Shiver My Timbers

film no. 109

technical details:

Production G-2.

Release no. C-432.

Filmed June 29 to July 9, 1931. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Title sheet prepared by Richard Currier on July 29, 1931.

Cutting continuity submitted August 8, 1931.

Copyrighted October 1, 1931, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP2517. Renewed December 2, 1958, with registration no. R225700. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2026.

Released October 10, 1931. It was the 109th film in the series to be released.

All-talking two-reeler.

Also released with Spanish subtitles as "Piratas infantiles." This version was 1,908 ft.

Opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Shiver My Timbers".' Maltin & Bann state that 'His Rascals' was replaced with 'The Little Pirates' in this film, but the original title, as seen on the Cabin Fever release, contradicts this.

The soundtrack for this film was used for A Little Rascals Color Special made by King-World Productions and presented by Charles King. The resultant film, using puppet animation, was one of five episodes refashioned this way, which were intended to be marketed as a television series that never came to be.

King World Productions episode no. 10, 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."
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.
Dialogue by H. M. Walker
This credit appears in the film.
Recording Engineer: Elmer Raguse
This credit appears in the film.
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.
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 Don Sandstrom.
writing - Robert F. McGowan probably headed story development, while Robert A. McGowan, Carl Harbaugh, Billy Gilbert, 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.
titles - Louis McManus probably designed the main titles.

the kids:

Matthew "Stymie" Beard
Featured role. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He provides almost all of the humor in the film, mostly by way of wisecracks.
Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins as "Wheezer"
Supporting role. He's basically the leader of the gang, and has a few lines, but mostly does ensemble acting.
Dorothy "Echo" DeBorba
Supporting role. She tells on the boys for playing hooky and later joins them at night.
Sherwood Bailey
Supporting role. He has a few lines, but is mostly an ensemble player.
Jerry Shatz
Supporting role. Later known as Jerry Tucker. He's given a couple of lines, but mostly works as part of the group. This was his series debut.
Georgie Ernest as "Georgie"
Supporting role. He has very little dialogue, and is almost exclusively an ensemble player.
Betty Jane Beard
Small part. She's seen in the opening scene listening to the captain's story. Maltin & Bann credit her sister Carlena with this role (and give her the name Carolina in the 1977 edition of their book).
Jerry Madden
Small part. He's one of the two boys who run off in fright early in the film, and can be best seen sitting next to Georgie as Billy Gilbert tells his story.
Perry Glass
Small parts. He's the other boy who runs off, and is best seen (on the right) as Charlie Oelze opens the door behind them.

the animals:

Pete the Pup III
Supporting role. He's present throughout the film, and provides occasional comic moments.
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Extras. The only other animals seen are the seagulls flying around in the background during the daytime scenes.

the adults:

Billy Gilbert as the captain
Featured role. The kids call him "Cap." He convinces the kids to join his crew, and then gives them a good scare.
June Marlowe as "Miss Crabtree"
Supporting role. She's upset with the captain for keeping the kids away from school.
Charles Oelze as one of the crew
Supporting role. He's the pirate with the funny glasses that puts a scare into Stymie.
Harry Bernard as one of the crew
Supporting role. He's the cook, and comes into the kids' quarters to lament their signing on.
Dick Gilbert as "Dick," one of the crew
Supporting role. He's the one who informs the captain of the impending typhoon.
Cy Slocum as "Cy," one of the crew
Supporting role. He forgets what the anchor weighs.
Jack Hill as one of the crew
Supporting role. He's the one who forgot to swab the deck.
Leo Sulky as one of the crew
Supporting role. Gilbert tells him not to "aye aye" him, and near the end, he's hit in the head with an anchor.
other adults
There are perhaps a hundred pirates shown in the opening storytelling scenes. It appears that this footage derives from one or more silent films.

the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A1.) This is played over the opening titles. A portion is repeated as the captain sees that his crew is out cold and the end title appears.
"Confusion" by Leroy Shield
A short portion of this piece is played during the stock footage of pirates fighting a battle. Most of this piece is played twice through as the captain finishes punishing his crew and sends the kids down below. Most of it is repeated three times as the pirates chases the kids and get knocked out.
"Hide And Go Seek" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Dec. 23, 1930. This is played as the captain is telling the kids a story.
"Antics" by Leroy Shield
Part of this piece is played as Stymie talks about polecats. It's played almost in full as Stymie and the captain discuss polar bears and malaria. The first half is repeated as the captain announces the arrival of the pirates.
"The One I Love Best" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931. Also known as "All The World (To Me)." Part of this piece is played as Dorothy talks to Miss Crabtree. It's played in full when Miss Crabtree arrives at the dock to retrieve her truant students, with the very beginning being repeated at the end of the scene. The alternate version from "Love Business" (no. 104) is played as the kids vow to fight for Miss Crabtree.
"Crabtree" by Leroy Shield
Also known as "Girl & Stick." The first part of this piece is played as the captain complains about being balled out by Miss Crabtree.
"Prelude" by Leroy Shield
The end of this piece is played as the captain signs the kids on to his crew.
"Hurry" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted 1931. This is played twice as the captain arrives and punishes the first two crew members. It's played twice again as the kids experience the typhoon.
"Sneaking" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931. This is played twice as the kids arrive at the ship at night. Most of it is repeated as the pirate with the funny eyes sneaks up behind Stymie.
piece 109a
This is a short effect piece played as we first see Charlie Oelze.
"Go Get Him" by Leroy Shield
Part of the end of this piece is played as the kids hide down below. Most of it is later played as the captain and Stymie exchange dialogue. A very short bit of the end portion is repeated as the pirates are getting knocked out. The original issue of the Beau Hunks "On To The Show!" CD identified this piece as "Instrumental (Hurry)." The recent reissue revises this.
"Sliding" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Aug. 13, 1931. Also known as "Swells." This is played and partially repeated as the kids listen to the pirates outside the door and Harry Bernard comes in and talks to them. It's repeated the same way as Miss Crabtree is brought into the typhoon scenario.
"Mickey" by Leroy Shield
A variation of this effect piece is played as Charlie Oelze scares Stymie.

the locations:

San Pedro Harbor
This is where the dock scenes were shot.
the ship
Maltin & Bann state that the set is essentially the same as in Laurel & Hardy's "The Live Ghost."


9 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Three weeks had passed since the finish date for "Big Ears" (no. 108). The studio was closed during one of those weeks. Filming for "Shiver My Timbers" began on June 29th, and continued until the 'finish' date of July 9th. No shooting took place on June 28th or July 5th, which were both Sundays, nor on July 4th, which was Independence Day. The 1931 datebook entry for July 10th has the word 'finish' written in but crossed out. After this, five weeks passed before the Our Gang unit began filming "Dogs Is Dogs" (no. 110). The studio was closed during one of those weeks.

Reel one ends as Stymie and one of the other boys fall backwards onto the floor and the other kids jump over them.

A story version of "Shiver My Timbers" appeared in the book Our Gang Annual in 1933.

The funny glasses worn by Charlie Oelze in this film appear to be the same pair worn by Jackie Cooper in "Love Business" (no. 104).

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B596.

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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)
Doris Oelze & Nancy Thompson (for identifying Charles Oelze's involvement in this film)
Piet Schreuders (for identifying "Go Get Him")
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)

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