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Shop Talk (1936)

Approved | | Short, Comedy, Music | 15 February 1936 (USA)
A former art student returns from Europe to run the department store he inherited from his father and finds his employees behaving very bizarrely.


Lloyd French


Burnet Hershey (original screenplay), Jack Henley (original screenplay)


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Cast overview:
Bob Hope ... Robert Hope Jr. (as Robert Hope)
John Berkes ... Sheet Music Clerk (as Johnnie Berkes)
Tommy Mack ... Elevator Operator (as Tommy 'Cecil' Mack)
Richard Lane ... 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 | Music


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 February 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Vitaphone production reels #1901-1902. See more »


Robert Hope Jr.: Where's the china?
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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 »


Fog Over Frisco
Music by M.K. Jerome
Played during the dinnerware scene
See more »

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User Reviews

Uninspired early Warner comedy short with Bob Hope...
13 February 2008 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

BOB HOPE has the sort of gag lines in SHOP TALK that must have killed vaudeville. The whole short subject is based on the premise that RICHARD LANE wants to take over management of a huge department store, rather than Hope, a playboy returning from Europe with the intention of running the store. Lane talks the employees into a plan that will drive Hope away, asking each one to act in an eccentric manner that will cause Hope to despair of running things.

It might have looked good on paper but it needed better execution than these lame one-liners and ridiculous bits by store personnel that result in extremely forced bits of comedy that become tedious by the time we reach the last exasperating employee.

Hope acquits himself with poise and comic timing but it's no use. RICHARD LANE doesn't fare much better with his thankless role as the conniving manager who doesn't want to lose his job to Hope.

Fortunately, it wouldn't be long before Hope landed better material and had a long career at Paramount in a string of successful feature comedies.

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