Cat, Dog & Co.

film no. 87

technical details:

Production G-21.

Filmed February 20 to March 2, 1929. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Cutting continuity dated April 16, 1929.

Music recorded July 26, 1929.

Copyrighted September 3, 1929, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP650. Renewed September 13, 1956, with registration no. R176914. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2024.

Released September 14, 1929. It was the 91st film in the series to be released. However, if "Lazy Days" came out later, as some sources state, than "Cat, Dog & Co." would have been the 90th release.

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

Opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Cat, Dog & Co."'

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."
Supervised by Robert F. McGowan
This credit appears in the film, but without his middle initial.
Directed by Anthony Mack and Robert F. McGowan
The film credits Mack only, who was actually Robert A. (for Anthony) McGowan, the nephew of Robert F. According to Rob Stone's list, two units operated from February 22nd through 26th, with the uncle directed the other one.
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.
Special effects and animation by Roy Seawright
Maltin & Bann give him this credit in the text section for this film, which is corroborated by his payroll status as the studio animator during this period. In addition to the optical effects involving a miniaturized Wheezer, there is also a cartoon flea in the cast.
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 Norbert Ludwig and William H. Reitz
According to the Victor ledgers, as described at the DAHR website. Ludwig played the organ, while Reitz played traps.
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
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 - Possibly Charles Oelze.
cutting - Possibly Lloyd Campbell.
writing - Robert A. McGowan, Jean Yarbrough and Charlie Hall may have been among the gag writers.
property department - Charles Oelze, Don Sandstrom, Thomas Benton Roberts and Bob Saunders were probably involved in this capacity.
animal training - Tony Campanaro may have been among the animal trainers.

the kids:

Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins as "Wheezer"
Featured role. Introduced in the titles as "Wheezer the Slayer." He mistreats the animals, but changes his ways after having a nightmare.
Joe Cobb as "Joe"
Featured role. His name is revealed on the wall of the barn, where it says "Joe is boss." His loyalty to the society is repeatedly put to the test by a flea that keeps riding on him.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins
Supporting role. He repeatedly reminds Joe that he's not to harm the flea.
Donnie Smith
Supporting role. Maltin & Bann indicate that the "Beezer" moniker was used in this film, but it wasn't. He's identified in the cutting continuity as "Don," and in the publicity photos as "Don Smith." He joins Wheezer in setting all the animals free.
Mary Ann Jackson as "Mary"
Supporting role. Her big scene is one in which she vacuums up a mouse.
Harry Spear
Supporting role. He's given mostly ensemble work to do in this film.
Jean Darling
Supporting role. She's given mostly ensemble work to do in this film.

the animals:

Pete (no. 1)
Supporting role. He starts off as the locomotion for Joe's car, and then accompanies the gang throughout the film.
monkey 004
Small part. Presumably the same monkey as seen before. He's the prosecuting attorney during the trial.
dog 034
Small part. He's the bailiff during the trial.
dog 087a
Small part. This is the dog serving as locomotion for Farina's car.
Bit part. Or perhaps not. The dog serving as locomotion for Harry's car looks like him.
dog 087b
Bit part. This dog is bandaged up and is one of the witnesses in the trial.
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Small parts, bit parts and extras.
(1.) The owl that serves as the judge in Wheezer's trial. Possibly the same owl previously seen.
(2.) Donnie's puppy, "Hercules."
(3.) The black cat chased up the tree.
(4.) The hairless dog, possibly the same seen in "Big Business" (no. 23).
(5.) The little shaggy dog playing the hairless dog before his hair is removed.
(6.) The bulldog that serves as the other bailiff.
(7.) The mouse with the ring around his eye.
(8.) The chicken that guards over Wheezer during the trial.
(9.) The drunken goose at the trial.
(10.) The puppy, chicken and goat serving as witnesses at the trial.
(11.) The jury at the trial, including several chickens, geese, and at least one turkey.
(12.) The five dogs freed from the dogcatcher, one of which is the one carried by the dogcatcher.
(13.) Numerous rabbits, frogs, mice, rats and guinea pigs freed from the laboratory.
(14.) The chickens freed from the poultry market.
(15.) Several chickens and at least two ducks in the farmyard, some or all of which might be present at the trial.

the adults:

Hedda Hopper as "Mrs. President of the Be Kind to Animals Society"
Supporting role. She convinces the boys to take up the cause of protecting animals.
Adele Watson as the lady who snitched
Bit part. She alerts Hopper to what the boys are doing.
Jack O'Brien as "Tony," the fruit vendor
Bit part. He's listed in the ledger, and this character looks like him. His cart is overrun by lab animals. The character name is revealed by a publicity photo for this film.
Silas D. Wilcox as the cop
Bit part. Listed in the ledger as Darwin Wilcox. He orders the kids to retrieve all of the animals.
Dorothy Vernon as one of the pedstrians
Bit part. Oddly, she's not listed in the ledger, but neither are several of the other pedestrians. She's the one who jumps onto the awning.
Syd Saylor, Mary Gordon, Dora Baker, Ray Cooke and Joe Bonner
Bit parts. These are five of the six pedestrians waiting at the bus stop who get infested with mice. All five of these names are listed in the payroll ledger as appearing in this film. Mary Gordon is at the far left and the first to be given a closeup. Next to her is probably Dora Baker. Next is Syd Saylor (listed by Maltin & Bann as Sid Saylor) who is the last to get a closeup. After him is an unidentified woman, though she's almost certainly one of the extras listed below. Second from the right is Ray Cooke, and at the far right is Joe Bonner, who is also seen in "Noisy Noises."
Chet Brandenburg as the chauffeur
Bit part. Listed as Chet Brandy in the ledger. Maltin & Bann refer to him as a cab driver. I suspect he may have had an additional part in this film, since he was paid for five days' worth of work, while Hopper, who he appears with in the film, worked only one.
other adults
Bit parts and extras. In addition to the people listed above, the ledger also lists Edward J. Meece and Cecil T. Truschel, both of whom were with the Culver City Police Department, and probably served some sort of security function. On one of the shooting dates, Charles A. Bachman, Harry Wild and Tony Williams all worked. I don't see Bachman anywhere in the film, and the other two are unfamiliar names to me. Perhaps they were in a deleted scene, or perhaps the other two guys were the construction workers. Williams worked on a second day, and one of the construction workers looks suspiciously like the shoeshine guy, so perhaps this was him. On the day when the six busstop pedestrians worked, we also have three more mysterious names: Ernie Adams, Joe Marba and Joy Lynn. One of these is probably the unidentified woman among the busstop pedestrians. We also have Merta Sterling, a rotund woman that doesn't seem to be in the film, unless I've gotten the above ID for Dora Baker wrong. Adding to the confusion is the presence of Dorothy Vernon in the film, even though the ledger doesn't mention her. She's seen not only in her featured moment on the awning, but among several other pedestrians seen in a longshot outside the theater. If you count Vernon and the box office girl, there are nine women in this shot and three men. The ledger doesn't have enough names to accommodate all of these people, and I suspect that none of them are listed. Perhaps they were all paid in cash. Maltin & Bann include Clara Guiol and Jack Hill in their cast listing as two of the pedestrians, but I don't know which ones they're talking about. They also listed Don Sandstrom in the first edition of their book, but removed him for the second edition. Here's a list of the unidentied players:
(1.) The dog catcher.
(2.) The woman getting her shoes laced. She's also shown in the longshot outside the theater.
(3.) The man lacing the woman's shoes with a mousetail. He looks quite a lot like one of the construction workers shown in a later shot.
(4.) The woman who finds a mouse in her purse, and the man whose arms she jumps into, both of whom seem to be in the longshot outside the theater.
(5.) The box office girl and the woman she hands the rat to, both of whom seem to be in the longshot.
(6.) The woman at the fruit stand.
(7.) The two construction workers, one of whom looks like the shoeshine guy.
(8.) The man working at the laboratory that receives the delivery. We never get a look at his face, but perhaps this is Ernie Adams, as listed in the ledger.
(9.) The guy on the back of the truck in front of the laboratory. I'm assuming this is who Maltin & Bann mean as the "trucker" played by Bob Saunders, but he's not listed in the ledger. However, since he worked in the property department, it may be that this was covered in his regular paycheck.
(10.) The stunt double for Dorothy Vernon, who also seems to be the stunt double for the woman who jumps into the man's arms. I have a slight suspicion that this is actually Jack O'Brien, not only because of the resemblance, but because of the acrobatics he exhibits in "Saturday's Lesson" (no. 88).
(11.) Various pedestrians shown in the background of earlier scenes. These were no doubt actual pedestrians and not paid actors.

the music:

The Victor ledgers, which are described at the DAHR website, list a few of the tunes used in this film, some of which are identified on this list. However, five of them are not, since I haven't been able to match them with the unidentified pieces below. These are "A Busy Thoroughfare," "Happy Go Lucky," "Speed," "Chicken Walk" and "Ouch."

