Shivering Shakespeare

film no. 95


technical details:

Production G-29.

Dialogue sheet submitted by H. M. Walker on September 27, 1929.

Filmed September 30 to October 12, 1929. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Title sheet sheet prepared by H. M. Walker on October 30, 1929.

Copyrighted December 17, 1929, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP920. Renewed December 19, 1956, with registration no. R182608. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2024.

Cutting continuity submitted to MGM on December 19, 1929. This piece of information is puzzling, since the continuity would have been sent by MGM to the U. S. Copyright Office two days earlier. Perhaps the film had been reedited after previewing.

Released January 25, 1930. It was the 95th film in the series to be released.

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

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

King World Productions episode no. 9, available in both colorized and original black-and-white versions.


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. Maltin & Bann don't include it in their crew listing, but Maltin did in his earlier book, The Great Movie Shorts.
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 Harry Gerstad
Lloyd is credited in the film. Studio documentation credits both Lloyd and Gerstad.
Film Editor: Richard Currier
This credit appears in the film.
Story Editor: H. M. Walker
This credit appears in the film. Studio documentation credits him with the dialogue.
Recording Engineer: Elmer Raguse
This credit appears in the film.
Story by Robert F. McGowan
This credit doesn't appear in the film.
Props by Bob Saunders
Revealed in the publicity photo shown in Maltin & Bann's book.
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, Carl Harbaugh, Jean Yarbrough, Charlie Hall and Harry Keaton may have been among the gag writers.
property department - Charles Oelze, Don Sandstrom and Thomas Benton Roberts were probably involved in this capacity.
main titles - Louis McManus began to design these around this time.
animal training - Tony Campanaro may have been among the animal trainers.

the kids:

Norman "Chubby" Chaney as "Chubby" aka "Norman"
Featured role. He plays "Nero" in the play, as well as an old man among the shepherds. He keeps lifting his robe to remember his lines.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins
Featured role. He plays "Farinacus" in the play and has quite a lot of the dialogue. He's listed in the cutting continuity as "Farina."
Mary Ann Jackson
Featured role. According to the dialogue sheet, she plays "Queen Maryannica," but the cutting continuity states that her character is "Mary Annicus." Usually, though, it lists her simply as "Mary Ann." She's given a lot of the dialogue in this film.
Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins
Featured role. The nickname doesn't show up in this dialogue, but is indicated in the cutting continuity. He plays Mary Annicus's youthful brother, and is featured fairly strongly in the film.
Jackie Cooper
Supporting role. His big scene is as the Christian who gets arrested. Listed as 'Jack' in the dialogue sheet.
Harmon Tutt
Supporting role. He's the spy who arrests Jackie.
Fletcher "Rusty" Tolbert
Small part. He's the boy in the "Ursus" costume early in the film, and later wears the lion costume. This would mean that Mickey Daniels is not in the film, as listed by Maltin & Bann.
Jerry McGowan
Small part. She's the dancing girl that gets the egg in her face.
Edith Fellows
Small part. She's the little girl who gets scared when Kennedy is in the elephant costume.
Gordon Thorpe
Small part. He's the kid that warns the others that they'll all grow up to be rowdies. Listed in the cutting continuity as 'Effeminate boy.'
Donald Haines
Small part. He first plays a shepherd, and then a guard, with his visor repeatedly falling over his eyes. This was his series debut. He's identified in the cutting continuity as "Donny."
Jack McHugh, Johnny Aber, Fred Rollins, Vernon Wiseman and George Verricco
Small parts. These are the five boys sitting in the back of the theater who begin throwing food at the performers. McHugh is the teenager among them and has some dialogue. Aber is the round-faced boy sitting to the far right. I don't yet know who's who among the other three.
Malcolm Sebastion as the court magician
Small part. Maltin & Bann spell his name Malcom Sebastian in the cast listing, but then spell his first name Malcolm in the text. Classic Images magazine reveals that his last name had been changed to Sebastion after having originally been Sabiston. He's the kid in the wizard costume.
Georgie Billings
Small part. He's the littlest boy among the shepherds, and later among the guards. This was his series debut.
Douglas Greer
Bit part. Maltin & Bann indicate that he plays "Turkie Egg," but this name wasn't used in the film. It appears, with different spelling, in a casting directory, where he's listed as Dougie "Turkey Egg" Greer. In this film, he controls the curtains.
Buddy Moore
Bit part. He seems to be the tall boy poking Mary Ann with the sword. If not, then he's definitely to the far left of the shot when Gordon Thorpe blows his horn.
Betty Jane Graham
Extra. She's best seen in the shots where Kennedy is working the contraption with the spear points on it. As the curtain comes down on him, she's the blonde girl who turns around to face the camera.
Bradley "Buster" Slaven
Extra. He plays both a shepherd and a guard, and is best seen standing to the left of Mary Ann as she kneels before Nero.
Bobby Mallon
Extra. He's seen only in the background, and plays both a shepherd and a guard.
other kids
Bit parts. There are three additional girls that take part in the play.

the animals:

Pete the Pup (no. 1)
Small part. He's shown in the scene with the shepherds, and briefly has a gag with a beard and moustache. Studio publicity for this film refers to him as 'Pete the dog,' while the cutting continuity calls him "Petie."
Leo
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Bit parts.
(1.) Two goats, including the one that butts Farina.
(2.) The goose passed off as a peacock.

