Wacky Taxi (1972)
Released in 1972: One day out of the blue, factory worker Pepper Morales walks off the job and buys an old car that he turns into a taxi with the dream of creating a better life for his family.
Produced by Samuel S. Dikel
Directed by John Astin and Alexander Grasshoff
Written by Alexander Grasshoff
The Actors: John Astin (Pepper Morales), Maria Pohji (Maria Morales, Frank Sinatra Jr. (thief)), Tom Dikel (Tommy Morales), Jim Dikel (Jimmy Morales), Becky Castro (Becky Morales), Danny Castro (Danny Morales), Ralph James (Uncle Jaimie), Tony Genaro (Tony), Eugene Freeman (Jimmy), Leo Ford (Leo), Bob Estrada (Bob), Marian Brasch (lady Marine), Tino Barzie (man at ball game), Ann Cushing (first girl in dream), Cheryl Xavier (second girl in dream), Allan Sherman (nervous man), Joyce Dikel (lady at airport), Jeanne Rivkin (lady at airport), Harriet Levi (lady at airport), Robert Bond (passenger at airport), Marylou Bond (passenger at airport), Frederick von Soosten (passenger at airport), Betty Crane (lady in window), John H. Warden (arresting officer), Harry F. Pettersen (booking officer), Donald M. Chapman Jr. (booking officer), Mary Gramlich (detective's secretary), Larry A. Savoy (detective), Susan Herd (Jaimie's secretary), Jackie Gayle (projectionist), Father Tulio (Father Tulio, priest)
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Salt & Pepper . . . Pepper & Salt
One day Pepper Morales in San Diego walks off his job and buys an old car and goes into business for himself driving his taxi. That is the beginning of an amazing story of dreams, love, persistence, failure and success, but this movie is much more than a feel-good family adventure . . . if you have ever dreamed about doing something different . . . if you have ever wanted to change your job, your life, your future, but doubts and fears prevent it, this story can be a talisman that will bring you the lucky answer as to whether you should jump through that terror-barrier or not. Most of my adult life I have been restless and without passion or direction. I've probably had more than twenty different jobs during my prime working years, but driving a taxi was not one of them. I preached Christ's gospel from the pulpit of many churches as I prepared to become a minister like my dad . . . then when I discovered that it was not to be my joyous passion I started my search for the job or business that would excite me every morning. I pumped gas when it also meant washing the windshield and checking the oil . . . I managed full service restaurants and fast food joints . . . I managed an Earl Schieb auto painting joint . . . I sold pipes and cigars in a mall store . . . I worked in a drop forge pounding titanium and specialty steel into parts for aircraft and the space program . . . I hauled brick and mixed mortar for a crew of bricklayers . . . I sold life insurance and later Ford cars and trucks . . . I made custom marble chess boards in oak frames . . . then I finally discovered computers, the internet and old movies, and finally, I awake before the alarm goes off every day and can think of and imagine doing nothing else. As I watched this movie I am happy that I discovered it after I discovered my passion, and not before, because it might have convinced me that a 9-5 job was as good as it gets . . . no . . . I must be honest . . . If I had seen this movie back in 1972 when I was pumping gas I would still have searched and moved from job to job until I reached my passion. That is the mystical, magical thing that this movie will do for you . . . I believe that if you are not meant for the life of a self-employed business dare-devil this story will scare you back to your 9-5 job in a hurry . . . but if there is a small flame in your belly telling you that there is something out there that is calling your name . . . if you think that you are meant to do something daring . . . something big . . . something very scary . . . this movie will only make that feeling stronger and maybe provide the little bump that will send you on your own journey of adventure. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show.
Becky Castro and Maria Pohji
Frank Sinatra Jr.
John Astin and Ralph James
John Astin and his Wacky Taxi
Maria Pohji and Jonn Astin
Tom Dikel and Jim Dikel