have them repeated verbatim as lengthily occurs during one section of this film will probably bring about a general feeling of tedium for most audiences. The piece has an amateurish look and tone to it, and is obviously a scramble of varying types of footage linked by a wispy plot telling of Stu, a shy warehouse worker (Bill McLaughlin) who has decided to drive a cab in order to better his social abilities. Since the essence of the book is comprised of a series of jokes, the film can not possibly have captured its format; therefore, a group of interludes is employed featuring four of Stu's fellow cabbies being interviewed by a representative of a local television station concerning an unstated "something" that has happened to the neophyte hackman. Stu's experiences with numerous fares are also presented, all of which have humourous or poignant intent, with choppy editing preventing any development of that form requisite for narrative flow. Amiable McLaughlin tries very hard to create a role and his natural oafish quality is somewhat appealing as he deals with a string of new life lessons, with most of the remaining cast members having little acting experience or ability, while being tested in multiple parts (and makeup) during this very low-budget product. Author Pietsch, who still drives a cab to obtain material, produces, contributes additional dialogue, composes musical intermezzi (during which he plays drums) and one can at best state that although unexacting in its execution, CABBY is, withal, a trifle of good temper.


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