the adults:

Gertrude Sutton as "Mrs. Funston Evergreen Kennedy"
Featured role. She's the one that wrote the play and directs it.
Edgar Kennedy as "Mr. Kennedy" aka "Kennedy the Cop"
Featured role. He handles various backstage duties, as well as playing "Ursus" during the scene with the bull. He also plays the elephant, and according to documentation, the lion, though this latter role is clearly not the case.
Lyle Tayo as Chubby's mom
Supporting role. She repeatedly reprimands her son for lifting his robe.
Clara Guiol as the pie seller
Small part. She rattles off the various types of pie for sale.
Charles McAvoy as a member of the audience
Bit part. He's the one whose son is hit with a pie.
Chris Lynton as a member of the audience
Bit part. He's the man who resents it. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Allen Cavan.
Ham Kinsey as a member of the audience
Bit part. He's hit by the pie thrown by Chubby.
woman 087 as a member of the audience
Bit part. This is the middle-aged woman who gets hit with a pie.
Harry Keaton as a member of the audience
Bit part. He's hit by a pie and licks his lips afterward. He greatly resembles his brother Buster.
Helen Gilmore as a member of the audience
Extra. She's the woman sitting behind Lyle Tayo.
other adults
Small part, bit parts and extras.
(1.) The man inside the bull costume. Maltin & Bann credit Carlton Griffin with this role, but he's nowhere to be found in the payroll ledger.
(2.) The remaining women selling pies, numbering perhaps three.
(3.) The second man in the bull costume.
(4.) The five musicians, which include members of the Happy-Go-Lucky Trio: Vern Trimble, Art Stephenson and Marvin Hatley. Hatley is presumably the one at the piano.
(5.) Probably at least forty more audience members. Maltin & Bann list Charles Lloyd (replacing Charles Young from the 1977 edition of their book) and Retta Palmer. I still need to familiarize myself with their faces, though.

the music:

"The Blue Danube" by Johann Strauss II
Written in 1867 and originally titled "On The Beautiful Blue Danube." Also known as "Blue Danube Waltz." The cacophonous orchestra plays this during the dancing scene.
other music
The only remaining music in this film is the bit of bugle playing by Gordon Thorpe.

music in alternate prints
"That Old Gang Of Mine" by Ray Henderson
Written in 1923 with lyrics by Billy Rose and Mort Dixon. This is an instrumental version that's played over the opening titles of the Cabin Fever version, but not the Blackhawk print, suggesting that it's not an original part of the film.
"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
This is played over the opening and end titles of the Blackhawk version.

miscellaneous:

12 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Two weeks after shooting finished for "Moan & Groan, Inc." (no. 94), the 'start' date arrived for "Shivering Shakespeare" on Sep. 30th. Presumably, these two weeks had been used for writing, since Walker's dialogue sheet was submitted on Sep. 27th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of Oct. 12th. No shooting took place on Sep. 29th or Oct. 6th, which were both Sundays. Anthony Mack directed on each of the shooting dates. After this, two weeks passed before the Our Gang unit began to film "The First Seven Years" (no. 96).

The play is called "The Gladiator's Dilemma" and is based on "Quo Vadis." The fictitious venue where it's being performed is Gamut Hall, and the date of the performance is Thursday, February 18th. Proceeds were to benefit the Children's Audobon Society. The play is enacted by pupils of B. Grade, Liberty School. This is according to the poster shown at the beginning of the film, which also credits Mrs. Kennedy with authoring the play, 'with acknowledgment of excerpts from Shakespeare, Confucius, Aristophanes, Bacon, Cervantes and Irwin S. Cobb.' An earlier version of this was 'with acknowledgement to excerpts from Shakespeare, Confucius, Aristophanes, Bugs Baer and Irvin Cobb.'

The first reel ends after the dancing girl gets egged.

According to studio documentation, this film ran twenty minutes and eight seconds.

According to the press release, 200 custard pies were ordered by McGowan.

According to the press release, Mary Ann loved wearing the blonde wig and took it home with her at night. The boys weren't too keen on wearing what they considered to be dresses.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B595.


availability:

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 19 (VHS) from Cabin Fever and
The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Volume Four (3 LD set) from Cabin Fever
Released 1995. This is a nearly original print, including the MGM lion, but the MGM logo and the Our Gang name are obscured from the opening titles. The picture quality is excellent. The film lasts a total of 20:19. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.
The Little Rascals Comedy Classics Vol. 2 (VHS) from Republic Pictures Home Video
Released Apr. 1991. This is a home movie print from Blackhawk. The opening titles and crew credits are remade, and the end title derives from another source. The original footage totals 19:53.
The Little Rascals Book XIII (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.
Rascal Dazzle (VHS/LD) from Embassy Home Entertainment
Original film released 1981. Video released 1984. Four clips from this film are included, all with music added. The first clip, lasting 0:02, shows a woman getting hit with a pie. The second clip, lasting 0:07, shows Allen Cavan, and directly follows the previous clip. Another clip, lasting 0:03, shows a man getting hit with a pie, while the last clip, lasting 0:28, shows several people getting hit with pies.

© 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)
Matthew Lydick (for putting a face to the name with Betty Jane Graham)
Lord Heath (for putting a face to the name with Clara Guiol)
Brenda Stiller (for verifying Harry Keaton's role in the film)
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)


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