Production 2798. The script is numbered B4933.
Release no. C-493.
Filmed August 12 to 17, 1942.
Copyrighted April 1, 1943, by Loew's Incorporated. Registration no. LP12040. Renewed April 6, 1970, with registration no. R482528. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2038.
Released April 3, 1943. It was the 213th film in the series to be released.
All-talking one-reeler, lasting 10 minutes and 53 seconds.
Opening title: 'Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Our Gang in "Family Troubles".'
Six shooting dates went into the making of this film, from August 12 to 17, 1942. Here's a breakdown of the script
April 8, 1942 - A 1st treatment by McGowan & Law entitled "Family Trouble" derives from this date. In this version, Janet's sister is extremely pretty and is named "Mary." She recites "Pinning Apples On The Lilac Tree." Janet's baby brother has already acquired the name "Jimmy," and her kitten is already named "Fuzzy." Her father at this early stage is named "Dick." This scene is not told in flashback, but occurs at the beginning of the story. The boys run a mule-pulled taxi service, and Spanky is present. The Joneses are named "Tom" and "Margaret," and pull the Jekyll & Hyde routine as they do in the film. Spanky does the talking when the boys try to convince the couple to adopt. The cave sequence doesn't occur in this version.
April 13, 1942 - Treatment changes were made by McGowan & Law on this date. This version starts with Janet leaving home and then sitting on a curb. The title had been changed to "Family Troubles" by this time.
April 15, 1942 - Treatment changes were made by McGowan & Law on this date.
April 17, 1942 - A 1st trial continuity by McGowan & Law derives from this date. This version also starts with Janet leaving home. Her sister and her aunt are both named "Aurelia." At the Jones house, Spanky gives the speech, and then steps aside so Mickey can continue. The cave sequence is included in this version, with the kids ending up in blackface. When they run into a cop on the way home, they 'act like negroes.' They also run into Buckwheat's 'colored' friend, "Moron." As everything ends happily, Janet recites a poem to (and about) her mother.
April 22, 1942 - Changes were made on this date. Aurelia, who is still described as pretty, sings "She May Have Seen Better Days."
May 4, 1942 - Changes were made on this date. This version includes the kid standing in the background as Janet hitchhikes. He witnesses the 'kidnapping.' Spanky still gives the speech and steps aside for Mickey.
May 5, 1942 - An outline of sequences leading to the finish derives from this date. Janet's parents ask a Chinese man if he's seen Janet, but he points to a little Chinese girl. Buckwheat's friend is still in the story, but he's now named "Ragweed." Janet's father has now acquired the name "Jasper."
May 8, 1942 - A 'temp. cont. continuity' derives from this date. Aurelia is now described as 'vague and awkward.'
May 18, 1942 - Changes were made by McGowan & Law on this date.
May 19, 1942 - Changes were made on this date.
May 20, 1942 - Changes were made on this date.
May 21, 1942 - Changes were made on this date.
May 22, 1942 - Changes were made on this date. Spanky still gives his speech, and still steps aside for Mickey, but now Mickey steps aside for Froggy.
May 25, 1942 - Changes were made on this date.
May 26, 1942 - Changes were made on this date. Buckwheat's friend was no longer in the story at this point. Janet still recites at the end.
May 27, 1942 - A 'mimeo. dial cont.' by McGowan & Law derives from this date. This is a synopsis that comes pretty close to the finished film.
Aug. 3, 1942 - A script deriving from this date contains adjustments made to assign Spanky's dialogue to other gangsters. Happy is present in this version. Mickey gives the speech, and then steps aside for Froggy.
Aug. 4, 1942 - A script deriving from this date contains the same type of changes as on the previous date, but focuses on the latter part of the story. Janet no longer recites at the end.
In the category of unseen characters are "Mr. Benny," the banker, and "The Johnsons."
See page 236 of Maltin & Bann's book for this film's expenses and profits.
©Dec. 9, 2005, by Robert Demoss.
2006 updates: 1/7, 10/25.
2008 updates: 4/25, 8/3.
2009 updates: 5/18, 6/14, 9/13.