Wiggle Your Ears

film no. 84

technical details:

Production G-18.

Filmed December 4 to 12, 1928. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Title sheet prepared by H. M. Walker on December 27, 1928.

Cutting continuity submitted February 1, 1929.

Music recorded February 16, 1929.

Copyrighted March 5, 1929, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP186. Renewed September 13, 1956, with registration no. R176887. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2024.

Released April 6, 1929. It was the 84th film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler with synchronized music track, on disc only.

Probable opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Wiggle Your Ears".'

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."
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 H. M. Walker
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.
Music performed by the Motion Picture Orchestra
According to the Victor ledgers, as described at the DAHR website. The musical director was Rosario Bourdon, assisted by Bruno Reibold.
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.
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 A. McGowan, Jean Yarbrough, Hal Yates 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:

Mary Ann Jackson as "Mary"
Lead role. She's rejected by Harry, only to end up with Joe.
Harry Spear as "Harry"
Featured role. He leaves Mary for Jean, but his ears get cramped.
Jean Darling as "Jean"
Featured role. She marries Harry and ends up henpecking him.
Joe Cobb as "Joe" aka "Joseph"
Supporting role. He spends the film trying to learn how to wiggle his ears.
Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins
Supporting role. He helps Joe and gives the raspberries repeatedly.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins
Small part. He suggests to Mary that she become a vamp.
Buddy Moore as the rector
Bit part. He appears in the dream sequence performing the marriage ceremony.

the animals:

Pete (no. 1) as "Petie"
Supporting role. He appears off and on, most notably retrieving Harry for Mary Ann.
cat 080
Bit part. This is the cat that licks Harry's face.
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Bit part. The white rabbit that gives Joe his inspiration.
There are various flies buzzing around, including the one around the limburger and the one that lands on Mary's cheek.

the adults:

This is one of the few Our Gang films to feature no adults.

the music:

"That Old Gang Of Mine" by Ray Henderson
Written in 1923 with lyrics by Billy Rose and Mort Dixon. This version is an instrumental. This is played over the opening titles. It would be heard several more times through the first talkie season.
"L'Amour de l'Apache" by Jacques Offenbach
Also known as "Apache Love." This is the waltz played while Harry kicks Mary's rear end, and while Mary fixes the wheel. A second version is played as Harry is ordering Mary to buy him ice cream.
"Mon Homme" by Maurice Yvain
Also known as "My Man." English lyrics were added by Channing Pollack in 1920. Performed in the Ziegfeld Follies by Fanny Brice in 1921. An instrumental version is played while Mary pushes Harry in the cart and cracks a nut for him. A second version is played as Mary cracks some more nuts. It's played again as Harry takes the ring from Mary.
"Dance Of The Jacks" by Poldini
Also known as "Danse des Valets." This is played during the scene where Joe tries to wiggle his ears and Farina smells the limburger.
piece 084a
This is played as Harry rides down the hill. A second version is played as Harry and Jean ride down the hill.
"La Coquette" by Erno Rapee and Dr. William Axt
This is played while Jean and Harry flirt, and as Mary shows up with the ice cream. A shorter version of this piece is played as Harry shakes the ice cream out of his clothes and Pete eats it.
"Jealous" by Jack Little, Tommy Malie and Dick Finch
This is played as Jean and Harry eat their ice cream, while Mary pushes them in the cart. The song was featured in Hugh J. Ward's Christmas Fairy Pantomime Cinderella. It was a number three hit for Marion Harris in 1924.
piece 084b
This is the effect piece played as the ice cream falls into Harry's shirt.
piece 084c
This is played as Jean invites Harry to her house.
"Sympathy" by Rudolf Friml
Also known as "Sympathy Waltz." Debuted in the Broadway operetta "The Firefly" in 1912, with lyrics by Otto Harbach and Gus Kahn. Walter Van Brunt and Helen Clark had a number one hit with this song in 1913. An instrumental version is played in this film as Mary laments and Pete sympathizes.
"The Whistler And His Dog" by Arthur Pryor
Published in 1905. In this film, a portion of this song is played as Pete retrieves Harry. This is a different section than the familiar part heard in "The Pinch Singer" (no. 143).
"Like A Real Man" by Victor Herbert
This is played as Harry requests Mary to sew his pants. Part of it is replayed as Harry tells Mary he's gonna wiggle his ears for Jean from now on.
"(A) Little Girl At Home" by Victor Herbert
Debuted in the operetta "The Lady Of The Slipper" in 1912, with lyrics by James O'Dea. Harry MacDonough and Marguerite Dunlap had a number eight hit with this song in 1913. An instrumental version is played in this film as Mary sews Harry's pants.
"Don't Cry" by Ted Fio Rito
This is played as Mary cries and eats Joe's donut.
"Flirtation" by Sommer
This is played as Mary talks with her mouth full. "Music Box" is played during the middle section.
"Music Box" by Paul Lincke
This is played during the middle part of "Flirtation," and sounds like it's all one tune.
"Marionette" by Felix Arndt
Published in 1914. This arrangement is by J. S. Zamecnik. This is played as Mary leaves and Joe vows to wiggle his ears. Another part of this piece is played as Joe demonstrates his ear wiggling for Mary. The two parts don't sound like the same piece until one watches "Bear Shooters" (no. 98), in which the whole piece is played.
"Heartbroken And Lonely" by Con Conrad and Sam Coslow
Published in 1928 with lyrics by Saul Bernie. An instrumental version is played in this film as Harry wiggles his ears and Mary erases the love message on the fence.
"Flapperette" by Jesse Greer
Published in 1926. This was a number six hit for Nat Shilkret in 1927. It's played as Farina suggests that Mary become a flapper, and as we see the advertisement for Flapperette Face Cream. Meanwhile, Jean pets Harry's hair. It's replayed as Mary gets into her flapper outfit.
"Me-ow" by Mel B. Kaufman
Published in 1918 with lyrics by Harry D. Kerr. This is played as the cat licks Harry's face.
"The Vamp" by Byron Gay
Published in 1919. Also known as "Vamp A Little Lady." Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra had a number 3 hit with this song in 1919, with vocals by Billy Murray and Harry Macdonough. This is played while Mary puts on her makeup, and continues as Harry and Jean get engaged, and as Mary vamps Harry. There's a wedding bell effect included in this edit.
"Here Comes The Bride" by Richard Wagner
Music written in 1841 as the "Bridal Chorus" from "Lohengrin." Played while Harry and Jean get married.
piece 084d
This is the solemn organ music played while Harry and Jean exchange their vows.
"Wedding March" by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
From "A Midsummer Night's Dream" from 1842. A very short piece of this is played as Harry and Jean walk from the altar.
piece 084e
This is played as Mary laments. It's very much in the style of "Wishing" by Leroy Shield.
"Animal Cartoonix" by Morris Aborn
This is played as Joe hits upon the idea of using string to wiggle his ears.
"Tin Ears" by Zefros and Wall
The spelling of Zefros' name is unconfirmed. This is played as Harry discovers his ears are cramped.
piece 084f
This is the tune with the baby effects that's played as Jean orders Harry to take care of the baby.
"Toddling" by Erno Rapee and Dr. William Axt
This is played as Joe pushes Mary and wiggles his ears for her, and continues as Harry starts pushing Jean. It's played again as the two couples give each other looks and Joe wiggles his ears.
piece 084g
This is the carhorn bit that's played as the two couples first meet.
piece 084h
This is the brass bit that plays as the film irises out.


