Hook And Ladder

film no. 116


availability:

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 2 (VHS) from Cabin Fever and
The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Volume One (4 LD set) from Cabin Fever
Released July 6, 1994. Also released as part of 12 VHS boxed set. This is a complete original print with excellent picture quality. The total footage lasts 17:59. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs. There's also a clip lasting 0:03 included in the opening advertisement of all the Cabin Fever VHS releases, which shows Dickie talking to the other firefighters.

The Little Rascals Volume 2: Collector's Edition (VHS) from Hallmark Home Entertainment
Released Aug. 15, 2000. Also included as part of The Little Rascals Volumes 1-5: Collector's Edition (5 VHS set) and The Little Rascals Volumes 1-10: Collector's Edition (10 VHS set), both released Aug. 15, 2000.

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 (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 Volumes 1-2 (DVD) from Hallmark Home Entertainment
Released Aug. 15, 2000. Same contents as the Cabin Fever DVD.

The Little Rascals - The Complete Collection (8 DVD set) from Genius Products
Released late Oct. 2008. This is identical to the Cabin Fever version. There is also a clip from this film included in the documentary The Story Of Hal Roach And Our Gang.

The Little Rascals On Parade (VHS) from NTA Home Entertainment
Released Apr. 1991. This is a home movie print from Blackhawk. The opening title is remade, but the crew credits and end titles are original. The picture quality is good. The original footage totals 17:39, but the original soundtrack lasts an additional 0:12.

The Little Rascals Book VII (VHS) from Blackhawk Video
This is the Blackhawk print.

The Little Rascals: Bear Facts/Hook And Ladder (VHS) from Republic Pictures Home Video
Released May 1991. This is the Blackhawk print.

The Little Rascals - Hook And Ladder/Hi Neighbor/Sundown Ltd. (VHS/DVD)
from GoodTimes Home Video
Released Mar. 1 or 21, 2001. Presumably released initially on VHS. Included as part of The Little Rascals 4-Pack DVD, released May 29, 2001, and probably also Our Gang Collection (10 VHS set/8 DVD set), released May 7, 2002. This is a print from Erko Inc. of Hollywood's Kids and Pets series. The opening and end titles and the crew credits are remade. The picture quality is very good. The original footage totals 17:18, but the original soundtrack lasts an additional 0:32. This version has also appeared in bootleg form.

The Little Rascals - Funniest Episodes (5 VHS set) from GoodTimes Home Video
Released June 25, 2002.

The Best Of Our Gang Volume 2 (DVD) from GoodTimes Home Video
Released June 1, 2004. Also included on The Best Of Our Gang Volumes 1 & 2 (2 DVD set).

Rascal Dazzle (VHS/LD) from Embassy Home Entertainment
Original film released 1981. Video released 1984. A clip lasting 0:06 is included, showing Dickie and Spanky on their dog-powered cart. Another clip lasting 0:05 is included, showing the other vehicles. In both cases, music and narration are added.

The Our Gang Story (VHS/DVD) from GoodTimes Home Video
VHS released 1994. DVD released May 21, 2002. Also included as part of Our Gang Collector Series 4 Pack (4 DVD set), released Mar. 21, 2001, Our Gang Collector Series 5 Pack (5 VHS/DVD set), released Feb. 2002 (VHS) and Mar. 2004 (DVD), and The Best Of Our Gang Volume 1 (DVD) released June 1, 2004. A clip lasting 1:22 is included, showing most of the opening sequence. Another clip lasting 1:45 is included, showing the gang trying to answer the alarm. Both clips have narration added.


technical details:

Production G-9.

Filmed May 18 to 28, 1932. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Released August 27, 1932. It was the 116th film in the series to be released, and the first of the 1932/33 season.

Copyrighted September 14, 1932, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP3240. Renewed February 17, 1960, with registration no. R252324. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2027.

All-talking two-reeler.

Opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Hook And Ladder".'

King World Productions episode no. 20, 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.

Directed by Robert F. McGowan
This credit appears in the film, but without his middle initial.

Photographed by Hap Depew
This credit appears in the film. Art Lloyd is credited in the Erko print.

Edited by Richard Currier
This credit appears in the film.

Dialogue by H. M. Walker
This credit appears in the film.

Story by Hal E. Roach and Robert F. McGowan
This credit doesn't appear in the film.

Recording Engineer: James Greene
Not listed by Maltin & Bann. This credit appears in the film. Elmer Raguse is credited in the Erko print.

Animal trainer: Tony Campanaro
He trained the current Pete.

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
possible uncredited involvement


the kids:

Dickie Moore as "Dickie"
Featured role. He's the 'cheef' in the gang's fire department, and as a result, is the leader of the gang.

George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
Featured role. He, like most of the other kids, is a 'sistant cheef.' He's a constant nuisance to the bigger kids, and consequently provides most of the gags.

Matthew "Stymie" Beard as "Stymie"
Featured role. He's the 'hoseman cheef.' He gets most of the remaining dialogue not handled by Dickie and Spanky.

Kendall "Breezy Brisbane" McComas as "Breezy"
Supporting role. He serves as the lookout and alerts the gang when he spots the fire engine leaving the station.

Dorothy "Echo" DeBorba as "Dorothy"
Supporting role. She does mostly ensemble acting, but is featured in a scene with Spanky and a hose with powder in it.

Sherwood Bailey as "Spud"
Supporting role. He has a little bit of dialogue, but mostly does ensemble acting. This was his last appearance.

