The Lucky Corner

film no. 138

technical details:

Production G-31.

Release no. C-216.

Filmed May 13 to 20, 1935. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted February 19, 1936, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP6212. Renewed June 21, 1963, with registration no. R317581. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2031.

Released March 14, 1936. It was the 143rd film in the series to be released.

All-talking two-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "The Lucky Corner".'

King World Productions episode no. 34b, 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: Ernest Depew, A. S. C.
This credit appears in the film.
Film Editor: Louis McManus
This credit appears in the film.
Sound: W. B. Delaplain
This credit appears in the film.
Assistant Director: Gordon Douglas
Revealed in the photo 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. 869.
studio personnel
general manager - Henry Ginsberg was replaced in Jan. 1936 by David Loew
assistant general manager - L. A. French until early 1936
secretary-treasurer - C. H. Roach
assistant secretary - Mat O'Brien
publicity and advertising - Fred Purner
property department - W. L. Stevens
film editor and sound department - Elmer Raguse
construction supervisor - C. E. Christensen
laboratory superintendent - Charles Levin
process department - Roy Seawright
still photographer - Bud "Stax" Graves
musical director - Marvin Hatley
makeup department - Jack Casey
hairdressing - Peggy Zardo
transportation director - Bob Davis
school teacher - Fern Carter
possible uncredited involvement
writing - Hal Yates, Carl Harbaugh, James Parrott, Charlie Hall, Frank Butler, Hal Law, Frank Tashlin and Gordon Douglas may have been among the gag writers.
property department - Charles Oelze was probably involved in this capacity.
titles - Louis McManus probably designed the main titles.

the kids:

George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky" aka "Spank"
Featured role. He leads the parade and sets up a show to attract customers for the lemonade stand.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat"
Featured role. He's given several tasks to perform throughout the film, providing comedy relief along the way.
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa"
Featured role. He's given a fair amount of dialogue throughout the film, and sings a song with Harold.
Leonard Kibrick
Featured role. He and his father try to sabotage Gus's business.
Scotty Beckett as "Scott"
Supporting role. He runs the lemonade stand with Gus.
Gloria Brown as "Gloria"
Small part. She's the girl that does the tapdancing routine. She's listed as Gloria Mann in the 1977 edition, and in Maltin's earlier book, The Great Movie Shorts.
Harold Switzer as "Harold"
Small part. He's present in most of the scenes, but only noticeable during his singing routine with Alfalfa.
Merrill Strong
Small part. He shares the glass of lemonade in the first scene and honks the horn with his foot later on. Maltin & Bann list him as Merrell Strong.
Marianne Edwards
Small part. She shares the glass of lemonade in the first scene, and is part of the parade, but has no dialogue.
Alvin Buckelew
Small part. He plays the bass drum in the parade.
Donald Proffitt
Small part. He's pretty much entirely an ensemble player in this film.
Billy Minderhout
Small part. Later known professionally as Billy Mindy. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Billy Winderlout. He's the boy in the sailor suit.
Snooky Valentine
Small part. She's the hula girl to the left on the parade float.
Doreen Rubin
Small part. Of the three girls walking behind the parade float, she's the one to the left.
Bonnie Lynn
Small part. Of the three girls walking behind the parade float, she's the one to the right.
John Collum
Extra. He's seen in the crowd on the sidewalk during the parade scene.
other kids
Bit parts and extras. Betty June Sissom worked for one day on this film. It wasn't on the day that the parade was shot, so she was either a crowd extra, or perhaps wound up on the cutting room floor.
(1.) Three additional girls in the parade, which should basically correspond to the girls 'backstage' at the shoeshine stand. Listed among them by Maltin & Bann is Priscilla Lyon, who isn't listed in the payroll ledger.
(2.) One additional boy along the parade route. Maltin & Bann list Tommy McFarland, but he's not listed in the payroll ledger. There's also a girl in the crowd seen in one shot.

the animals:

Pete the Pup IV
Bit part. He's shown in the parade, but doesn't seem to be in any other part of the film.
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film (but was cut from the Cabin Fever print).

the adults:

