film no. 175
- 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.
Release no. C-934.
Filmed October 24 to 27, 1938.
Released December 17, 1938. It was the 175th film in the series to be released.
Copyrighted December 20, 1938, by Loew's Incorporated. Registration no. LP8515. Renewed December 20, 1965, with
registration no. R375343. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2033.
All-talking one-reeler, lasting 8 minutes and 24 seconds.
Opening title: 'Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Our Gang in "Practical Jokers".'
- 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.
- Screen Play by Hal Law and Robert A. McGowan
- This credit appears in the film, but without McGowan's middle initial.
- 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
- Passed by the National Board of Review
- As indicated in the film.
- Teacher: Fern Carter
- possible uncredited involvement
- photography - This may have been handled by Clyde DeVinna, Jackson Rose or Al Gilks.
- Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa"
- Lead role. He's the latest victim of Butch's practical jokes, and ends up having to sing with a
firecracker about to go off in his face.
- Tommy Bond as "Butch" aka "Tommy" aka "Tommy 'Butch'
- Featured role. Darla calls him "Butchy." The gang decides to play a practical joke on him with
his birthday cake.
- George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
- Featured role. He's the brains behind the cake-tampering. The man delivering the cake mistakes
him for Butch and calls him "Tommy."
- Darla Hood as "Darla"
- Featured role. She accompanies Alfalfa on the piano.
- Eugene "Porky" Lee as "Porky"
- Supporting role. He saves Spanky from a firecracker.
- Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat"
- Supporting role. His hat is glued to his head.
- Gary Jasgur
- Small part. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Gary Jasgar. He has on a blindfold as we first see the
- Leonard Landy
- Small part. He's virtually an extra, except for the closeup of him with cake on his
- Sidney Kibrick
- Extra. He sits a couple of seats away from Butch at the table.
- Grace Bohanon
- Extra. She sits next to Butch at his party, and is seen with cake on her face at the end of the film. It
may be that the inclusion of Becky Bohanon in Maltin & Bann's cast listing might have been originally meant
for Grace, as I don't see Becky anywhere.
- Joe Levine
- Extra. He sits to the left of Sidney.
- other kids
- Extras. There are at least ten more kids at the party.
- Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
- other animals
- Small parts.
(1.) The dog that plays "Rover."
(2.) Darla's cat, named "Baby."
- Marie Blake as "Mrs. Bond," Butch's mom
- Supporting role. She arranges for Alfalfa to sing to Butch at the party.
- other adults
- Bit part. The only remaining adult is the man that delivers the cake, whose face isn't
- "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.
- "Because It's Your Birthday Today (The Birthday Song)" by Nick and Charles
- This is the song Alfalfa sings as the firecracker is ready to go off.
- "The Gang Goes Home" by David Snell
- This is a shorter version of "Our Gang," including only "London
Four shooting dates went into the making of this film, from October 24 to 27, 1938.
The box holding the cake reveals that Butch lives on Camden Street, but I can't make out the number.
See page 235 of Maltin & Bann's book for this film's expenses and profits. This film had the largest profit
of any of the 52 Metro-produced shorts, due mostly to the fact that it had both the lowest negative cost and the
lowest total cost among them.
©Oct. 28, 2005, by Robert Demoss.
2006 updates: 1/7, 4/3, 10/25.
2008 updates: 7/6, 8/3, 12/12.
2009 updates: 9/13.
Thanks to Joe Moore, Debby Mendelsohn, Steven R. Wright and bigshotjones for assistance on this