8 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Six days after shooting finished for "The Holy Terror" (no. 83), the 'start' date arrived for "Wiggle Your Ears" on Dec. 4th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of Dec. 12th. Robert F. McGowan directed on each of the shooting dates. However, it should be noted that Anthony Mack simultaneously directed footage for "Fast Freight" (no. 85) on Dec. 10th, 11th and 12th, and continued with this film after "Wiggle Your Ears" finished. No shooting took place on Dec. 9th, which was a Sunday.

The first reel of this film ends at the point where Mary Ann talks with her mouth full.

The 16-inch disc masters containing the music and sound effects were Victor matrix MVE-50608 (for reel 1) and Victor matrix MVE-50609 (for reel 2). The takes were all recorded at the Church Bldg. in Camden, NJ. The takes for reel 1 were numbered 1, 1A, 2, and 2A, while the takes for reel 2 were also numbered 1, 1A, 2, and 2A. In neither case is a master take indicated. The orchestra was made up of 22 men. The Victor ledgers use the word "Inaudible" to indicate that the soundtrack contains no dialogue or other closely synchronized sound.

Among the props seen in this film is a poster advertising Flapperette Face Cream.

Around 1931, a four-minute trailer was made for Jean Darling's stage act, which culminated in the wedding scene from this film. Jean would then emerge from a breakaway screen wearing a wedding dress like the one she wears in the film.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B677.


The Little Rascals XVIII (VHS) from Blackhawk Video
This copy is a home movie print from Blackhawk, and includes a textual introduction. The inter-titles and the soundtrack are original. The picture quality is good. The print totals 20:51, with 19:56 of it original footage. Almost all of the original film is included.
Our Gang Volume #13 (VHS) from Grapevine Video and also from The Picture Palace
This copy is also the Blackhawk print, but with the company name blacked out and a non-original soundtrack. The picture isn't quite as sharp as on the other copy. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.

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

© Robert Demoss.

My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Piet Schreuders (for providing a list of the music used in this film)
Rob Stone (for providing the production number and shooting dates)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Paul Fitzpatrick (for identifying "Jealous" and "Toddling")
Robin Cook (for identifying "The Vamp," "My Man" and "The Whistler And His Dog")
Ed Slonina (for pointing out the DAHR website containing the sound-on-disc info)

The Lucky Corner Homepage