Gus Leonard as "Gus" aka "Grandpa"
Featured role. He runs the lemonade stand.
William Wagner as the proprietor
Supporting role. He pressures the cop into sending Gus and his lemonade stand away from his own business.
James C. Morton as the cop
Supporting role. He settles disputes, directs traffic and clears the way for the parade.
Billy McClain as "Joe," Buckwheat's grandfather
Supporting role. He allows Gus to set up next to his shoeshine stand. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Joe Mathey, and as Buckwheat's dad, but given his age, it seems more likely that he would be his grandfather.
Charley Lloyd as the barber
Small part. He lends Spanky his electric razor. He's listed in Maltin & Bann's 1977 edition as Charley Young. This is interesting since the sign on the window says 'Young's Barber Shop.'
Bobby Dunn as one of the lemonade customers
Small part. Maltin & Bann list him as the 'poisoned' customer, but specifically, the cop accuses Dunn of trying to poison him.
Joe Bordeaux as the painter
Bit part. He gets knocked down by the board that Buckwheat slides over. I'm not familiar with this actor, so I'll take Maltin & Bann's word for it.
Ernie Alexander as the first customer
Bit part. He turns down Leonard's lemonade in favor of Grandpa's.
Kay McCoy
Bit part. She's with Ernie Alexander.
Art Rowlands as a lemonade customer
Bit part. He's the customer who screams.
Fred Holmes as one of the crowd
Extra. He's standing right next to the lemonade stand, and Buckwheat slides through his legs.
Doc Kelly as one of the crowd
Extra. He's the rotund man standing right next to Holmes. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Jack "Tiny" Lipson.
Lester Dorr as one of the crowd
Extra. He drinks lemonade as Wagner summons the cop. Maltin & Bann state that he plays two parts, wearing different clothes. I think he might be shown to the left of Jack Lipson in the longshots.
Clarence Morehouse as one of the crowd
Extra. Right before Gloria starts her number, we see a shot of seven people (with two more looking over their shoulders) watching the entertainment. Morehouse is third from the right, if you don't count the guy peering over his shoulder.
Jack Hill as one of the crowd
Extra. In the same shot with Morehouse, he's at the far right.
other adults
Bit parts and extras. There are dozens of additional pedestrians in this film. Maltin & Bann list Sam Lufkin, who is listed in the ledger, but I've yet to spot him. They also list Toby Dolan, who is also in the ledger, but I need to familiarize myself with him. They also list Bunny Bronson, who isn't in the ledger.

the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A15.) A new recording of this piece is played over the opening titles and as we first see the lemonade stand. The very end is repeated over the end title.
"Dixie (I Wish I Was In Dixie Land)" by Daniel Decatur Emmett
Published in 1859. Also known as "Dixie's Land." This is the song played during the parade. A Marvin Hatley arrangement of this song was copyrighted on May 7, 1936.
"Congratulate Me" by Lou Handman
Published in 1934 with lyrics by Bob Rothberg. Versions of this song were recorded by orchestras led by Johnnie Davis, Henry Busse and Guy Lombardo. Gloria Brown tapdances to a piano version which was probably performed by Marvin Hatley.
"Goin' To Town" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted Dec. 5, 1933. Written with lyrics by Eddie Dunn and Charley Chase. An instrumental version is played as Buckwheat gets a lemon, and then gets starch instead of sugar.
"Little Brown Jug"
Attributed to Septimus Winner in 1869. In this film, it's sung by Alfalfa and Harold Switzer. Steve Porter had a number three hit with this song in 1900. Marvin Hatley received arrangement credit for this version, which was copyrighted on Jan. 29, 1936.
"The Stars And Stripes Forever" by John Philip Sousa
Composed on Christmas Day, 1896. Published in 1897. This is the Official March of the United States of America. It was a number one hit for Sousa's Band in both 1897 and 1901. In this film, it's initially whistled for a few seconds by Leonard as he serves lemonade, and later played while Leonard and his father do their electric razor dance.

the locations:

Hal E. Roach Studios
It appears that the entire film was shot on the New York street set in the Hal Roach backlot.


Seven shooting dates went into the making of this film. Almost a week had passed since shooting finished for "Sprucin' Up" (no. 136). Shooting for "The Lucky Corner" started on May 13th and continued until May 20th. There was no shooting on May 19th, which was a Sunday. After this, two weeks would pass before the Our Gang unit began filming "Little Papa" (no. 139).

Working titles for this film included "Trusting Lemons," "Lemonade Trust" and "Follow The Leader."

A memo of May 9, 1935, signed by William Terhune, states that the title of the film will be "Follow The Leader."

Memos of both May 15 and 16, 1935, state that the main titles for "Follow The Leader" were sent to New York via air mail.

A memo of June 5, 1935, states that publicity negatives and prints (nos. 1 to 18 inc.) for "Follow The Leader" were shipped to Joe Rivkin via parcel post on that day. Rivkin was Roach's eastern representative.

3 star Mfg. Co. in Elmira, NY, produced the sugar and starch.

Wagner's business has a Baby Ruth ad on the wall.

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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)
Drina Mohacsi (for help in IDing Snooky Valentine)
Piet Schreuders (for providing copyright dates for the music)
Elliot Unkefer (for identifying "Goin' To Town")
Jesse Brisson (for identifying Clarence Morehouse, and for debunking Jack Lipson's involvement)
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)

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