Washee Ironee

film no. 131


technical details:

Production G-24.

Release no. C-22.

Filmed probably in early October 1934.

Title sheet prepared by William Terhune on October 24, 1934.

Cutting continuity submitted November 1, 1934.

According to Maltin & Bann, this film was released was September 29, 1934, making it the 131st film in the series to be released. However, the other dates listed above make it clear that the release date was probably around the time of the copyright date in November. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted November 13, 1934, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP5126. Renewed August 1, 1962, with registration no. R299636. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2029.

All-talking two-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Washee Ironee".'

King World Productions episode no. 45b, available in both colorized and original black-and-white versions.


the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Credited in the film as a presenter.
Directed by James Parrott
This credit appears in the film.
Photography: Francis Corby A. S. C.
This credit appears in the film. Listed as Francis Curby in the Official Films print.
Film Editor: Louis McManus
This credit appears in the film.
Recording Engineer: William Randall
This credit appears in the film.
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.
Approved by the Motion Picture Producers & Distributors of America
Certificate no. 345.
NRA
The emblem for the National Recovery Administration is missing from this print, but was presumably included on the title card with the MGM lion.
studio personnel
general manager - Henry Ginsberg
assistant general manager - L. A. French
secretary-treasurer - C. H. Roach
assistant secretary - Mat O'Brien
film editor and sound department - Elmer Raguse
construction supervisor - C. E. Christensen
laboratory superintendent - Charles Levin
process department - Roy Seawright
musical director - Marvin Hatley
still photographer - Bud "Stax" Graves
transportation director - Bob Davis
school teacher - Fern Carter
possible uncredited involvement
assistant direction - Probably Gordon Douglas.
writing - Hal Yates, Carl Harbaugh, James Parrott, Charlie Hall, Frank Butler, Robert McKenzie, Nick Grinde, Hal Law, Frank Terry, Frank Tashlin and Gordon Douglas 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.
animation - Probably the work of Roy Seawright.

the kids:

George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
Featured role. He's the referee at the football game, but more importantly, the leader of the gang for the first time.
Wally Albright as "Waldo"
Featured role. He's a rich kid that gets into the football game and needs his clothes laundered afterwards. This was his final appearance in the series.

the football players
Scotty Beckett
Supporting role. He has Pete on a leash throughout the football game, and scores a touchdown this way.
Matthew "Stymie" Beard as "Stymie"
Supporting role. He's seen throughout most of the film, but has only a little bit of dialogue.
Leonard Kibrick
Supporting role. He's the center on the football team and is virtually a silent character, but is present throughout most of the scenes.
Tommy Bond
Supporting role. He's the quarterback, but is otherwise mostly an ensemble player.
Jerry Tucker
Supporting role. He's given very little dialogue, but is present during most of the film.
Alvin Buckelew
Supporting role. He's entirely an ensemble player, but is one of the main group that appears in most of the scenes.
Gene Blumenthal
Small part. Later famously known as Gene Reynolds. He's seen only during the football scenes, and is standing to the right of Wally after his touchdown.
Dickie Jones
Small part. He's seen only during the football scenes. and is standing to the left of Wally after his touchdown.
Billy Lee Wolfstone
Small part. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. He's the fat boy seen during the football scenes.
Joe Levine
Small part. He's the boy with the frizzy hair seen during the football scenes.
John Collum
Small part. He's shown only in longshots during the football game.
Hal Law, Jr.
Small part. He's among the football players, but I still need to familiarize myself with his face. The payroll ledger lists him as Harry Law, Jr.
other football players
Small parts. There are three additional football players, one of whom is identified by Maltin & Bann as Hal Law, Jr., the son of one of the Roach writers.

