Production 2606. The script is numbered B953.
Release no. C-936.
Filmed January 9 to 13, 1939.
Released February 18, 1939. It was the 177th film in the series to be released.
Copyrighted March 1, 1939, by Loew's Incorporated. Registration no. LP8701. Renewed March 1, 1966, with registration no. R381471. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2034.
All-talking one-reeler, lasting 10 minutes and 18 seconds.
Opening title: 'Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Our Gang in "Tiny Troubles".'
Five shooting dates went into the making of this film, from January 9 to 13, 1939. Here's a breakdown of the script activity:
Nov. 19 - A McGowan & Law synopsis entitled "Baby Blues" derives from this date. Included is a list of the kids planned for this story, including Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, and Porky, plus three kids with question marks next to their names, Leonard, Slapsie and Darla. Of these three, only Darla ended up in the film. Slapsie was the nickname of Gary Jasgur. This initial version of the story does not incorporate any flashback sequences, but rather follows along chronologically. When the gang comes up to Alfalfa with their baseball equipment, they mention the need to beat Butch's team, but Alfalfa is too tired to play, being kept up at night by his crying baby brother. His mother comes out of the house and leaves the sleeping baby with Alfalfa. The baby was named "Junior" even at this early point. The two criminals are named "Tiny Tom" and "Myrt." Tom, of course, disguises himself as a baby, and is known as "Egbert" while doing so. His first attempt at pickpocketing is not successful. The action inside the house is similar to the finished film but not quite the same, and focuses mostly on Spanky and Alfalfa. The kids run into the cop while at the hollowed-out tree trying to get the real baby back. He then arrests Tiny Tom while the kids leave with Junior.
Nov. 21 - A McGowan & Law treatment entitled "Baby Blues" derives from this date. This version has all five of the kids and includes the flashback device. The names "Clancy," "O'Brien" and "Myrtle" are all included, and the midget's name is "Tiny Tom McGlook." The gang still wants to play ball, but there's no mention of Butch. The baby is still sleeping in the carriage rather than crying. The midget steals several watches and the kids try to figure out why he's ticking. All of the kids witness the midget's shenanigans, not just Porky and Buckwheat. In this version, the cop comes to the house and the matron returns the real baby to the kids.
Nov. 23 - A McGowan & Law treatment entitled "Baby Blues" derives from this date. There aren't any major changes in this version.
Nov. 25 - A McGowan & Law treatment entitled "Baby Blues" derives from this date. The midget is still known as "Tiny Tom McGlook." The baby sleeps in the carriage, but the writers provide an alternate scene in which he cries. This, of course, is what ended up in the film. Still intact was the gag where the kids wonder where the ticking is coming from. At this point, the first couple of things the midget does are witnessed only by Buckwheat and Porky.
Nov. 26 - A McGowan & Law script entitled "Baby Blues" derives from this date. This version is virtually the same as the previous day's. The ticking gag was still intact. Porky and Buckwheat first report that the midget talks, and then report that he's talking on the phone. After this, the older kids give him milk, a steak, and finally a beer.
Dec. 2 - A McGowan & Law script entitled "Baby Blues" derives from this date. Darla makes the remark about the puppy in this version. Previous versions gave this line to Spanky.
Dec. 3 - Changes to the script carry this date.
Dec. 5 - More changes derive from this date. The "Baby Blues" title is indicated as 'tentative' in this version. The midget is still known as "Tiny Tom."
Dec. 6 - A dialogue continuity entitled "Baby Blues" derives from this date. Tiny Tom and Myrt are both apprehended at the house. Otherwise, this is pretty much like the finished film.
Jan. 10 - A synopsis carries this date.
A dated publicity photo reveals that the last scene in front of the house was filmed on January 9th. Presumably, the opening scene using the same set was also filmed that day.
The Los Angeles Times of Jan. 28, 1939, reported the following: "No one needs to tell Spanky McFarland, 8, that 'the show must go on.' He finished a scene for 'Baby Blues' yesterday at Metro with a tack stuck in his hand. During the scene, which called for him to run into a kitchen and pull Darla Hood out, Spanky slipped with his left hand landing on a stray tack. He jumped up and finished the scene before letting anybody know he was in pain."
The working title of "Baby Blues" became the release title for a much later Our Gang film (no. 197).
See page 235 of Maltin & Bann's book for this film's expenses and profits.
© Robert Demoss.