Election Day

film no. 81

technical details:

Production G-15.

Filmed July 19 to August 4, and August 22 to 24, 1928. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Title sheet prepared by H. M. Walker on August 28, 1928.

Cutting continuity submitted September 1, 1928.

Copyrighted December 10, 1928, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP25904. Renewed September 13, 1956, with registration no. R176881. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2023.

Released January 12, 1929. It was the 81st film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

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

the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
The film only gives him credit as a presenter.
Supervised by Robert F. McGowan
This credit appears in the film, but without his middle initial.
Directed by Robert F. McGowan and Anthony Mack
Mack is the only one credited in the film. However, the 1928 studio datebook reveals that Robert F. McGowan was the initial director, with Mack (credited as McGowan, Jr.), taking over on July 23rd. Mack was actually Robert A. (for Anthony) McGowan, the nephew of Robert F.
Photographed by Art Lloyd
This credit appears in the film.
Edited by Richard Currier
This credit appears in the film.
Titles by H. M. Walker
This credit appears in the film.
Story by Anthony Mack
Real name: Robert A. McGowan. This credit doesn't appear in the film.
Animal Trainer: Harry Lucenay
He was Pete's owner and trainer.
Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Indicated in the opening title card.
Passed by the National Board of Review
As indicated in the film.
studio personnel
director-general - Leo McCarey
general manager - Warren Doane
assistant general manager - L. A. French
secretary-treasurer - C. H. Roach
assistant secretary - Mat O'Brien
construction supervisor - C. E. Christensen
laboratory superintendent - Charles Levin
optical effects supervisor - Roy Seawright
still photographer - Bud "Stax" Graves
transportation director - Bob Davis
school teacher - Fern Carter was probably away from the studio while this film was being made. However, the payroll summaries reveal that she was receiving her salary during this period.
possible uncredited involvement
assistant direction - Probably Charles Oelze.
cutting - Possibly Lloyd Campbell.
writing - Robert F. McGowan, Jean Yarbrough and Charlie Hall may have been among the gag writers.
property department - Charles Oelze, Don Sandstrom and Thomas Benton Roberts were probably involved in this capacity.
animal training - Tony Campanaro may have been among the animal trainers.

the kids:

Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Lead role. He's supposed to deliver some laundry, but the other boys won't let him out of his yard.
Paralee Coleman as "Pleurisy"
Featured role. She accompanies Farina throughout the film, providing comic moments throughout. The cutting continuity reveals only her character name.
Joe Cobb as "Joe Cobb"
Supporting role. He's running against Jay R., and threatens to hit Farina if he leaves his yard.
Jay R. Smith as "Jay R."
Supporting role. He's running against Joe and makes the same threat to Farina.
Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins as "Wheezer"
Supporting role. He assists Joe by standing guard with a hammer.
Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He assists Jay. This was his last appearance in the series.
Harry Spear
Supporting role. He assists Joe, but isn't given much of anything specific to do.
Mary Ann Jackson
Supporting role. She assists Joe, but mostly just alerts him to Farina's escape attempts.
questionable listings
A 1927 casting directory credits Phyllis Hurst with appearing in this film, but she's not shown in the available footage. This is also one of the shorts that Jean Darling missed out on, but she does appear in at least one publicity photo taken at the ranch during production.

the animals:

Pete (no. 1)
Supporting role. He's present in the scenes with Mary Ann, but doesn't do anything too specific.
monkey 004
Small part. Presumably the monkey seen previously. He climbs on the buildings and drops things onto the gangsters' heads.
dog 034
Bit part. He takes the sausages from Pleurisy.
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Small parts, bit parts and extras.
(1.) The cow that looks through the telescope.
(2.) The goat that drinks the liquor.
(3.) The white rat that goes up Farina's pantleg.
(4.) A black and white cat, possibly seen previously in "Baby Brother" (no. 61).
(5.) Various other barnyard animals, including turkeys, geese, chickens, additional cows, a pig, a little dog and a horse pulling a cart.
The ants sat on by Harry, Mary Ann and Wheezer.

the adults:

Louise Beavers as Farina's mom
Supporting role. She orders Farina to take the laundry, and then spanks her two kids at the end of the film.
Gene Morgan as one of the cops
Small part. Farina hands the ballots over to him.
man 081
Bit part. He's the guy that gets his hat shot off. Perhaps Maltin & Bann meant him when they listed Ham Kinsey.
other adults
Small parts and bit parts.
(1.) Farina's father, who drinks alcohol while working in the fields. Maltin & Bann credit this part to Clarence Muse, but I don't think it's him.
(2.) Several gangsters, two of whom are listed by Maltin & Bann as Baldwin Cooke and Jack Hill, but I haven't verified these two yet. Another is Dick Gilbert, but I don't see him anywhere in the film.
(3.) At least two additional cops.
(4.) Various pedestrians, including Ham Kinsey as the 'man about town' and Retta Palmer as the 'lady in town,' but I haven't verified these two yet. Ed Brandenberg is listed by Maltin & Bann as the man who slips on the banana, but I'm still trying to work out the difference between him and Chet Brandenberg. There's also the shoeshine worker and the customer who gets hit in the head, and also the guy carrying the sausages.

the locations:

Hal Roach Ranch
The rural portion of this film was shot, at least in part, at the Roach Ranch. The access road seen in many of the Roach films was used in the shot where Farina's parents run down the road in a cloud of dust. On the other side of the eucalyptus trees that lined this road were rows of crops, which appear to be the same ones shown in the footage of Farina's dad.
Hal Roach Studios, Culver City
The New York exterior set was used for the last part of the film.


18 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Five days after shooting finished for "The Spanking Age" (no. 80), the 'start' date arrived for "Election Day" on July 19th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of Aug. 4th. No shooting took place on July 22nd or 29th, which were both Sundays. Initially, Robert F. McGowan directed, but Anthony Mack (listed in the 1928 studio datebook as McGowan Jr.) took over on July 23rd. After the finish date, the Gang performed at the Orpheum in Los Angeles for one week. Retakes were then shot for "The Ol' Gray Hoss" (no. 78) on Aug. 16th, and a week later, retakes were shot for "Election Day" on Aug. 22nd, 23rd and 24th. It would be over nine weeks before filming began for "Noisy Noises" (no. 82). In the meantime, the Gang took a cross-country trip by rail and played in vaudeville for the Publix Circuit in the east.

The trick of showing people running into the distance in a cloud of dust is explained in the book in the entry for this film. Maltin & Bann imply that it wasn't used again until the Laurel & Hardy film "Way Out West," but there are other examples within the Our Gang series, including "It's A Bear" (no. 27).

The opening title for this film, missing from the available version is: "The trouble started when Farina threatened to vote eight times against each candidate."

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B402.


Our Gang Volume #9 (VHS) from Grapevine Video and also from The Picture Palace
This copy is a home movie print from Blackhawk, but with tbe company name blacked out. There are no crew credits, and the inter-titles are remade, but seem to retain the original wording. At least one title, if not more, is missing from this print. The picture quality is fairly good. The print totals 18:50, with about 17:20 of it original footage. Ignoring inter-titles, it appears that almost all of the original film is included. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.

special note
There's a European video release of this film lasting 19:39. 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.

See anything that needs changing? Contact me at BtheW@aol.com.

© Robert Demoss.

My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Henry Sorenson (for providing info about the European video release of this film)
Rob Stone (for providing the production number and shooting dates)
Matthew Lydick (for passing on the photo with Jean Darling in it)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)

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