"What Does The Pussy Cat Mean When She Says 'Meow'" by Harry Pease, N. T. Granlund and Ed. G. Nelson
Published in 1924. This opens the film, with cat and dog sound effects added.
piece 087b
This is played when we first see the boys with their dog-powered carts.
"Me-ow" by Mel B. Kaufman
Published in 1918 with lyrics by Harry D. Kerr. This is played by the organ, in a medley with the other songs, when we see the cat being chased up the tree.
piece 087c
This is played as we see Donnie and his puppy.
"Don't Be Like That" by Maceo Pinkard
Published in 1928, with lyrics by Archie Gottler and Charles Tobias. From the Broadway musical "Good Boy." This song was a number 16 hit for Helen Kane in 1929. This is played as the snitch informs the boys that they've been reported.
piece 087d
This is played as Hopper surveys the situation with the dogs in the carts. It returns as Hopper makes the boys honorary members of the society. It returns again as the boys scold the girls for hammering a flea. A faster version is played as the kids warn Wheezer about his behavior. A slower version is played as Wheezer and Donnie free the lab animals.
piece 087e
This is the solemn piece played as Hopper convinces the boys to change their ways.
"So Blue" by Ray Henderson
Based on a theme by Mrs. Jesse Crawford. The lyrics to this song were written by Lew Brown and Buddy De Sylva. Paul Whiteman had a number 5 hit with this song in 1927. The organ plays a very short part of it as Jean discovers the flea with blue eyes and Mary hammers it.
"Animal Cartoonix" by Morris Aborn
This is played as we're introduced to the animated flea. It returns as Joe first discovers the flea on his person. It returns again when Farina removes the flea from Joe. It returns again as Joe discovers the flea while at the dog catcher's wagon. It returns again as Joe finds the flea again and continues as the dogs are released from the wagon a second time. It returns for the last time when Joe tries to kill the flea.
"Down Home Rag" by Wilbur C. Sweatman
Published in 1911. Also known as "Downhome Rag." This is played while Wheezer is with the chickens and throwing a rock at the owl. A variation is played as Wheezer and Donnie free the chickens from the poultry market.
"Mean To Me" by Roy Turk and Fred E. Ahlert
Ruth Etting had a number 3 hit with this song in the spring of 1929. This is played as Wheezer is taking an axe to the chicken. It returns as Wheezer is pulling the tail off the chicken in the flashback scene and continues as the monkey shows what the tail looks like now. It returns again as Wheezer puts hair remover on the dog.
"Dreamy Melody" by Ted Koehler, Frank Magine and C. Naset
This was a number one hit for Art Landry and His Orchestra in 1923. This is played as Wheezer falls asleep and a miniature version of himself appears.
piece 087j
This is played as we're introduced to the various animals in the trial.
"The Prisoner's Song"
Traditional song with lyrics by Robert Massey. Copyrighted by Guy Massey in 1924. Vernon Dalhart's 1925 version was the biggest selling non-holiday record of the pre-1955 era. The organ plays this as the chicken tells Wheezer he's on trial.
piece 087k
This is an effects piece played as the dog says "hear ye, hear ye."
"The Village Clown" by William Axt
Published in 1926. This is played as we're introduced to the judge. It returns as we're introduced to the hairless dog. It returns again as the jury reaches its verdict.
piece 087m
This is played as the first witness, a chicken, tells what happened to her tail. It returns as the monkey shows a photo of what the hairless dog looked like before Wheezer came along.
piece 087n
This is a short solemn piece played as Wheezer pulls the hairless dog out of the barrel.
piece 087o
This is similar to 087g and may be a variation of it. It's played as the chickens peck at Wheezer and he wakes from his dream.
piece 087p
This is played as Wheezer scolds Donnie.
piece 087q
This is played as the gang frees the dogs from the wagon. The piece played as the dogcatcher chases them away and Wheezer first sees the lab animals seems to be a continuation.
piece 087r
This is played as Wheezer and Donnie continue to free the lab animals and as the pedestrians first react to them. It returns as Mary uses the vacuum cleaner on the mouse.
piece 087s
This is played as the pedestrians react to the loose animals.
piece 087t
This is played as the cop orders the kids to retrieve the animals, and as the chaos continues. A variation of this is played as the kids chase the chickens around the street.
"Yes, We Have No Bananas" by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn
Published in 1923. This is played when we see the fruit cart.
piece 087u
This is played when the lady jumps on the awning and screams.
piece 087v
This is played as Pete barks at the mouse with the ringed eye.
piece 087w
This is played as Pete discovers he has a flea.

