Tale Of A Dog

film no. 221

technical details:

Production 2866.

Release no. M-584.

Filmed October 4 to 7, 1943.

Copyrighted April 13, 1944, by Loew's Incorporated. Registration no. LP221. Renewed April 14, 1971, with registration no. R504482. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2039.

Released April 15, 1944. It was the 220th Our Gang film to be released, but was officially put out as part of a series called "M-G-M Miniatures." It was the only Our Gang film of the 1943/44 season, according to data prepared by M-G-M in 1956.

All-talking one-reeler, lasting 10 minutes and 46 seconds.

Opening title: 'Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Our Gang in "Tale Of A Dog" - M. G. M. Miniature.'

the crew:

Produced by M-G-M
The film credit reads: Produced by Loew's Incorporated.
Directed by Cyril Endfield
This credit appears in the film.
Director of Photography: Charles Salerno, Jr., A. S. C.
This credit appears in the film.
Film Editor: Leon Bourgeau
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.
Art Director: Paul Youngblood
This credit appears in the film.
Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Indicated in the opening title card.
Western Electric Sound System
As indicated in the film.
Approved by the Production Code Adminstration of the Motion Picture Producers & Distributors of America
Passed by the National Board of Review
As indicated in the film.
Teacher: Fern Carter

the kids:

Billy "Froggy" Laughlin as "Froggy Laughlin"
Featured role. He's the president of the club, and makes the phone call to the Board of Health, beginning the rumor.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat Thomas"
Featured role. Margaret Bert combines his name with Big Shot's, resulting in "Buckshot." Fern Emmett corrupts it further with "Grapeshot." He offers to take Big Shot's dog on behalf of the gang.
Cordell Hickman as "Big Shot Jones"
Featured role. He can't keep his dog, and is grateful to Buckwheat for taking it.
Bobby Blake as "Mickey"
Supporting role. He's mostly along for the ride, but gets to do a bit of speech-making at the end.
Janet Burston as "Janet"
Supporting role. She has a fair amount of dialogue, but is relatively subdued in this film.
Dickie Hall
Bit part. He's the little kid among the five that Buckwheat and Big Shot walk up to.
Gene Collins
Bit part. He's the older kid that comes back to grab Dickie Hall. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Frank Lester Ward.
other kids
Bit parts.
(1.) The three remaining boys with Dickie Hall and Gene Collins.
(2.) The newsboy.

the animals:

Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Supporting roles and extras.
(1.) The dog playing "Smallpox," whose name is changed to "Spotty." He appears in most of the scenes with the black boys.
(2.) The two horses briefly shown on the farm.

the adults:

Emmett Vogan as "Dr. Parkson"
Supporting role. He's the health officer, and examines the kids.
Willa Pearl Curtis as "Mrs. Thomas," Buckwheat's mom
Small part. Janet's mom addresses her as "Miss Thomas," but then calls her "Mrs. Thomas" when talking to the doctor. She ice-solates Buckwheat.
Catherine "Cathy" Lewis as Froggy's mom
Small part. She takes Froggy's temperature.
Fern Emmett as one of the gossipers
Bit part. She decides to call the newspapers.
Anita Bolster as one of the gossipers
Bit part. She's the one speaking with Fern Emmett.
Margaret Bert as one the gossipers
Bit part. She's the first gossiper on the phone.
Robert Emmett O'Connor
Extra. It appears that he's one of the people waiting to use what must be the only phone in Greenpoint.
Booker T. Washington
He's shown in the portrait in Buckwheat's house.
other adults
Small parts, bit parts and extras.
(1.) "Hon. Thomas C. Churchwell," Mayor of Greenpoint. Buckwheat addresses him as "Mr. Mayor." He lectures the gang.
(2.) The radio announcer.
(3.) Mickey's mom, who Buckwheat's mom addresses as "Miss Blake."
(4.) Janet's mom.
(5.) The voice of Spotty.
(6.) Maltin & Bann list Dorothy Neumann as a gossiper, even though both are already accounted for. Perhaps she has some other part in this film, but I still to familiarize myself with her.
(7.) About 15 more people outside the phone booth, plus a pharmacist.
(8.) Dozens of people listening to the radio announcement, including the man and woman at the mom-and-pop store, and the three farmers.
(9.) Ten to fifteen people around the newsboy.

the music:

"Our Gang" by David Snell
This is played over the opening titles. This is the earlier recording, used prior to "The Big Premiere" (no. 189). 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."


The next M-G-M Miniature was a film left unfinished called "Home Front Commandos."

The gang's club is called the All For One Club.

The gang lives in Greenpoint, with the local paper being The Greenpoint Herald.

In the category of unseen characters are "Skinny McGinnis," one of the people that Froggy calls, "Jerry Cooper," whose phone number is given to Froggy by Janet, and "Joe," the son of Margaret Bert's character.

See page 236 of Maltin & Bann's book for this film's expenses and profits.


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.

My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Matthew Lydick (for identifying Catherine Lewis)
Steven Wright (for identifying Robert Emmett O'Conner and Booker T. Washington)

The Lucky Corner Homepage