film no. 174
- The Our Gang Collection (5 DVD-R set)
from Warner Home Video
- Released Sep. 1, 2009. This is from the WB Archive Collection and available in a limited
- other releases
- This film also appeared on at least one bootleg release.
Production 2589. The script is numbered B937.
Release no. C-933.
Filmed September 19 to 24, 1938. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.
Released November 12, 1938. It was the 174th film in the series to be released.
Copyrighted November 16, 1938, by Loew's Incorporated. Registration no. LP8483. Renewed November 17, 1965, with
registration no. R373513. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2033.
Cutting continuity submitted Dec. 7, 1938.
All-talking one-reeler, lasting 10 minutes and 22 seconds.
Opening title: 'Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Our Gang in "Football Romeo".' This is the
first episode to show the relief of the MGM lion during the opening titles.
- Produced by Jack Chertok for M-G-M
- The film credit reads: Produced by Loew's Incorporated.
- Directed by George Sidney
- This credit appears in the film.
- Photographed by Clyde DeVinna, A. S. C.
- This credit appears in the film.
- Screen Play by Hal Law, Robert A. McGowan, Jack White and Sam Baerwitz
- This credit appears in the film, but without White's name, or McGowan's middle initial.
White's credit derives from the pressbook and surviving scripts. Baerwitz wrote the announcers'
- Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
- Indicated in the opening title card.
- Western Electric Sound System
- As indicated in the film.
- Approved by the Motion Picture Producers & Distributors of America
- Certificate no. 4733.
- Passed by the National Board of Review
- As indicated in the film.
- Teacher: Fern Carter
- Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa" aka "Alf"
- Lead role. Darla calls him "Hermit Alfalfa." He wears the number 9 on his uniform. He lives as
a hermit until Darla threatens to share his love letter with the entire grandstand at the gang's football game. Since
the note is tied to the football, Alfalfa has no choice but to enter the game.
- Darla Hood as "Darla"
- Supporting role. She takes advice from Alfalfa's mother to win her man back.
- Tommy Bond as "Butch" aka "Butchy-Wutchy" aka "Captain
- Supporting role. He's the captain of the opposing team, and Alfalfa's rival.
- George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky" aka "Captain Spanky"
- Supporting role. He's the captain of the gang's team.
- boys 171a and 171b
- Supporting roles. They're the announcers at the game.
- Leonard Landy as "Phooey"
- Supporting role. He wears a large '0' on his jersey, and the word 'sub,' and substitutes
for Alfalfa at left guard.
- Joe "Corky" Geil
- Supporting role. He's the referee.
- Eugene "Porky" Lee
- Supporting role. He does mostly ensemble acting in this film, but is present in all the scenes with
- Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas
- Supporting role. He's also in the scenes with Spanky and Porky, but doesn't do much of anything
- Gary Jasgur as "Gary"
- Supporting role. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Gary Jasgar. He's the team mascot and sends the
message from Darla to Alfalfa.
- Sidney Kibrick as "The Woim"
- Small part. He's the quarterback of Butch's team and wears the number 8 on his
- Floyd Fisher
- Small part. A 1938 casting directory states that he appeared in this film. He's a member of
Butch's Assasins. In the first shot showing the team standing together, he's standing to the left of
- Joe Levine
- Small part. He's a member of Butch's team.
- Roger McGee
- Small part. He plays the scorekeeper.
- boy 174
- Bit part. This is the time keeper.
- Norman Salling
- Extra. He sits in the front row to the left of Alfalfa's mother.
- Charline Flanders
- Extra. It appears that she's the girl sitting to the right of Darla in the stands.
- other kids
- Small parts, bit parts and extras. A 1938 casting directory states that Morris Grace, Jr.,
Buddy Bowles, Bruce Grant, Becky Bohanon and Corrine Varian all appeared in this film, but I
can't spot them anywhere. Maltin & Bann list Robert Winckler, but I'm not able to spot him,
(1.) Presumably seven more members of the Our Gang team.
(2.) Presumably eight more members of Butch's team.
(3.) Probably at least 45 more kids in the stands.
- Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
- other animals
- The only remaining animal in the film is Alfalfa's pet parrot, unless you count the dead fish on
Gary's line, numbering at least five.
- Barbara Bedford as "Mrs. Switzer," Alfalfa's mom
- Supporting role. Maltin & Bann indicate that she plays Darla's mom, but this is clearly not the
case. She provides moral support for Alfalfa and good advice for Darla.
- "Our Gang" by David Snell
- This is played over the opening titles. This is a medley of three songs:
(1.) "London Bridge" - The earliest reference to this nursery rhyme is in a play from 1659,
and it was associated with children by 1720. It may derive from a part of the "Heimskringla" by Snorri
Sturluson, which was composed around 1225.
