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Big Business

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Big Business

Mary, Mickie, Jackie

Production Notes

Length: Two Reel
Producer: Hal Roach
Director: Robert F. McGowan
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Richard Currier
Titles: H. M. Walker
Writer: Hal Roach
Released: February 10, 1924
Studio: Pathe Exchange

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

The Short

Plot: In order to earn money, the gang opens up their own barber shop. Joe Cobb is the head barber with Mary as the gum-chewing cashier. Sunshine Sammy handles the mechanical stuff, Farina shines shoes, Jackie, the superintendent of exploitation, handles advertising with Sing Joy doing the cleaning and pressing. Mango sits on the side playing with a razor and getting hit by shaving cream. However, despite their eagerness, they are not adept at their job and many leave much more bald than they expected. When Sammy, as porter, holds out his hand hoping for a tip, a customer just shakes his hand and leaves. Mickey, however, strolls by in his Little Lord Fauntleroy attire (a look created by his Aunt Kate in High Society) and the gang lays into him to get him looking respectable. Upon completion of the makeover, Mickey is pleased enough to accept an invitation to join the gang.

The gang forces an unwilling customer into the shop, and soon he gets into a fight with Mickey outside. Mickey's father is interrupted at work by the noise, and watches from his office window, confiding in a co-worker he wishes the freckle-faced fighter was his son. While the fight takes place, management of the barber shop falls to Jackie and Farina. Jackie tells Farina to get more customers, and Farina obliges by bringing in a chicken, dog, and goat, all of which Jackie gives haircuts to.

Shortly thereafter, several angry parents, upset at the horrendous haircuts and other damage, converge on the barbershop with the police. Mickey's mother also comes, looking for her son. When Mickey's parents find him, mom faints at the sight of him after the gang's treatment, while dad is overjoyed that his son no longer looks like a sissy. Then Farina chases a skunk into the premises and almost everyone runs for cover. Farina and Jackie, however, don't get out fast enough, and wind up burying their clothes except underwear and shoes in a nearby landfill.

Quotes:

  • "Them lawyers is all tightwads!" - Sunshine Sammy
  • "I wanna be barber --- It's my turn to cut somebody ---" - Jackie
  • "She's cashier at our barber shop --- She's a widow ---" - Jackie describing Mary

Notes/Trivia:

  • Farina's confusion with skunks as cats is a hold-over from Dogs Of War! and would reoccur in Ten Years Old, and be recreated years later by Wheezer in Bear Shooters.
  • Gadgets include a squirrel-powered fan and barber pole and a hand-pumped vaccum hose to cleaning up hair.
  • Originally named "A Close Shave," the idea for this short was purchased by Hal Roach from Stan Laurel for ten dollars.
  • This is episode is called "The Barber Shop" in the Mischief Makers series.
  • Andy takes over the role of the "tough kid" in the gang by this short.
  • A sign in the barbershop indicates Ernie Morrison's character name is "Sunshine Sammy" in this short. He is partners with Sing Joy in the laundry department.
  • A sign over the door and a sandwich board Jackie wears say the "O. G. Barber Shop." The "O. G." may be the first reference to "Our Gang" within a film.
  • The gag of being forced to bury smelly clothes would reappear many years later in Mighty Lak A Goat.

Sequence


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