Dad For A Day

film no. 185

technical details:

Production 2645.

Release no. C-132.

Filmed July 10 to 13, 1939.

Released October 21, 1939. It was the 185th film in the series to be released.

Copyrighted October 24, 1939, by Loew's Incorporated. Registration no. LP9235. Renewed October 24, 1966, with registration no. R395769. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2034.

All-talking one-reeler, lasting 10 minutes and 49 seconds.

Opening title: 'Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Our Gang in "Dad For A Day".'

the crew:

Produced by Jack Chertok for M-G-M
The film credit reads: Produced by Loew's Incorporated.
Directed by Edward Cahn
This credit appears in the film.
Director of Photography: Jackson Rose, A. S. C.
This credit appears in the film.
Film Editor: Roy Brickner
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

the kids:

Mickey Gubitosi as "Mickey"
Lead role. The gang gives him a 'dad for a day' to accompany him to the fathers-and-sons picnic.
George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
Supporting role. He's the leader of the club.
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer
Supporting role. The nickname doesn't appear in the dialogue. He appears to be the vice president of the club.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas
Supporting role. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He mostly accompanies Spanky and Alfalfa in their scenes, with little dialogue.
Leonard Landy
Supporting role. He's present as one of the main kids, but doesn't do anything specific.
Darwood Kaye
Small part. He's in the front row during the club meeting, and has one line of dialogue at the picnic. Maltin & Bann indicate that he plays "Waldo" in this film, but he's nameless and doesn't even wear the glasses.
boy 179b
Extra. He's the one shown behind Mickey in the shots of him during the club meeting. He looks quite similar to Larry Kurt, but I'm not absolutely sure it's him.
Harold Switzer
Extra. He's at the far right in the back row.
James Gubitosi
Extra. He sits two rows behind Darwood Kaye. He's also being held up high during the horseshoe scene.
Tommy McFarland
Extra. He's in the center of the back row at the meeting.
Bobby Larson
Extra. It appears that he's the boy sitting in front of Harold in the clubhouse.
other kids
Extras. There appear to be nine more boys in the club. There are also babies crying in the background, heard but not seen, at the maternity ward.

the animals:

Bit part. The only animal in this film is the MGM lion.

the adults:

Louis Jean Heydt as "Bill" aka "Mr. Henry" aka "William Henry"
Featured role. He's the proprietor of Superior Service, and fills in as Mickey's father for one day before proposing to Mickey's mother.
Peggy Shannon as "Mary" aka "Mrs. Baker," Mickey's mom
Supporting role. She's the proprietor of Mrs. Baker's Lunch Room, and is waiting for Mr. Henry to finally work up the nerve to propose.
Tom Herbert as the gas station patron
Small part. He gets fitchety when Mr. Henry puts gasoline in his radiator. Maltin's earlier book, The Great Movie Shorts, lists Hugh Herbert.
Arthur Q. Bryan as Spanky's dad
Small part. Maltin & Bann list him as 'the father who presents the award,' which is true, but he's also clearly Spanky's dad.
Mary Treen as the receptionist
Bit part. She's the wisecracking receptionist at the employment agency.
Milton Parsons as "Mr. Kincaid"
Bit part. He's the father of triplets.
Ben Hall as Leonard's dad
Extra. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. He's shown during the horseshoe scene and is also in the car on the ride home.
other adults
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) The nurse in the maternity ward.
(2.) The nurse at the front desk.
(3.) The three other fathers in the maternity ward, most notably the one holding all the toys. Maltin & Bann list Walter Sande as an 'extra at the hospital,' but he doesn't seem to be in the film. He could possibly be one of the fathers at the picnic, perhaps the one in the hat during the horseshoe scene.
(4.) The remaining fathers at the picnic. If the number of boys in the club is any measure, then there should be about eighteen more fathers.
(5.) The telephone operator at the hospital.
(6.) The elevator operator at the hospital.
(7.) The man working alongside Mary Treen at the employment agency.
(8.) Four unemployed men at the employment agency.
(9.) Various pedestrians and drivers seen in the background during the gas station scenes.

the music:

"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.
"The Gang Goes Home" by David Snell
This is a shorter version of "Our Gang," including only "London Bridge."


Four shooting dates went into the making of this film, from July 10 to 13, 1939.

The working title for this film was "Father And Sons."

The gang's clubhouse is called 'Gang Club House.'

The boys visit Stevens Employment Agency to find a father.

The two businesses are combined at the end of the film to become The Henrys' Super Service & Lunch.

See page 236 of Maltin & Bann's book for this film's expenses and profits. Of the 52 Metro-produced Our Gang shorts, this one cost the most in prints and advertising.


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 edition.

© Robert Demoss.

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