(2.) "Mulberry Bush" - Also known as "So Early In The Morning" and "This Is
The Way." It was probably originally called "Here We Go Round The Bramble Tree" in the mid 18th century,
with the type of tree changed by inmates of Wakefield Prison, who exercised around a mulberry bush.
(3.) "The Farmer In The Dell" - This nursery rhyme is of uncertain origins.
- "Whistle Improvisation"
- This uncredited item is actually listed in the cutting continuity. It refers to Butch's
off-the-cuff whistling at the start of the film.
- "The Gang Goes Home" by David Snell
- This is a shorter version of "Our Gang," including only "London
- unused music
- "Alone" by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed
- Written in 1935 for the Marx Brothers film "A Night At The Opera," with music by Brown and
lyrics by Freed. Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra had a number one hit with this song in 1936. In early scripts for
"Football Romeo," Alfalfa sings this song to prove that there is something he can do better than Butch, but then
Butch takes over the singing and proves that he's the better singer.
Six shooting dates went into the making of this film, from September 19 to 24, 1938. Here's a breakdown of the
June 3 - Jack White wrote the original synopsis for this short during the period before Spanky rejoined the series. It
was originally baseball-themed and titled "Three Strikes And You're Out." In this version, Alfalfa is
heartbroken and confides in his mother. His father is also in the story and sitting at the breakfast table. A handsome
boy, identified as 'Romeo,' has moved into the neighborhood and stolen Darla away from Alfalfa. The gang shows up
at Alfalfa's house and asks him why he missed out on baseball practice. Alfalfa is their pitcher and they're due
to play the Gas House Gang. Alfalfa marches over to Darla's house with the gang following him, and he attempts to win
her over with some crooning. He's interrupted, though, with some much better crooning from Romeo. Alfalfa is so hurt
by this that he decides not to pitch in the big game. Romeo, who becomes Waldo at this point in the synopsis, volunteers
to pitch in his place. Porky is the manager of the gang's team. Alfalfa watches the game through a knothole in the
fence. The gang is behind 5 to 1 in the last half of the eighth inning when a ram comes along and bucks Alfalfa over the
fence. To Porky, it's as though Alfalfa has fallen from heaven. Alfalfa returns to the team and pitches three
strikeouts, which is enough to win over Darla.
August 10 - A version entitled "Football Romeo" was completed. By this time, Spanky was a member of the
troupe again, so he's part of the story, as are Butch, Woim, Gary, and 'Phooey.' The opening scenes include a
portion that was later put into "Bubbling Troubles" (no. 188), with the alphabet soup, the twins, and
Alfalfa's father giving him something to 'pep him up.' Also included is the scene in which Alfalfa's
poetry is interrupted by the parrot. The song used in this version is "Alone." The rest of the story is
essentially the way it is in the finished film, with Alfalfa becoming a hermit and the same basic events happening in the
August 11 - A new treatment was completed of the previous day's script. McGowan and Law were credited, with
reference given to "Three Strikes, You're Out" by White.
August 19 - A new treatment was completed on this date, again by McGowan and Law, and again referencing "Three
Strikes, You're Out" by White. The crooning scene was still intact at this point.
August 31 - A new "Football Romeo" script was started on this date, credited to White, McGowan and Law.
Alfalfa's father is not part of this version. Gary Jasgur is referred to as 'Gary,' while Leonard Landy is
referred to as 'Leonard.' At this point, there was only one announcer for the game.
September 1 - There were changes made to the previous day's script on this date.
September 16 - A "Football Romeo" script of this date gives credit to the same three writers. The crooning
scene was deleted by this time. Leonard Landy was still referred to as 'Leonard.' There was also a dialogue
continuity from this date which was basically the same as the finished film.
September 17 - Changes were made to the Sep. 16th script on this date. There was also a separate sheet of paper
containing the announcer's dialogue, which was written by Sam Baerwitz on this date. This is where Leonard is given
the name 'Phooey.'
September 19 - Changes were made to the Sep. 16th script on this date.
The gang's team is called Our Gang, while their opponents are called Butchs Assassins.
Alfalfa hides out at the Hermits Cave behind Schultz's DeLuxe Market.
See page 235 of Maltin & Bann's book for this film's expenses and profits.
©Oct. 27, 2005, by Robert Demoss.
2006 updates: 4/3, 10/25.
2008 updates: 7/6, 8/3, 9/26, 12/12.
2009 updates: 9/13.
Thanks to Joe Moore, Debby Mendelsohn, Steven R. Wright, Daniel Fleischman and bigshotjones for assistance
on this page.