Spook-Spoofing

film no. 71


availability:

The Little Rascals - The Complete Collection (8 VHS set) from Genius Products
Released late Oct. 2008. This is an original print, but with the Our Gang name and MGM references blocked out. It does, however, include the MGM lion. The footage totals 31:22. There is no musical soundtrack. Richard Lewis Ward provides commentary. There is also a clip from this film included in the documentary The Story Of Hal Roach And Our Gang.

The Little Rascals Book XXV (VHS) from Blackhawk Video
This is a home movie print from Blackhawk, with remade opening and ending titles and introductory text. The inter-titles are remade, but seem to have the original wording. The picture quality is mostly good. The print totals 22:12, with about 18:40 of it original footage. Ignoring the inter-titles, almost all of the original film is included.

Our Gang Volume #8 (VHS) from Grapevine Video and also from The Picture Palace
This is a TV print from The Little Rascals series made by Interstate Television Corporation, but the company name has been blacked out. The opening and ending title cards are remade, but the crew credits and inter-titles are original. The picture quality is fairly poor. The print totals 26:34, with 26:18 of it original footage. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.

Hal Roach's Rascals (DVD) from Brentwood Video
This is the Blackhawk print. This DVD is also available in a 2 DVD set with another same-named DVD. This is probably the version that appears on bootlegs containing the Roach talkes.

Hal Roach's Rascals (DVD) from Brentwood Video
The DVD is one of two with this name, the other containing the entire film. This DVD includes a documentary entitled Hollywood Hall Of Fame, with 16 clips from this film. The 1st lasts 0:02, and shows Farina with the cop. The 2nd lasts 0:04, and shows the boys running from the lightning. The 3rd lasts 0:02, and shows Harry walking away from the boys. The 4th lasts 0:02, and shows Farina running with the boys. The 5th lasts 0:02, and shows a closeup of Joe. The 6th lasts 0:02, and shows Farina putting a hex on Harry. The 7th lasts 0:04, and shows the boys trying to escape. The 8th lasts 0:02, and shows Farina sitting on the curb. The 9th lasts 0:09, and shows Jay riding the pig. The 10th lasts 0:04, and shows Joe and Bobby. The 11th lasts 0:39, and shows the practical joke being played on Farina. The 12th lasts 0:02, and shows Jackie without his pants. The 13th lasts 0:02, and shows the kids in the mausoleum. The 14th lasts 0:02, and shows Joe electrocuting Farina. The 15th lasts 0:04, and shows the pig again. And the 16th lasts 0:05, and shows Farina avoiding cracks in the sidewalk.

Hal Roach's Rascals 3-Tape Set (3 VHS set)
Released Feb. 2000. Includes the same print as the DVD as well as the Hollywood Hall Of Fame documentary.

Our Gang Comedies presents Hal Roach's Rascals 2 Pack (2 VHS set) from Brentwood Home Video
Released November 2000. Also released as part of Our Gang Comedies presents Hal Roach's Rascals 10 Pack (10 VHS set).

TV Time Comedy 100 TV Episodes (10 DVD set)

special note
There's a European video release of this film lasting 22:33. The titles are all remade, with the object of making them appear original. However, the font is not quite the same as on the original prints, and there are one or two mistakes. Music is provided by the Beau Hunks with sound effects.


technical details:

Production G-5.

Filmed October 11 to 27, 1927. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted January 14, 1928, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP25352. Renewed August 11, 1955, with registration no. R154165. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2023.

Released January 14, 1928. It was the 70th film in the series to be released.

Silent three-reeler. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Probable opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Spook-Spoofing".'


the crew:

Produced by Robert F. McGowan for Hal Roach
This is the way Maltin & Bann put it. The film lists Roach as the presenter, and reads "A Robert McGowan Production."

Directed by Robert F. McGowan
This credit appears in the film, but without his middle initial.

Photographed by Art Lloyd
This credit appears in the film.

Edited by Richard Currier
This credit appears in the film.

Titles by Reed Heustis
This credit appears in the film.

Story by Robert F. McGowan
This credit doesn't appear in the film.

Animal Trainer: Harry Lucenay
He was Pete's owner and trainer.