the spectators
Jackie Lynn Taylor
Small part. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Jacqueline Taylor. She's the nurse on the sidelines. Spanky flirts with her.
Jackie White
Small part. She's the little girl watching the game and later accompanying Jackie Taylor.
Billie Thomas
Small part. He's given a couple of closeups cheering on the sidelines.
Tommy McFarland
Small part. He's given the first closeup among the kids cheering and is holding a derby hat.
Willie Mae Walton
Small part. She's listed in the payroll ledger, and Maltin & Bann list her as Willie Mae Taylor. Somehow, the black girl in the stands with the white ribbons in her hair just doesn't look like her, though.

other kids
Supporting roles and small parts. Names that still need to be matched to faces are Floyd Shackleford, Mickey Rentschler, Paul Graff, Hugh Sheridan and Bernard Hollenberg. Maltin & Bann include Tony Kales in their cast listing, but his name doesn't appear in the payroll ledger.
(1.) The Chinese boy that Spanky brings to the house to solve the gang's laundry problems. Maltin & Bann list him as Yen Wong, but I'm not sure if this is his actual name, or simply derived from the name on the window of the Chinese laundry, which in any event says "Yun Wong."
(2.) The boy leading the cheers.
(3.) Probably at least a few more football players and spectators.

the animals:

Pete the Pup IV as "Pete"
Supporting role. He swallows Spanky's whistle.
Joe the Monk
Small part. He belongs to Waldo's mother. Maltin & Bann list Elmer the Monkey, but it seems more likely to be the earlier monkey.
Leo
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film (but was cut from the Cabin Fever print).
other animals
Small part. The only remaining animal in the film is the goat pulling the first aid cart.

the adults:

Ellinor Van Der Veer as Waldo's mother
Supporting role. She's more concerned with her standing in society than her son's happiness.
Sam Adams as the butler
Supporting role. He's present through much of the indoor scenes, suffering indignities along with the women. Maltin's earlier book, The Great Movie Shorts, lists Sam Baker, possibly in place of Sam Adams.
Stanley "Tiny" Sandford as the traffic cop
Small part. He repeatedly halts traffic, only to realize that it's only Spanky pretending to be an emergency vehicle.
Ernie Alexander as a pedestrian
Bit part. I think he's probably the one that almost gets hit by the patrol wagon.
other adults
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) There are probably eleven Maids Of Olympia other than Van Der Veer. Among them are Gertrude Astor, who's seen getting ice cream thrown at her bare back, and Julia Griffith. Maltin & Bann also list Symona Boniface, and I think she might be the one whose back the monkey jumps on.
(2.) The gardener, whose name is "Sam" or "Sammy," and boosts Waldo so he can watch the game.
(3.) At least five additional cops, two of whom are listed by Maltin & Bann as James C. Morton and William Irving, the latter of whom seems to be behind the gang's wagon after the pileup.
(4.) Dozens of pedestrians, one of whom is listed by Maltin & Bann as Lester Dorr, but I'm not able to find him. They also list James Parrott as the man walking by the laundry, but I don't see any way of ascertaining this without publicity photos. There are also several drivers shown in the longshots.
(5.) The butler's sneeze was dubbed in by Billy Gilbert.

the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A14.) This is played during the opening credits and as we're introduced to Waldo and his mother. A small part is repeated during the end titles.
piece 131
This is the classical violin piece that Waldo plays on the phonograph. Presumably the few notes heard as he practices derive from the same source.

the locations:

Hal E. Roach Studios
The street scenes appear to be shot on the New York street set at the Roach studio.
the football field
The location used for the football field is the same used for the amusement park in "Boys Will Be Joys" (no. 42).

miscellaneous:

Maltin & Bann give the release date of September 29, 1934, for this film. It now seems likely that this was a projected release date for production G-24 prior to the start of the film season. The fact is that the title sheet is dated October 24th, and the cutting continuity is dated November 1st, which means that the release date was probably around the time of the copyright date of November 13th. But what caused the delay? I think the likeliest suspect was a film called "Babes In Toyland." Our Gang director Gus Meins was recruited at the last minute to replace Raymond McCarey as the director of the non-Laurel & Hardy portions of this feature (with the comedy material being directed by Charley Rogers). Shooting began on August 6th and probably would have wrapped around the end of the month, resulting in a relatively short delay in the Our Gang schedule. However, Stan Laurel injured himself on the 14th, and Meins and Rogers shot non-Laurel footage for the next two days before suspending production for two weeks. Before shooting could resume, injuries to other cast and crew members, and a week in jail for villain Henry Brandon, ensured that shooting would not resume until September 24th. Under normal circumstances, the feature would have wrapped by this time and Meins would have been back with the Our Gang unit. Instead, Roach put James Parrott in the director's chair for "Washee Ironee," which was being shot concurrently with "Babes In Toyland." We know these two films were concurrent because former Gangster Johnny Downs, in costume for the feature, had his photo taken with the Our Gang kids, in costume for the short. Filming for "Babes In Toyland" finally finished on October 17th, which seems to be around the time the Our Gang short wrapped. Also of note are the photos of Spanky's birthday party shown in Jackie Taylor's book. Spanky turned 6 on October 2nd. All of the kids are in costume for this film in the photos.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B666.

Reel one ends as Wally ducks after the girls see him naked.

A clip from this film was used in the TV special "Sports On The Silver Screen," first shown on Mar. 16, 1997, on HBO.


availability:

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 6 (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 nearly complete original print, but without the MGM lion, and is also missing most of the 'spitting' scene. I suspect that the end title has been cropped to omit the NRA designation. The picture quality is excellent. The total footage lasts 15:31. Reportedly, later copies of the VHS were corrected to include the missing 'spitting' footage, bringing the total to 15:56. This latter version has appeared on numerous bootlegs, and presumably the earlier version as well.
The Little Rascals Volume 6: Collector's Edition (VHS) from Hallmark Home Entertainment
Released Aug. 15, 2000. Also included as part of The Little Rascals Volumes 1-10: Collector's Edition (10 VHS set), released Aug. 15, 2000.
The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 5 & Vol. 6 (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). This copy includes the missing 'spitting' footage.
The Little Rascals Digitally Remastered - Collector's Edition III (DVD) from Hallmark Home Entertainment
Released Nov. 15, 2005. This derives from the Cabin Fever release.
The Little Rascals - The Complete Collection (8 DVD set) from Genius Products
Released late Oct. 2008. This is identical to the original Cabin Fever version, which is missing 25 seconds of footage. There are also four clips from this film shown on the main menu.
The Best Of Spanky (DVD) from Genius Entertainment
Released Mar. 27, 2007. Also included as part of The Little Rascals In Color! (3 DVD set). This is a Famous Kids Comedies print from Official Films, included both as a colorized print, and in the original black-and-white. The original footage totals 15:39, while the original soundtrack totals 16:00. The picture quality is very good.
Rascal Dazzle (VHS/LD) from Embassy Home Entertainment
Original film released 1981. Video released 1984. A clip lasting 1:25 is included, showing the mayhem at the social function and the pileup at the intersection, with music and narration added. Another clip lasting 0:04 is included, showing Jackie and Spanky flirting. A third clip lasting 0:07 is included, showing bubbles bursting and the butler sneezing, with music and sound effects added.
Jackie Remembers Our Gang - Memories From Little Rascals Family Theater (VHS/DVD) from Jackie Taylor
A clip lasting 0:02 is included, showing Jackie Taylor.
Jackie Remembers Our Gang - The Silent Era (VHS/DVD) from Jackie Taylor
A clip lasting 0:51 is included, showing portions of the football game. This is followed by a clip lasting 0:16, showing portions of the clothes-washing scene. Both clips have narration added.

© Robert Demoss.


My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Mark Brumfield (for pointing out the missing footage in earlier copies of the Cabin Fever release)
Rob Stone (for providing the production number)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Elliot Unkefer (for pointing out the 'A14' arrangement of "Good Old Days")
Steven R. Wright (for identifying Joe Levine)
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)


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