Boxing Gloves

film no. 91


technical details:

Production G-25.

Filmed May 13 to 25, 1929. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Title sheet prepared by H. M. Walker on July 22, 1929.

Cutting continuity submitted August 5, 1929.

Released by the end of August 1929. It may have been released prior to "Lazy Days" (no. 92), but maybe not. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for an explanation.

Copyrighted September 9, 1929, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP666. Renewed September 13, 1956, with registration no. R176918. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2024.

All-talking two-reeler. (In actuality, there is a lot of silent footage in this film.)

Opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Boxing Gloves".'

King World Productions episode no. 11b, available in both colorized and original black-and-white versions.


the crew:

Produced by Robert F. McGowan for Hal Roach
The film credits Roach as a presenter, and designates it as "A Robert McGowan Production." Maltin & Bann list Roach only for this credit.
Supervised by Robert F. McGowan
This credit appears in the film, but without his middle initial. The specific credit in the film is for 'Supervising Director.'
Directed by Anthony Mack
This credit appears in the film. Mack was actually Robert A. (for Anthony) McGowan, the nephew of Robert F.
Photographed by Art Lloyd and F. E. Hershey
This credit appears in the film.
Edited by Richard Currier
This credit appears in the film.
Dialogue: H. M. Walker
This credit appears in the film. The press release for this film credits McGowan with the dialogue.
Recording Engineer: Elmer Raguse
This credit appears in the film.
Story by Hal E. Roach and Robert F. McGowan
This credit doesn't appear in the film. The press release credits only McGowan.
Animal Trainer: Harry Lucenay
He was Pete's owner and trainer.
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.
A Victor Recording, Western Electric System
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, Charlie Hall, Harry Keaton and Carl Harbaugh 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:

Joe Cobb as "Joe Cobb"
Featured role. He competes with Chubby for Jean's affection, which leads them to the boxing ring. Farina introduces him as 'The Wild Bull of the Pompadour, Joe Cobb.'
Norman "Chubby" Chaney as "Chubby Chaney"
Featured role. His role is parallel to Joe's. Chubby's last name is included on the sign outside the boxing match, as revealed in a publicity photo. According to the cutting continuity, Farina was supposed to introduce him as 'The Fightin' Wildcat Bone Crusher, Chubby,' but mistakenly says 'The Wild Fighting Cat Bone Crusher, Chubby.' The publicity photos by this time had begun to use his nickname.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins
Featured role. The nickname isn't used in this film. He organizes and referees the fight.
Mary Ann Jackson
Supporting role. She tries unsuccessfully to get into the fight, and eventually kidnaps Jackie Cooper to accomplish this.
Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins as "Wheezer" aka "Bobby"
Supporting role. He's featured in the earlier bout with Donnie, and then serves as the time keeper at the later one. Harry accidentally calls him "Bobby" early in the film. The cutting continuity spells this "Bobbie." Referred to as "Baby Wheezer" in the press release.
Harry Spear
Supporting role. He organizes the 'baby fight', and then serves as Joe's trainer.
Jean Darling as "Jean"
Supporting role. She figures into the earlier part of the film pretty strongly as Joe and Chubby fight over her.
Buddy McNeal
Supporting role. He bullies Joe into staying in the ring. The ticket taker calls him "Bozo."
Bobby Mallon as "'Announcer' Graham McCracker"
Supporting role. He's the radio announcer at the fight.
Jackie Cooper
Small part. He walks out on the 'baby fight,' and then serves as the reporter for the later one. This was his first appearance in the series. His full name is actually used in the cutting continuity, which is unusual for a kid who was still essentially in the periphery of the gang.
Donnie Smith as "Donnie"
Small part. Maltin & Bann indicate that the "Beezer" moniker is used, but it isn't. He's identified in the cutting continuity as "Donny," but as Donnie Smith in the publicity material. He appears at the beginning of the film boxing with Wheezer.
Andy Shuford
Small part. He serves as Chubby's trainer.
Billy O'Brien as "Billy"
Bit part. He's sitting next to Jackie Cooper at the beginning of the film.
boy 082
Extra. He's sitting closest to the door that Farina emerges from.
Johnny Aber
Extra. He's sitting to the right of the tomato thrower.
Godfrey "Duffy" Craig
Extra. It appears that he's the boy sitting closest to Joe's corner of the ring.
Bill Johnson
Presumed extra. A casting directory credits this chubby boy with appearing in the film, but I'm not able to find him.
Billy Schuler
Presumed extra. A casting directory credits him with appearing in this film, as do Maltin & Bann, but I haven't spotted him yet. He doesn't look like the boy named "Billie" who sits next to Jackie Cooper at the start of the film.
other kids
Supporting roles and extras.
(1.) The ticket taker who spends most of his time keeping Mary Ann out of the stands. He's listed in the cutting continuity as both the 'Cashier' and the 'Gate Keeper.'
(2.) The kid watching the 'baby fight' from the outside.
(3.) The three Asian boys that throw the egg at Bobby Mallon. They're not shown in any of the longshots during the fight, but join the line as the kids are walking in.
(4.) The remaining boys watching the fight, numbering probably at least thirty. According to the press release for this film, 100 extra boys were in the stands during the boxing match. However, a careful study of the publicity photos suggests that the number was 34. One of these would be Billy Schuler, listed in Maltin & Bann's book.

the animals:

