The Holy Terror

film no. 83

technical details:

Production G-17.

Filmed November 19 to 28, 1928. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Title sheet prepared by H. M. Walker on December 10, 1928.

Cutting continuity submitted December 13, 1928.

Music and sound effects recorded January 29, 1929.

Music cue sheet dated February 5, 1929.

Released March 9, 1929. It was the 83rd film in the series to be released.

Copyrighted July 11, 1929, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP522. Renewed September 13, 1956, with registration no. R176904. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2024.

Silent two-reeler with synchronized music and sound effects, on disc only.

Opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "The Holy Terror".'

the crew:

Produced by Robert F. McGowan for Hal Roach
This is the way Maltin & Bann put it. The film credits Roach as a presenter, with a separate credit reading "A Robert McGowan Production."
Supervising Director: Robert F. McGowan
This credit appears in the film, but without his middle initial. Maltin & Bann omitted this credit.
Directed by Robert F. McGowan and Anthony Mack
This film credits Mack only, who was actually Robert A. (for Anthony) McGowan, the nephew of Robert F. According to the 1928 studio datebook, the uncle directed on all of the shooting dates except the last, when the nephew took over.
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.
Animation by Roy Seawright
This credit derives from Seawright's payroll status as the studio animator during this period. In this film, musical notes, words, noises and lightning are all animated.
Animal Trainer: Harry Lucenay
He was Pete's owner and trainer.
Music performed by the Motion Picture Orchestra
According to the Victor ledgers, as described at the DAHR website. The musical director was Josef Pasternack, while Virginia Crane, Gladys Crane, Billy Murray, N. Baughman, E. Phenice, B. Wedgewood, W. Wight and G. Wood all served as speakers.
Teacher: Fern Carter
Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Indicated in the opening title card.
Passed by the National Board of Review
As indicated in the film.
All Rights Reserved Under International Convention of Buenos Aires
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
possible uncredited involvement
assistant direction - Probably Charles Oelze.
cutting - Possibly Lloyd Campbell.
writing - Robert F. McGowan probably headed the writing of this short. Robert A. McGowan, Jean Yarbrough Charlie Hall and Hal Yates may have contributed gags.
property department - Charles Oelze, Don Sandstrom and Thomas Benton Roberts were probably involved in this capacity.

the kids:

Mary Ann Jackson as "Mary"
Lead role. She's identified in the titles as "The Holy Terror." She makes everybody's life miserable until Joe finally succeeds in training her.
Joe Cobb as "Joe Cobb"
Featured role. He makes a hundred dollars subduing Mary.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins
Supporting role. It's his idea to recruit Joe to train Mary. Much of the gag material involves him.
Jean Darling
Supporting role. She's Mary's sister in this short, and is present through most of the action.
Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins
Supporting role. He's Joe's first training subject.
Harry Spear
Supporting role. He's present through most of the short, but isn't given too many specific things to do.

the animals:

Pete (no. 1) as "Petey"
Supporting role. He assists Mary Ann with her malevolent behavior.
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.

the adults:

Eleanor Black
Supporting role. She was present on four days of shooting, unlike the bridge players who were there for only two. Because of this, I'm guessing that she plays Mary Ann's mother.
Alfred Fisher
Supporting role. Judging by his age, I'd say he played "Grandpa." He was present only on the 23rd.
Fred F. Guenste
Supporting role. He was present on three days of shooting. He almost always played butlers, so this is probably the role he had in this film.
Edith Fortier
Small part. She worked on the 27th and 28th (when no other day players were present), and almost certainly played the maid, who's described in the cutting continuity as a black woman.
other adults
Small parts. The payroll ledger gives us the names of 12 women who worked on the 22nd and 23rd. These were almost certainly the women who attended the bridge party thrown by Mary Ann's mother: Lyle Tayo, Mary Emery, Paula Drendel, Dorothy Hagon, Mary Hagon, Winifred Landis, Frona Hale, Marie Bernie, Vera White, Virginia Winters, Eva Downs and Clo King. Also working on the 23rd were Ed Brandenburg, Chet Brandenburg and Jack O'Brien, with O'Brien returning on the 26th. Somewhere between them is probably the guy in the gorilla suit that plays the Algerian ape, "Algy." Otherwise, the cutting continuity describes a bit of stuntwork that could have been performed by them, such as when the butler is knocked down by the bridge players. Also, during the second week, a correction was made for the salary of short-term contract player Julia Swayne Gordon. She had worked the previous week, and I guess hadn't gotten paid. The ledger indicates that two of the days that week were spent working on this film. Presumably she was another of the bridge players.

the music:

Two dates appear on the music cue sheet, though April 18, 1929, is directly associated with the cue sheet number. Also listed is Feb. 5th. Since this is a 'lost' film, the only item I can compare the music cue sheet with is the cutting continuity. The matching of the music with the action as described below is purely approximate.

