Little Papa

film no. 139


technical details:

Production G-32.

Release no. C-211.

Filmed probably in early to mid May 1935.

Copyrighted August 20, 1935, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP5745. Renewed June 21, 1963, with registration no. R317564. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2030.

Released September 21, 1935. It was the 138th film in the series to be released.

All-talking two-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Little Papa".'

King World Productions episode no. 35, 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: Harry Forbes, 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.
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 Production Code Adminstration of the Motion Picture Producers & Distributors of America
Certificate no. 948.
NRA
The National Recovery Administration emblem is shown during the opening titles.
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
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
assistant direction - Probably Gordon Douglas.
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.
animal training - Tony Campanaro may have been among the animal trainers.

the kids:

George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky" aka "Spank"
Lead role. Alfalfa calls him "Uncle Spanky" while talking to the baby. His mother leaves him in charge of the baby and he spends the film trying to get her to sleep.
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa"
Featured role. He joins Spanky in the house to try to get the baby to sleep and sings a lullaby.
Baby Patsy Dittemore
Featured role. The similarity between Baby Patsy Dittemore and Baby Patsy May, who appeared in "Divot Diggers" (no. 142), is not coincidental. When she was 19 days old, her mother died and she was taken in by her maternal grandparents and eventually adopted by them, taking their last name of May. She's featured very strongly in this film. Spanky refers to her as a 'him' at one point. The press book states that Baby Patsy was 'not quite 14 months' when she appeared in the film, which would place it prior to May 20th.
Scotty Beckett as "Scotty" aka "Scott"
Supporting role. During the first part of the film in the yard, he's almost on equal footing with Spanky and Alfalfa, but doesn't join them inside.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat"
Supporting role. He provides some comic relief during the yard scenes.
Dickie De Neut
Small part. His repeated comments wear thin on the others' patience.
Sidney Kibrick
Small part. He has a fair share of the dialogue among the peripheral players.
Alvin Buckelew
Small part. He has a bit of dialogue, but is mostly an ensemble player.
Donald Proffitt
Small part. He's purely an ensemble player.
Eva Lee "Marvel" Kuney
Stand-in. The payroll ledgers reveal that she was present on each day of shooting except the last. However, watching the film, I find it possible to only identify Patsy Dittemore whenever the baby's face is shown. For this reason, I'm assuming that Kuney was hired to double for Dittemore.

the animals:

Leo
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Small parts. The chicken coop shows six ducklings, who the baby joins for a swim, and at least five chickens. Only one grown duck seems to be there. Maltin & Bann also list Pete the Pup, but he's not in the film.

the adults:

Ruth Hiatt as Spanky's mom
Small part. She's seen briefly ordering Spanky to mind the baby.

the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A15.) This is played over the opening titles and as we're introduced to the kids. A small portion is repeated as the film closes.
"Emmet's Lullaby" by Joseph K. Emmet
Written in 1876. Also known as "Go To Sleep, My Baby." In this film, it's sung by Alfalfa.

miscellaneous:

A memo of May 31, 1935, signed by William Terhune, states that the title of the film will be "Little Papa."

A memo of June 4, 1935, also signed by Terhune, describes the main titles for the film. Originally, Elmer Raguse was indicated as the sound man, but his name was scratched out and replaced by Delaplain's.

A memo of June 10, 1935, states that the main titles were sent to New York via air mail. Delaplain is listed in this one.


availability:

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 7 (VHS) from Cabin Fever and
The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Volume Two (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 19:27. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.
The Little Rascals Volume 7: 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. 7 & Vol. 8 (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 Best Of The Little Rascals (VHS) from NTA Home Entertainment
Released Oct. 1992. This is a home movie print from Blackhawk. The opening title is remade, but the crew credits and end title are original. The picture quality is very good. The original footage totals 19:03, but the original soundtrack lasts an additional 0:08.
The Little Rascals Book IV (VHS) from Blackhawk Video
This is the Blackhawk print.
The Little Rascals - Little Papa/Dogs Is Dogs/Sprucin' Up (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.
The Little Rascals - Funniest Episodes (5 VHS set) from GoodTimes Home Video
Released June 25, 2002. This version has also appeared in bootleg form.
The Little Rascals - The Complete Collection (8 DVD set) from Genius Products
Released late Oct. 2008. This is the Blackhawk print.
Rascal Dazzle (VHS/LD) from Embassy Home Entertainment
Original film released 1981. Video released 1984. A clip lasting 2:11 is included, showing Alfalfa singing the baby to sleep, with music added.

© 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)
Matthew Lydick (for the correct spelling of Dickie De Neut's last name)
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)


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