Thomas "Buddy" McDonald as "Speck"
Supporting role. He drives the hook-and-ladder. This was his last appearance.

Harold "Bouncy" Wertz as "Bouncy"
Supporting role. He's given virtually nothing specific to do, but is present through most of the film. This was his last appearance.


the animals:

Pete the Pup IV as "Pete"
Small part. He activates the gang's alarm system. This was the fourth Pete's series debut.

mule 111 as "Billie"
Small part. Maltin & Bann list Dinah the Mule, but it's not her. This mule pulls Stymie's wagon.

cat 080
Small part. This is the cat that Pete chases.

Laughing Gravy
Small part. He provides locomotion for Dickie's car.

cat 060
Bit part. This cat is what Laughing Gravy goes after while powering Dickie's car.

Leo
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.

other animals
Small parts.
(1.) The two goats pulling Brisbane's wagon. One is consistent with the goat in "Spanky" (no. 113), while the other could be the one from "Uncle Tom's Uncle" (no. 50).
(2) The horse pulling Buddy's wagon.


the adults:

Gene Morgan as the fireman
Small part. He's one of the two firemen talking to Sandstrom, but doesn't actually do the talking.

Don Sandstrom as the man guilty of a fire hazard
Bit part. According to Maltin & Bann. I haven't familiarized myself with his face.

other adults
Small parts and extras.
(1.) The fireman doing the talking to Sandstrom.
(2.) At least two firemen riding the fire engine out of the station and two pedestrians standing nearby.
(3.) Two people sitting on a porch as the kids ride by.
(4.) A woman in her yard looking through the fence as the kids arrive at the scene of the fire.


the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A1.) This is played over the opening titles and as we're introduced to the kids. It's repeated one and a half times as Spanky drinks the bottle of medicine and the end title appears.

"Little Dancing Girl" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931. Also known as "Dancing Girl" and "Dancing Girls." Most of this piece is played as the kids talk about being 'volumeteers.' It's played in full as Dickie and Stymie struggle to get Spanky to put on his pants. This is the version reproduced on the first Beau Hunks CD.

"Me-Ow" by Mel B. Kaufman
Published in 1918 with lyrics by Harry D. Kerr. Most of this piece is played as Pete chases the cat. A small part is repeated as Pete chases the cat a second time.

"Bells" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931. Most of this piece is played as the kids go to bed. Most of it is repeated as Dickie tries to get Spanky to put his coat on.

"Teeter-Totter" by Leroy Shield
This is played, minus the introduction, as Dickie tries to give Spanky his medicine. It's repeated one and a half times as Spanky plays pranks on Stymie and Dorothy.

"Blue Blue" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931. Most of this piece is played as Dickie and Stymie talk about worms. This is played at a slower tempo than the version by the Beau Hunks. The version they reproduced is played partially as Stymie throws the rotten egg over to Dorothy and she throws it to the mule.

"Violetta" by Abe Olman
Arranged by R. Brewer. This is played as the boys are snoring and wake up from the smell of the rotten egg.

"Laugh" by Leroy Shield
This is played when the mule smells the rotten egg. It's the third piece with this title on the first Beau Hunks CD.

piece 116a
This is played as Breezy sees the fire engine leaving the station.

piece 116b
This is played as the kids get ready to go off to the fire.

piece 116c
This is played as the kids are riding to the fire. It continues as the kids arrive at the fire station and see the burning building in the distance.

piece 116d
This is played as Stymie's wobbly wagon loses a wheel.

piece 116e
This is played as the kids battle the fire. It could possibly be more than one piece.

piece 116f
This is played briefly as the two firemen arrive at the scene.


the locations:

Los Angeles City Engine Co. 43, Palms district, Los Angeles
Located at 10416 Featherstone (now part of National Boulevard). The sign over the door reads 'Engine 43.' This is where the fire engine is leaving the station. In his book on movie locations, Leon Smith states that this address is at 10420, but if so, then the number has changed over the years. The film clearly shows it as 10416.

Motor Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
At least part of the gang's journey takes them along this street.


miscellaneous:

11 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Nine weeks had passed since shooting finished for "The Pooch" (no. 115). The studio was closed for five of those weeks. The 'start' date for "Hook And Ladder" arrived on May 18th, and shooting continued until the 'finish' date of May 28th. Included in the shooting schedule was a rare working Sunday on May 22nd. After this, seven weeks passed before the Our Gang unit began filming "Free Wheeling" (no. 117). The studio was closed during one of those weeks.

The newspaper article that opens the film mentions "Fire Chief Robert Scott."

Reel one ends as Dickie requests Stymie's help in getting Spanky's pants on.

A story version of this film, entitled "The Fire Brigade," appeared in the book Our Gang Annual in 1933.


©May 26, 2005, by Robert Demoss.
2005 updates: 5/31, 6/1, 7/4, 7/9, 8/27, 8/30, 12/19.
2006 updates: 1/3, 1/16, 2/11, 5/16, 7/25, 10/25, 11/2.
2007 updates: 4/1, 10/22.
2008 updates: 3/26, 4/25, 7/6, 7/12, 7/24, 8/24, 8/30, 9/28, 11/6.
2009 updates: 5/9, 5/17, 6/15, 6/28, 7/23.


Thanks to Rob Stone, Joe Moore, Piet Schreuders and Paul Mular for assistance on this page.


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