Arbor Day

film no. 145

technical details:

Production G-38.

Release no. C-218.

Filmed Feb. 12 to 18, 1936. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Title sheet prepared by Elmer Raguse on March 26, 1936.

Cutting continuity submitted March 25, 1936.

Copyrighted April 9, 1936, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP6273. Renewed June 21, 1963, with registration no. R317583. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2031.

Released May 2, 1936. It was the 145th film in the series to be released.

All-talking two-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Arbor Day".'

King World Productions episode no. 1a, 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 Fred Newmeyer
This credit appears in the film. Credited in the Official print as Fred Mewmeyer.
Photography: Milton Krasner
This credit appears in the film. Credited in the Official print as Milton Krashner, A. S. C.
Film Editor: Bert Jordan
This credit appears in the film. Credited in the Official print as Bert Jordon.
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 Motion Picture Producers & Distributors of America
Certificate no. 2027.
studio personnel
general manager - David Loew until early to mid 1936
construction and lot manager - Matt O'Brien
Roach's assistant on production activities - Lawrence Tarver
secretary-treasurer - C. H. Roach
film editor and sound department - Elmer Raguse
story department - Jack Jevne
publicity and advertising - Fred Purner
construction supervisor - C. E. Christensen
property department - W. L. Stevens
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, Charlie Hall, Hal Law, John Guedel, Harry Langdon, Richard Flournoy 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:

Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer
Featured role. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He's enthusiastic about the pageant and has a big singing moment.
George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
Featured role. He tries to play hooky, but the truant officer ensures that he takes part in the pageant.
Darla Hood
Supporting role. She's given extra attention during the pageant, particularly during the ballet sequence.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas
Supporting role. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He's clearly a boy in this film, and takes part in the pageant in that capacity.
Betsy Gay
Small part. She's initially the dance partner of Daniel Boone, but is later 'dipped' by Spanky.
Gloria Brown
Small part. This is the girl next to Darla during the ballet sequence.
boy 141
Small part. He's the tall dark-haired boy in the pageant.
Daniel Boone
Small part. He's the small brown-haired boy in the pageant.
girl 143
Small part. She's the third dancer from the left among the girls.
Ricardo Cezon
Bit part. He switches clothes with George Brasno at the sideshow.
Barbara Boone
Bit part. She switches clothes with Olive Brasno at the sideshow.
John Collum
Extra. He's sitting at the front desk to the left in virtually all of the long shots of the class.
Jack Egger
Extra. A casting directory credits him with appearing in this film, and it appears that he's sitting two seats behind John Collum.
Mildred Kornman
Extra. The payroll ledger indicates that she worked in this film. She's sitting three seats behind John Collum.
other kids
Small parts, bit parts and extras.
(1.) Two remaining boys and three remaining girls in the pageant.
(2.) The Green Street Grammar School Orchestra, consisting of three boys and one girl.
(3.) The teenaged girl sitting next to Hattie McDaniel.
(4.) Perhaps thirteen more kids in the class. Maltin & Bann list Harold Switzer, who might be at the back of the row shown to the far right of the group shots, but I'm not sure about this.

the animals:

Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film (but is cut from the Cabin Fever print).

the adults:

George Brasno as one of the midgets
Featured role. He and his wife switch clothes with a couple of kids to get some fresh air, and find themselves in school. The cutting continuity refers to him as 'midget.'
Olive Brasno as one of the midgets
Featured role. She plays George's wife, even though the two of them were siblings. The cutting continuity refers to her as 'midget's wife.'
Maurice Cass as "Mr. Cass"
Featured role. He's the principal, and introduces the different acts in the pageant.
George Guhl as "Mr. Smithers," the truant officer
Supporting role. He brings the midgets to the school.
Kathryn Sheldon as "Miss Argyle"
Supporting role. She's the one that has organized the pageant.
Dick Rush as "Murphy," the side show barker
Supporting role. He doesn't want his midgets to wander off.
Rosina Lawrence as "Miss Lawrence"
Small part. She plays the piano and leads the musicians.
Hattie McDaniel as Buckwheat's mom
Bit part. She prompts Buckwheat on his lines.
May Wallace as the autograph seeker
Bit part. She gushes over the midgets.
Rolfe Sedan
Extra. He's among the crowd outside the sideshow. He's the first on the right side to enter the door after Murphy does his spiel.
George Washington
The Unfinished Portrait is hanging over the pageant.
other adults
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) The woman at the side of the stage with Darla.
(2.) The bearded lady at the sideshow.
(3.) The clown at the sideshow.
(4.) The ticket taker at the sideshow.
(5.) Several additional people both inside and outside the sideshow. Maltin & Bann list Bobby Dunn as an 'atmosphere extra,' so I'm assuming that he's in this sequence.
(6.) About twenty adults in the classroom.