"Runnin' Wild" by A. Harrington Gibbs
Published in 1922 with lyrics by Joe Grey and Leo Woods. Ted Lewis and His Band had a number 9 hit with an instrumental version in 1923. The music cue sheet credits somebody named Williams, so perhaps there was more than one song with this title. It opens the film, and is played a second time during the gorilla sequence, right after "Crickets Serenade."
"The Whistler And His Dog" by Arthur Pryor
Published in 1905. This tune is undoubtedly played during the opening scene in which Pete listens to the music box.
"Allegro Perpetuo" by Domenico Savino
Published in 1926. This tune is probably played as Pete tears up the radio. It's later played a second time during the boys' battle with Mary Ann, right after "Furioso #3."
"Love's Voyage" by Barrett
This is probably played as Jean tells her mother about Mary's misbehavior.
"Old Man Grouch" by Copping
This is undoubtedly played as we're introduced to Grandpa.
"Love's Impulse" by H. Maurice Jacquet
This is probably played as the women are seated back at their bridge table, nervous after having seen the gorilla.
"Rustic Idyl" by Josef Pasternack
This tune is played four times in the film. The first time probably accompanies our first glimpse of the Gang, as Joe trains Wheezer. It's then played twice in a row during the boys' battle with Mary Ann, right after "Dramatic Agitato." It then shows up almost at the end of the film, probably as Joe is getting his hundred dollars, right after "Lords And Ladies."
"Never Mind Bo Peep" by Victor Herbert
Published in 1903 as part of "Babes In Toyland," with lyrics by Glen MacDonough. In this film, it's played after the first instance of "Rustic Idyl."
"Vanity Fair" by Josef Pasternack
This is probably played as Farina hears Mary's mother say that she'd pay a hundred dollars to have her daughter trained.
"Dramatic Agitato" by Walter Cleveland Simon
Published in 1920. This is probably played as the boys first begin battling Mary Ann.
"Furioso #2" by Otto Langey
This is played during the boys' battle with Mary Ann.
"Furioso #3" by Otto Langey
This is played during the boys' battle with Mary Ann.
"Scherzando Hurry" by Hugo Frey
This seems to be the final piece in the initial battle scene with Mary Ann, and probably bridges the two reels.
"Anvil Chorus" by Giuseppe Verdi
Technically entitled "Coro di zingari" from Act 2, Scene 1, of Il Trovatore from 1853. This is undoubtedly played as Joe paddles Mary Ann.
"Le Reve" by George Coltermann
This is the second part of "Deux pieces de salon" (op. 13). This is probably played as Mary Ann sets the gorilla free.
"Stalking The Prey" by Leo A. Kempinski
Published in 1928. This is undoubtedly played as the gorilla initially walks through the hallway looking for the kids.
"Anticipation Of Danger" by Giuseppe Becce
This is played three times in the film. The first time probably accompanies the scene where Farina pretends not to be afraid of the gorilla. The other two times are also during the gorilla sequence, with the second time occuring after "Panicky Agitato," and the third after "Sinister Agitato."
"Sobbing" by Maurice Baron
Or perhaps it was written by Henri Baron. This is played during the gorilla sequence, though it would make more sense during the scene where Mary Ann cries after being paddled. Perhaps the music cue sheet has the pieces listed slightly out of order.
"Panicky Agitato" by Irénée Bergé
Published in 1925. This is played during the gorilla sequence.
"Sinister Agitato" by Giuseppe Becce
Published in 1926. This is played during the gorilla sequence.
"Furioso" by Domenico Savino
This is played during the gorilla sequence.
"Crickets Serenade" by Theo Bendix
This is played during the gorilla sequence.
"Lords And Ladies" by Gustave Salzer
Published in 1906. This is undoubtedly played after Mary Ann is subdued.
"Kiddie Kapers" by Nathaniel Shilkret, Lew Pollack and Al Sherman
Published in 1928. The cue sheet doesn't mention Sherman. This is presumably played over the end title.


9 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Roughly a week after shooting finished for "Noisy Noises" (no. 82), the 'start' date arrived for "The Holy Terror" on Nov. 19th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of Nov. 28th. Robert F. McGowan directed on each of the shooting dates except Nov. 28th, when Anthony Mack took over. No shooting took place on Nov. 18th or 25th, which were both Sundays. After this, six days passed before the Our Gang unit began shooting "Wiggle Your Ears" (no. 84).

The 16-inch disc masters containing the music and sound effects were Victor matrix MVE-49099 (for reel 1) and Victor matrix MVE-49700 (for reel 2). The takes were all recorded at Liederkranz Hall in New York, NY. The takes for reel 1 were numbered 1, 1A, 2, 2A, 3, and 3A, while the take for reel 2 were also numbered 1, 1A, 2, 2A, 3, and 3A. In neither case is the master take indicated. The orchestra was made up of 27 men. The Victor ledgers use the word "Audible" to indicate that the soundtrack contains dialogue and/or closely synchronized sound. They also indicate "Screaming & mumbling by G. Wood, B. Wedgewood, N. Baughman, E. Phenice, W. Wight, talking by Virginia & Gladys Crane, announcements by Billy Murray."

The opening music of "Runnin' Wild" was later dubbed onto the soundtrack for "Moan & Groan, Inc." (no. 94) from the reel one disc for this film.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B453.

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© Robert Demoss.

My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Piet Schreuders (for providing info from the music cue sheet)
Rob Stone (for providing the production number and shooting dates)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Ed Slonina (for pointing out the DAHR website containing the sound-on-disc info)
Steven Wright (for pointing out that the opening music was dubbed onto the soundtrack for "Moan & Groan, Inc.")

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