Teacher: Fern Carter
Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Probably indicated in the opening title card.

Passed by the National Board of Review
Probably indicated in the film.

studio personnel
possible uncredited involvement


the kids:

Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Lead role. The gang's practical jokes lead him to the graveyard, where he tries to bury Harry.

Harry Spear
Featured role. He pretends to be dead. The cutting continuity refers to him as "Toughy," but this name doesn't appear in any of the inter-titles. Farina calls him "Clammy" at one point.

Joe Cobb as "Joe"
Featured role. He's the practical joker in this film and is given a lot of footage.

Jay R. Smith
Featured role. He's the undertaker's son and arranges the graveyard hoax. Farina calls him "Buzzard" at one point.

Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He's gets caught on a tree branch with an owl behind him for most of the film.

Bobby Dean
Supporting role. He's the other fat boy besides Joe, and made his debut in this film. He doesn't do much of anything specific and is only seen occasionally. In the cutting continuity, he's listed simply as 'boy.'

Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins
Small part. The nickname doesn't appear in these prints. He and Mildred tag along to the graveyard.

Mildred Kornman
Small part. She tags along with Wheezer and brings along a taxi horn.

boy 071
Bit part. This is the boy that tells Farina about the dead body.

Johnny Aber
Extra. He's in front among the boys running to look at the dead body.

Jean Darling
Unconfirmed. Maltin & Bann list her, but she doesn't appear in the available prints. However, she does appear in at least one photo taken on location for this film.

other kids
Bit parts. Four more boys are running down the street chasing the ambulance, but only one or two are seen clearly. I don't recognize them from other films.


the animals:

Pete (no. 1)
Small part. He goes along to the graveyard, but doesn't do anything too specific.

mule 026
Bit part. This is the white mule that spooks Jay and Joe. Possibly the same mule seen in "Commencement Day" (no. 26).

Leo
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.

other animals
Small parts, bit parts and extras.
(1.) The toad that sits on Farina's shoulder.
(2.) The goat that butts Joe into the mausoleum. He looks consistent with the goat from "Uncle Tom's Uncle" (no. 50).
(3.) The hog that Jay rides through the graveyard.
(4.) The owl that spooks Jackie.
(5.) The white cow that spooks Jay and Joe.
(6.) The black cat that Farina goes around.
(7.) The chicken in the coop in the background of the vacant lot footage.


the adults:

Charles Bachman as the cop
Bit part. He inspects the dead body that Farina's wheeling down the street.

Charley Lloyd as the vendor
Bit part. According to Maltin & Bann. I haven't familiarized myself with this actor yet. He's selling the darkened glass for viewing the solar eclipse. The first edition of their book credited Charley Young.

other adults
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) One man and 2 women buying the darkened glass.
(2.) The window washer whose ladder Farina avoids walking under.
(3.) The two men driving the emergency vehicle.
(4.) Various pedestrians seen in the background of different shots.


miscellaneous:

15 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Anthony Mack was still directing "Dog Heaven" (no. 70) when the 'start' date arrived for "Spook-Spoofing" on Oct. 11th, directed by Robert F. McGowan. Time was divided between the two films until Oct. 13th, when "Dog Heaven" finished. After this, McGowan continued with "Spook-Spoofing" until the 'finish' date of Oct. 27th. No shooting took place on Oct. 16th or 23rd, which were both Sundays. Nearly a week after the finish date, retakes were shot for "Dog Heaven" before shooting began for "Rainy Days" (no. 72).

Farina passes a poster that reads "Dead Men Tell No Tales," which was playing at the Lincoln Theatre on Sep. 2.


©Mar. 28, 2005, by Robert Demoss.
2005 updates: 4/1, 4/14, 4/18, 4/25, 6/17, 7/9, 8/30, 12/15, 12/19.
2006 updates: 2/11, 4/3, 5/16, 10/25.
2007 updates: 1/8, 4/1, 6/15, 10/22.
2008 updates: 1/7, 3/26, 7/6, 7/20, 11/6.
2009 updates: 3/8, 5/17, 6/7, 6/14, 6/15, 6/19.


Thanks to Henry Sorenson, Rob Stone, Joe Moore, Robin Cook and Steven R. Wright for assistance on this page.


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