More summer fun is on the way from ClassicFlix as all three Hal Roach "Taxi" comedies starring William Bendix will be released on DVD for the first time this June 30th—with each film culled from original studio masters!
Before his "Life of Riley" persona would permeate the airwaves on radio and TV, William Bendix starred in three Streamliners for producer Hal Roach as a happy-go-lucky Brooklyn cabbie trying to make good in the taxi business.
The titles in The Complete Hal Roach Streamliners Collection, Volume 3 (The Taxi Comedies) are Brooklyn Orchid (1942), The McGuerins from Brooklyn (1942) and Taxi, Mister (1943) -- which also star Joe Sawyer and Grace Bradley (who was perhaps best known offscreen as the wife of moviedom’s “Hopalong Cassidy,” William Boyd).
Featured are such beloved classic film favorites as Marjorie Woodworth, Sheldon Leonard, Mike Mazurki, Max Baer, Jack Norton, Joe Devlin, Frank Faylen, Iris Adrian, Jimmy Conlin, Leonid Kinskey, Marion Martin and Alan Hale, Jr.
About the Silver Series line:
Knowing so many unseen and longed-for classics sit in studio vaults and other archives collecting dust, ClassicFlix established the Silver Series line to shine the light of day on such lesser-known titles by making them available in affordable DVD editions.
For the first time on home video come all three Hal Roach “Taxi” streamliners starring William Bendix (The Life of Riley)—with each film culled from original studio masters!
The Hollywood producer whose “Lot of Fun” was home to such comedy film legends as Laurel & Hardy initiated a surefire movie concept in the 1940s called the streamliner—22 of which would be released between 1941 and 1948. Double the run time of a two-reeler, but a little shorter than a programmer, the streamliner was designed to make movie magic by economizing production costs while also accommodating movie houses whose playbills weren’t set up for double features.
Soon to become a familiar face at Paramount Pictures in features like The Glass Key, virtual unknown William Bendix was cast to star as Brooklyn cabbie Tim McGuerin in a trio of streamliner comedies starting with 1942s Brooklyn Orchid. His co-star, Joe Sawyer, playing pal Eddie Corbett in Orchid as well as in The McGuerins from Brooklyn (1942) and Taxi, Mister (1943), was an easy choice for Roach as Sawyer was already on the lot appearing alongside William Tracy in a series of successful streamliner service comedies.
Joining Bendix and Sawyer in all three films, and holding her own, is the delightful Grace Bradley (as Mrs. McGuerin), who was perhaps best known offscreen as the wife of moviedom’s “Hopalong Cassidy,” William Boyd. Also featured are such beloved classic film favorites as Marjorie Woodworth, Sheldon Leonard, Mike Mazurki, Max Baer, Jack Norton, Joe Devlin, Frank Faylen, Iris Adrian, Jimmy Conlin, Leonid Kinskey, Marion Martin and Alan Hale, Jr.
Brooklyn Orchid (1942, 51 min.)
Tim and Eddie rescue beauty queen Lucy from attempting to “knock herself off”, but when she proclaims her “good fairies” are permanently responsible for her, the boys have a difficult time shielding Lucy from their better halves.
William Bendix’s second film (and first starring role) brims with shadows of his future Chester A. Riley character which he played to enormous success on radio, film and TVs The Life of Riley. Featured are Marjorie Woodworth, Skeets Gallagher, Florine McKinney, Leonid Kinskey and Jack Norton.
The McGuerins from Brooklyn (1942, 46 min.)
Sadie mistakenly thinks Tim is stepping out on her so he enlists the help of Eddie to help square things with his wife.
Marjorie Woodworth is back as Lucy, and is now Tim’s secretary at the Red Circle Cab Company. Featured are Arline Judge, Max Baer, Marion Martin, J. Farrell McDonald, Pat Flaherty, Dick Wessel, Frank Faylen and Alan Hale, Jr.
Taxi, Mister (1943, 46 min.)
During the 15th anniversary celebration of the Red Circle Cab Company, Eddie recounts the story of how Tim captured the most notorious gangster in the country, obtained seed money to grow their taxi service and got engaged to Sadie all in one fell swoop.
The final “Taxi” film was also the final film of Grace Bradley’s career. Featured are Sheldon Leonard, Jack Norton, Mike Mazurki, Joe Devlin, Frank Faylen, Jimmy Conlin and Iris Adrian.