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Film / D.C. Cab

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D.C. Cab is a 1983 movie co-written and directed by Joel Schumacher. It featured an ensemble cast including Gary Busey, Paul Rodriguez, Marsha Warfield, Bill Maher, Adam Baldwin (in his second major role after My Bodyguard), Max Gail (in his first role after eight years of Wojciehowicz), and Mr. T (though only T is featured on the cover).

The movie focuses on a down-on-their luck cab company in Washington, D.C. as they attempt to make their way to respectability, fighting City Hall and rival cab companies all the way. After a kiss with that respectability, a kidnapping knocks them back down to earth, and the boys have to rescue one of their own and a couple of cute kids, fighting City Hall and rival cab companies all the way.

The movie was a modest earner, making $16 million domestically. It was critically panned, however; many people complained about the movie's heavy use of Mr. T (who was coming off of Rocky III at the time) in its advertising, despite his character being just a small part of the ensemble.

This film provides examples of:

  • Advertised Extra: Mr. T is so associated with this movie, it's called Mr. T and Company in some markets, despite the small amount of screen time he actually gets. It's so bad that in some markets, the poster solely consists of a picture of Mr. T, without even so much as hinting at the actual plot.
  • Car Fu: Actually, multiple cars doing this.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Xavier.
    • Dell is another one, repeatedly hitting on his boss Harold's wife Myrna in exceedingly vulgar fashion. While they're eating breakfast together at the same restaurant table.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Two, in fact: a violin and Albert's cowboy boots (they were his dad's, and they were too big for him).
    • Harold's flamethrower also.
    • The prominently placed above ground pool in Harold's back yard was a subtle one.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Dell.
  • Cool Car: Mr. T has his cab pimped out so that the teenagers who've been hanging around a drug dealer's fancy car will admire him instead of a no-good pusher.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The first few minutes before the opening credits play out as if they belong in a horror or thriller picture, as the cabbies seem to be hunting Tyrone down before cornering him. The movie reveals the whole thing to be just a game the cabbies are playing as Tyrone loses one of the rollers in his hair and the cabbies go looking for it, only to have Tyrone call them "suckers" and escape in his own cab.
  • Giving Them the Strip: When the cabbies haul Albert from the kidnappers' van and his captors keep hold of his feet, Tyrone asks him if he's still wearing his father's oversized cowboy boots. Albert confirms this, so Tyrone swerves the cabbies' vehicle sideways and Albert's feet slip loose, leaving the baddies clutching his footwear.
  • Had the Silly Thing in Reverse: Tyrone covertly sets the hack inspector's shift lever into reverse, so he drives the wrong way and crashes into an Asian restaurant's front window. The Barbarian Brothers have to drive their cab to the shop in reverse because it's broken.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: Turns from a standard struggle to survive as a cab company plot to a kidnapping plot for the third act.
  • Henpecked Husband: Harold has shades of this, being an easygoing and all around nice guy. It makes the scene of him standing up to his domineering wife all the more awesome.
  • Innocent Swearing: 'Cuz a ten-year-old girl calling a kidnapper a "pitiful bitch" is funny!
  • Mistaken Nationality: Albert innocently assumes Bongo is Jamaican. He's not.
  • Na´ve Newcomer: Albert Hockenberry (Adam Baldwin).
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Invoked by Tyrone of all people. He did go to college at some point, but he wants people to think him to be dumb. Later on (and dressed in a suit), he comes up with the plan to save Albert and the children.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Bravo, the hack inspector, and later the FBI.
  • Police Are Useless: The FBI agent's attempts to interrogate the nanny about the kidnapping.
  • Prepositions Are Not to End Sentences With: When Bravo admonishes Samson for ending "a sentence with a preposition," Tyrone responds: "Oh, so where you at, asshole?"
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The cabbies, oh so much. One wonders how these people can tie their own shoelaces, let along work together.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: Albert and Tyrone confront this in "the Run."
  • Redundant Rescue: After being kidnapped, Albert tries to get out of being tied up so he can untie the kids he was kidnapped with. It takes him awhile, and when he finally manages to get free, the kids (already free of their restraints) applaud him.
  • The Rival: Emerald Cab Company. They even have the hack inspector in their pockets.
  • Seen It All: The ambassador's least when it comes to being kidnapped.
    Girl: Is this your first time being kidnapped?
    Albert: Yeah.
    Boy: This is our third.
  • The Stinger: A man gets into Tyrone's cab claiming to be the Angel of Death, demanding to be taken to Hell. Tyrone blithely asks if he has luggage.
  • The Taxi: Exactly What It Says on the Tin
  • Running Gag: Ophelia keeps getting robbed by the same ski-masked robber.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Harold and Myrna. Still in effect when Harold implies later that he and Miss Floyd (the dispatcher) got together after Myrna kicks him out.