Production 2630. The script is numbered B972.
Release no. C-940.
Filmed April 17 to 21, 1939.
Copyrighted June 24, 1939, by Loew's Incorporated. Registration no. LP9098. Renewed June 24, 1966, with registration no. R388397. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2034.
Released June 24, 1939. It was the 181st film in the series to be released.
Cutting continuity submitted August 16, 1939.
All-talking one-reeler, lasting 10 minutes and 24 seconds.
Opening title: 'Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Our Gang in "Joy Scouts".'
Five shooting dates went into making this film, from April 17 to 21, 1939. Here's a breakdown of the script activity:
Mar. 28 - A McGowan & Law script entitled "Joy Scouts" derives from this date. The story opens in a classroom as the kids are being addressed by a native American named "Chief Horse's Tail," who promotes outdoor living. The teacher's name is "Miss Pettingill," and Muggsy is also in attendance. Spanky suggests to Alfalfa, Buckwheat and Porky, that they go camping. Alfalfa suggests taking along Leonard and Slapsie. Most of the rest of this story remained unchanged prior to filming, except that Spanky also fishes, a muskrat eats the fish, and there's a note to the teacher at the end having to do with poison ivy.
Mar. 29 - Changes were made to the camping sequence on this date. Spanky gets Slapsie (Gary Jasgur) to help set up the tent.
Mar. 31 - More changes were made to the camping sequence on this date.
Apr. 11 - A McGowan & Law script derives from this date, and was okayed by Jack Chertok. Everything seems to be the way it is in the film, except that Slapsie is still present. There was also a dialogue continuity deriving from this date, which gave a synopsis of the action.
Apr. 12 - More changes were made to the script on this date.
Aug. 16 - The cutting continuity was submitted on this date, and describes all of the shots present in the finished film. However, instead of mentioning Mickey Gubitosi, it still credits "Slapsie" in that role. It seems apparent that Robert Blake's (Mickey's) recollection of his entrance into the series was accurate. The way he describes it, there was a kid who was unable to say his lines and Mickey piped up that he could handle them. The Slapsie character does indeed have the same dialogue later spoken by Mickey in the film, and Gary Jasgur was about as inexperienced with dialogue as it gets. It's possible that Mickey briefly inherited the Slapsie nickname for this one film, or at least that would explain its use in the continuity months later.
When the boys get under their umbrella to get out of the rainstorm, a geyser shoots the umbrella, with the boys hanging on, into the air. In 1984, Spanky recalled: "They hauled us maybe 10 or 15 feet up above the ground, and Buckwheat panicked. He scratched everybody pretty good before they finally got us back down."
The troop is reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the film.
The gang camps at Geyser Springs Campground, which includes Mammoth Geyser.
Reference is made to Greenpoint, which is 6 miles from where the gang meets back up with the scouts.
The Kenosha News of July 31, 1939, carried this tidbit: "Porky Lee and Spanky McFarland, members of Our Gang, were fishing in a lake nearby M-G-M's 'Father and Sons' company location in Culver City yesterday when Porky began to yell. He had a bite and it was pulling him into the water. Spanky dragged him to safety and then landed the fish, which was a two-and-a-half-foot carp." By "yesterday," the reporter is referring to July 30th, which was months after Porky had left the series, so I'm thinking the likeliest explanation is that this incident happened during the making of "Joy Scouts," since Porky fishes in this film. Of course, it could also be entirely fictitious.
See page 235 of Maltin & Bann's book for this film's expenses and profits.
© Robert Demoss.