the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A15.) Most of this piece is played over the opening titles. The second verse is played as Mr. Smithers gets fired and the end title appears.
"A Nickel In The Slot" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted Oct. 18, 1933. This is the piano music playing as the midgets first try to take a walk outside. A small part of it is repeated as the midgets successfully escape.
"Swinging The Blues Away" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted Sep. 15, 1933. Written with lyrics by Billy Gilbert and Frank Terry. An instrumental version is played on the piano as the midgets switch clothes with the two kids.
"Planting" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted Feb. 20, 1936. This is played by Miss Lawrence and her students during the tree planting part of the pageant. The copyright notice describes this as a 'gavotte,' which isn't entirely accurate.
"Willow Trees" by T. Marvin Hatley and Jeff Moffit
Copyrighted Feb. 20, 1936. This is the song in which the girls are willow trees and the boys are oaks.
"The Woodman" by T. Marvin Hatley and Jeff Moffit
Copyrighted Feb. 20, 1936. This is the song in which Spanky wants to chop down the tree.
"Trees" by Joyce Kilmer and Oscar Rasbach
Originally a poem published in August 1913 by Kilmer. Rasbach put music to it and published it in 1922. Isham Jones & His Orchestra had a number 13 hit with this song in 1930, while Donald Novis got to number 12 with it in 1933. In this film, it's sung by Alfalfa. A Hatley arrangment of this song was copyrighted on June 13, 1935.
"Doin' The Crazy Walk"
This is the song sung by the Brasnos. It bears no resemblance to the Duke Ellington tune.
other music
The only remaining music is the sound of the musicians tuning up.

the locations:

Hal E. Roach Studios
It appears that the entire short was shot at the studio. The outdoor scene with Spanky and Alfalfa looks like it was filmed on the New York street set.


Five shooting dates went into the making of this film. Shooting started on Feb. 12th and continued until Feb. 18th. There was no shooting on Feb. 15th, which was a Sunday. After this, almost five months would pass before the Our Gang unit began work on "Bored Of Education" (no. 146).

After making this short, the Our Gang kids went on a nationwide tour beginning on April 12th in Duluth. Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, and Darla, were joined by Pete the Pup, Harold Switzer, and master of ceremonies Joe Cobb. The tour was cut short in June while visiting Detroit. All of the kids came down with the measles, except Alfalfa.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B321.

An item of August 13, 1936, reveals that this short was shown as part of the "Our Gang" Review along with the newly-released "Bored Of Education" (no. 146) and a silent classic, "The Big Show" (no. 7).

Reissue and television prints are titled "Arbor Days."

The school is called the Green Street Grammar School.

The store Spanky hides in front of has advertisements for Hills Bros. Coffee and Morton Salt.

Reel two begins as Spanky tries to chop down the tree.


The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 10 (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 nearly complete print, but without the MGM lion and with the music fading in with the first title card. The total footage lasts 17:14. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.
The Little Rascals Volume 10: 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. 9 & Vol. 10 (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 - The Complete Collection (8 DVD set) from Genius Products
Released late Oct. 2008. This is identical to the Cabin Fever version.
Little Rascals: Mail And Female & Arbor Day from Cabin Fever
Canadian release.
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 and the crew credits derive from a Famous Kid Comedies print from Official Films. The end title is original. The picture quality is very good. The original footage totals 16:52, but the original soundtrack lasts an additional 0:25.
The Little Rascals Book VI (VHS) from Blackhawk Video
This is the Blackhawk print.
The Little Rascals: Bored Of Education/Arbor Day (VHS) from Republic Pictures Home Video
Released May 1991. This is the Blackhawk print.
The Little Rascals - The Pooch/Arbor Day/Derby Day (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 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 released as part of The Best Of Our Gang Volumes 1 & 2 (2 DVD set).

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© Robert Demoss.

My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Ray Frieders (for passing along the casting directory credit for Jack Egger)
Rob Stone (for providing the production number)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Piet Schreuders (for identifying the Hatley tunes)
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)

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