Crazy House

film no. 76


availability:

Our Gang Volume #12 (VHS) from Grapevine Video and also from The Picture Palace
This copy is a home movie from Blackhawk, but with the company name blacked out. The opening and end titles are remade and there's a textual introduction. The inter-titles are remade, but the wording appears to be original. The picture quality ranges from fairly good to poor. The print totals 21:36, with about 16:15 of it original footage. Ignoring the inter-titles, most of the original film is included, though there are at least two inter-titles missing. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.

Our Gang Silent Comedies Vol. 7 (VHS) from HenryButch
This copy is also the Blackhawk print. The quality of the copy isn't as good as Grapevine's.


special note
I've also been able to view a print from Interstate Television Corporation which includes the original credits.


technical details:

Production G-10.

Filmed February 10 to 24, 1928. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted May 16, 1928, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP25250. Renewed August 11, 1955, with registration no. R154162. Renewed again March 2, 1956, with registration no. R165940. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2023.

Released June 2, 1928. It was the 76th film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler with synchronized music track.

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


the crew:

Produced by Robert F. McGowan for Hal Roach
This is how Maltin & Bann put it. The film probably credits Roach as the presenter, with a credit added reading "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. The table top miniature effect is reminiscent of the work of Alvin V. Knetchel in earlier episodes, but I don't know if he was still with Roach at this point.

Edited by Richard Currier
This credit appears in the film.

Titles by H. M. Walker
This credit appears 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:

Jean Darling as "Jean"
Featured role. She's the lonely little rich girl who wants to be a boy and play with the gang.

Jay R. Smith as "Percy"
Featured role. He's the rich boy that subjects the gang to the various tricks in the house.

Joe Cobb as "Joe"
Featured role. Jean tells him to bring the gang over to the house. He's given a lot of attention along the way.

Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins as "Wheezer"
Featured role. Jean dresses him up in her doll's clothes.

Allen "Farina" Hoskins
Featured role. The nickname doesn't appear in this print. He's given plenty of footage dealing with the pranks in the house.

Mary Ann Jackson
Supporting role. She's given plenty of closeups as she reacts to the various tricks.

Harry Spear
Supporting role. He's first seen boxing with Farina, and later switches clothes with Jean.

Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He referees the boxing match, and is given a fair number of closeups during the trick sequence.

Jimmy Farren
Small part. He's seen at the boxing match, and then joins the gang on their visit to the house, but isn't given much of anything specific to do.

Bill Ulmer
Bit part. He's the small boy with long brown hair at the boxing match, and is given a closeup.

Eugene "Bobo" Pearson
Bit part. He's the small boy with short brown hair at the boxing match, and is given a closeup.

Ben Parsons
Bit part. He's the boy with long blonde hair at the boxing match, and is given a closeup. A photo caption in Motion Picture News identifies him as Dan Parsons.


the animals:

Pete (no. 1) as "Pansy"
Supporting role. He's given his share of time with the pranks.

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


the adults:

Joseph W. Girard as Percy's father
Small part. He's shown demonstrating the various trick contraptions in the house.

Eric Mayne
Small part. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. He's the friend of Percy's dad.

man 076 as one of the cops
Small part. He's the cop that gets bitten by Pete. Later seen in "The Ol' Gray Hoss" (no. 78).

F. F. Guenste as the butler
Bit part. He's seen very briefly talking to the governess.

May Wallace as Jean's mom
Bit part. She's shown very briefly. I'm not sure how Maltin & Bann were able to identify her.

Ed Brandenberg as one of the workmen
Bit part. He's the other workman besides the one that does the talking. I can't tell the difference between him and Chet Brandenberg, so this is according to Maltin & Bann.

other adults
Small parts and bit parts.
(1.) The woman who plays "Mrs. Middlebunny."
(2.) The black maid who's spooked by the tricks in the kitchen.
(3.) Jean's governess.
(4.) Farina's mother.
(5.) The woman with the face lift.
(6.) The workman who does the talking.
(7.) One more uniformed cop and the two plainclothes cops. One of the cops is supposed to be Charles A. Bachman, but none of them look like him.


miscellaneous:

13 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Two days after shooting finished for "Fair And Muddy" (no. 75), the 'start' date for "Crazy House" arrived on Feb. 10th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of Feb. 24th. No shooting took place on Feb. 12th or 19th, which were both Sundays. Robert F. McGowan was the director on each of the shooting dates, though the datebook sometimes lists him as McGowan, Sr. After this, three days passed before the Our Gang unit began shooting "Growing Pains" (no. 77).

Missing from the available print of this film are at least two inter-titles. After Jean asks the second woman "When did your face fall?" she follows this up with "Mama said it took two men to lift it." After Harry gets shocked on the piano bench, he says "This mus' be one o' them electric pianos."


©Apr. 2, 2005, by Robert Demoss.
2005 updates: 4/25, 6/6, 7/9, 12/15.
2006 updates: 1/9, 5/16, 6/11, 10/25.
2007 updates: 4/1, 7/16, 10/22.
2008 updates: 1/7, 7/6, 7/20.
2009 updates: 6/27, 7/23.
2010 updates: 3/14.


Thanks to Rob Stone and Joe Moore for assistance on this page.


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