Pete (no. 1)
Supporting role. He accompanies Mary Ann throughout the film.
Leo
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Extras. Several chickens are in the coop where Joe and Chubby are first seen.
bugwatch
A moth flutters by in this same location.

the adults:

Charlie Hall as the sidewalk diner attendant
Small part. He sells the pop to Joe and Chubby.
other adults
Bit part. The only other adult in this film is the first customer at the sidewalk diner.

the music:

"I Wonder What's Become Of Sally" by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen
Published in 1924. Al Jolson had a number one hit with this song. Bobby Mallon sings it briefly in this film.

music in alternate prints
"That Old Gang Of Mine" by Ray Henderson
Written in 1923 with lyrics by Billy Rose and Mort Dixon. This version is an instrumental. It appears during the opening titles, but only in the Cabin Fever version, suggesting that it was probably not an original part of the film.
"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
This appears during the opening and ending titles of the Blackhawk print, and was almost certainly not part of the original film. This is the version heard at the opening of "Teacher's Pet" (no. 101).

the locations:

Hal Roach Ranch
Otherwise known as the Arnaz Ranch. This is where the boxing ring was set up. The portable sound equipment was mounted on a truck close to the scene.
Motor Avenue and Woodbine Street, Palms district, Los Angeles
The northeast corner of this intersection is where Joe and Chubby drop their pop bottles. The brick building is the People's Water Company at 3392 Motor Avenue. Seen in one shot is the park bench on the northwest corner previously seen in "The Love Bug" (no. 37). Presumably, the chicken coop is located at the usual location near the southwest corner.

miscellaneous:

12 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Two and a half weeks after shooting finished for "Railroadin'" (no. 90), the 'start' date for "Boxing Gloves" arrived on May 13th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of May 25th. No shooting took place on May 12th and 19th, which were both Sundays. Anthony Mack directed on each of the shooting dates. After this, two weeks passed before the Our Gang unit began filming "Lazy Days" (no. 92).

Maltin & Bann give the release date of September 9th for this film, and this date has been repeated in several other sources. The fact that this was not a Saturday makes it unlikely to be the actual date, and the fact that it's also the copyright date strongly suggests that the authors used it as a default release date after ruling out the 'official' release date. And what is this 'official' date? Motion Picture News published a weekly release chart, and the July 6th issue adds "Boxing Gloves" to the list for a July 13th release. This is not only a Saturday, but fits the film perfectly into the cycle of Roach talkies being released at the time. However, the date on the title sheet (July 22nd) reveals that the film's release was delayed at least until late July. The earliest reference I've seen of this short playing in a theater is from August 31st. In this case, the film program had reached its final day, so "Boxing Gloves" had probably been showing there for at least a week.

Even with a delayed release, I'm pretty sure MGM still considered this film to be a 1928/29 release. At the beginning of the season, they had announced a schedule of ten shorts apiece for each of the Roach comedy series. By the spring of 1929, this schedule had been amended to accomodate three talkies from each of the four series. If "Boxing Gloves" is considered a 1929/30 release, then the Our Gang talkie allotment for the previous season comes up short. Also, the evenness of the 1929/30 release schedule actually gets disrupted if we try to include "Boxing Gloves."

Publicity photos reveal some deleted footage involving Chubby as he works out prior to the match. Andy Shuford was included in this footage.

Another publicity photo reveals a deleted scene where Mary Ann has blackened her face to get past the ticket taker.

Another publicity photo shows Joe and Chubby with the broken bottles, but they're at a different corner than the one used in the film.

From the press release: 'The shrill voices of the children blew out six fuses in the recording apparatus before the Victor engineers could adjust the delicate mechanism to take care of the high-pitched volume of sound. The youngsters became so excited in the thrill of the ring battle of the Gang's two fatties, Joe Cobb and Chubby Chaney, that they forgot to lower their voices as directed by the recording engineer, Elmer Raguse.'

Publicity materials referred to the kids as The Roach Rascals.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B359.


availability:

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 12 (VHS) from Cabin Fever and
The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Volume Two (4 LD set) from Cabin Fever
Released July 6, 1994. Also released as part of 12 VHS boxed set. This is a complete print with original titles. The picture quality is excellent. The total footage lasts 17:21. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs. There are also two clips from this film shown during the opening advertisement on all the Cabin Fever VHS releases. The 1st lasts 0:03, and shows Mary mussing Joe's hair. The 2nd lasts 0:01, and shows a closeup of Harry.
The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 11 & Vol. 12 (DVD) from Cabin Fever
Same contents as the Cabin Fever VHS releases. Also released as part of The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited (6 DVD set).
The Little Rascals Volume 1 (VHS) from Spotlite Video
Released 1985. This is a home movie print from Blackhawk, with opening, crew and ending titles all remade. The picture quality is very good. The original footage totals 16:46.
The Little Rascals Book XVII (VHS) from Blackhawk Video
This is the Blackhawk print.
The Little Rascals - The Complete Collection (8 DVD set) from Genius Products
Released late Oct. 2008. This is the Blackhawk print. There are also four clips from this film included in the documentary The Story Of Hal Roach And Our Gang, and three clips included in the interview segment Catching Up With The Rascals: Jean Darling.
Jackie Remembers Our Gang - The Silent Era (VHS/DVD) from Jackie Taylor
A clip lasting 3:27 is included, containing various different scenes, with narration added.

© 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)
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)
Jim Tinder (for providing evidence of the film's release date)


The Lucky Corner Homepage