the locations:

Motor Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
The boys are driving their dogcarts along this street. In the first shot, they drive past the Shoe Repairing shop, which had recently been moved across the street to the west side of the 3400 block. The "Free Wheeling" house Dickie Moore lived in is often seen in the distant background. Also visible is the People's Water Company at 3392 Motor Avenue, and the Masonic Hall at 3402 Motor Avenue. There's also a shot of the black cat running across a vacant lot on the east side of Motor. In the far background of this shot can be seen Berean Chapel Foresquare Church on the northwest corner of Woodbine and Mentone Aves. When we see Donnie trying to get his puppy to move, he's in front of the vacant lot on the northwest corner of Motor and Woodbine. The tree that the dogs chase the cat into was on the east side of the 3400 block of Motor, with the opposite side of the street shown in the background. When Hedda Hopper gets out of her limousine, she's right in front of the People's Water Company. While Hopper is talking to the boys, we can see the Palms Chamber of Commerce behind Joe at 3438 Motor. When Jean and Mary are squashing fleas, they're right in front of the Masonic Hall. The first two times Joe discovers the flea on him, he's walking down the east side of the 3400 block of Motor.
Woodbine Street, Palms district, Los Angeles
The alley entrance where we first see the black cat was on the north side of this street, just east of its intersection with Motor Avenue. The boys also seem to drive down the opposite alley on the south side of Woodbine.
Hal E. Roach Studios
The New York street set was used for the sequence with the loose animals.


9 shooting dates went into the making of this film. One week after shooting finished for "Little Mother" (no. 86), the 'start' date arrived for "Cat, Dog & Co." on Feb. 20th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of Mar. 2nd. No shooting took place on Feb. 24th, which was a Sunday. On Feb. 27th, the entry in the 1929 studio datebook reads 'production suspended - not working today.' Anthony Mack directed on each of the shooting dates, but on Feb. 22nd, 23rd, 25th and 26th, Robert F. McGowan directed a second unit, presumably to film footage for the animal courtroom sequence. After the finish date, three days passed before the Our Gang unit began to film "Saturday's Lesson" (no. 88).

The 16-inch disc masters containing the music and sound effects were Victor matrix MVE-55728 (for reel 1) and Victor matrix MVE-55729 (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, the latter two being "with effects." The takes for reel 2 were numbered 1A, 2, 2A, and 3, the first and last of which were "with effects." In neither case is the master take indicated. The Victor ledgers use the word "Inaudible" to indicate that the soundtrack contains no dialogue or other closely synchronized sound. They also note the use of the "Western Electric system."

The animated flea's name is "Flora."

Publicity photos refer to the kids as Roach's Rascals.

A publicity photo for this film reveals deleted footage in which the five older kids have feathers all over them.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B373.

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© Robert Demoss.

My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Rob Stone (for providing the production number and shooting dates)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Piet Schreuders (for identifying the tunes common between this film and "Wiggle Your Ears")
Robin Cook (for identifying "Mean To Me," "Down Home Rag," "So Blue" and "What Does The Pussy Cat Mean When She Says Meow")
Elliot Unkefer (for identifying "Don't Be Like That")
Jesse Brisson (for identifying E. J. Meese and C. T. Truschel as Culver City police officers, and for providing Meese's first name)
Ed Slonina (for pointing out the DAHR website containing the sound-on-disc info)
Paul Mular
Matt (for identifying "Dreamy Melody")

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