Anniversary Trouble

film no. 134

technical details:

Production G'27.

Release no. C-25.

Filmed Jan. 25 to Feb. 1, 1935. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Title sheet prepared on March 1, 1935.

Cutting continuity submitted March 11, 1935.

According to the trade publications, this film was released on January 19, 1935, making it the 134th film in the series to be released. However, the title sheet and cutting continuity dates reveal that the actual release date was probably around the time of the copyright date. Delays in the production of the three previous episodes clearly carried over to this one.

Copyrighted March 13, 1935, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP5411. Renewed August 1, 1962, with registration no. R299648. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2030.

All-talking two-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Anniversary Trouble".'

King World Productions episode no. 48b, 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 Gus Meins
This credit appears in the film.
Photography: Francis Corby, A. S. C.
This credit appears in the film.
Film Editor: Bert Jordan
This credit appears in the film.
Recording Engineer: James Greene
This credit appears in the film.
Assistant Director: Gordon Douglas
This credit is revealed in a photograph in Maltin & Bann's book.
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. 631.
The emblem of the National Recovery Administration isn't seen in these prints, but I suspect it was originally, since the end title looks like it's been cropped in much the same way as other films from this period.
studio personnel
general manager - Henry Ginsberg
assistant general manager - L. A. French
secretary-treasurer - C. H. Roach
assistant secretary - Mat O'Brien
publicity and advertising - Fred Purner
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
writing - Hal Yates, Carl Harbaugh, James Parrott, Charlie Hall, Frank Butler, Robert McKenzie, Nick Grinde, Hal Law, 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.

the kids:

George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky" aka "Spank"
Lead role. Or more specifically, "Brother Spanky." His mother calls him "Sonny," which was his nickname in real life. His father calls him "Swanky." He's made treasurer of the club and loses their money.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat"
Supporting role. Mandy calls him "Honey Lamb." He's Mandy's kid, and is seen in many of the home scenes.
Leonard Kibrick
Supporting role. He does most of the talking when it comes time for the gang to get their money back from Spanky.
Matthew "Stymie" Beard as "Stymie"
Supporting role. Or more specifically, "Brother Stymie." He's the president of the club, but doesn't have much dialogue after the meeting is over.
Scotty Beckett as "Scott"
Supporting role. He appoints himself to escort Spanky home, but is otherwise mostly an ensemble player.
Jerry Tucker
Supporting role. He has a few lines of dialogue, but is mostly part of the ensemble.
Alvin Buckelew
Supporting role. He's mostly an ensemble player, but gets to act tough.
Sidney Kibrick
Supporting role. He also gets to act tough, but is mostly part of the ensemble.
Cecilia Murray
Small part. Spanky calls her "Honey Lamb" while he's dressed as Buckwheat. She knows it's Spanky in Buckwheat's clothes, but plays along.
Donald Proffitt
Small part. He's in the front row during the club scene and gets one closeup.
Harry Harvey, Jr.
Small part. He's the blonde boy between Jerry and Alvin during the club scene.
Merrill Strong
Small part. His name doesn't turn up in the dialogue, but the cutting continuity refers to him as "Merrill." He's the blonde boy in the straw boater that wants his 44 cents.
Milton Russum
Small part. He's seen at the far left of the front row in the club scene, and is the only kid that isn't given any specific attention in the film.
questionable listings
Maltin & Bann list Tony Kales, but he's missing from the payroll ledger.

the animals:

Pete the Pup IV
Small part. He's seen during the club meeting.
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.

the adults:

Johnny Arthur as "John," Spanky's dad
Featured role. His forgetfulness leads to all of the problems in this film, even though he blames Spanky for everything.
Claudia Dell as Spanky's mom
Supporting role. She thinks Spanky has stolen her anniversary money.
Hattie McDaniel as "Mandy," the maid
Supporting role. She orders Spanky to go to his father's office.
other adults
(1.) The woman in Johnny Arthur's office, who's barely seen.
(2.) At least four pedestrians seen in three of the outdoor shots.

the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A14.) This is played over the opening titles and as we see the opening shots of the clubhouse. The ending part is played over the end title.
"Old Black Joe" by Stephen Collins Foster
Published in 1860. There is a remote possibility that Buckwheat's oft-repeated but unintelligible utterance in this film is 'I'se comin',' as heard in this Foster composition.


Seven shooting dates went into the making of this film. A month had passed since shooting finished for "Shrimps For A Day" (no. 133). Shooting for "Anniversary Trouble" started on Jan. 25th and continued until Feb. 1st. There was no shooting on Jan. 27th, which was a Sunday. After this, almost three weeks would pass before the Our Gang unit began filming "Beginner's Luck" (no. 135).

The gang's club is called the "Ancient and Honery Order of Wood Chucks Club, Inc." On the wall of the clubhouse is a pennant from Ocean Park.

Most of the action in this film takes place on Thursday, February 2nd (with the club meeting being held on Wed., Feb. 1st). However, February 2nd wasn't a Thursday in either 1934 or 1935.

What is that squeaking sound as Spanky arrives home from the club meeting? Is is a caged bird?

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B315.

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© Robert Demoss.

My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
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")
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)
bigshotjones (for identifying "Old Black Joe")

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