Spooky Hooky

film no. 149


technical details:

Production K-4.

Release no. C-584.

Filmed November 11 to 16, 1936. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Title sheet prepared by Elmer Raguse on December 8, 1936.

Negative shipped on December 8, 1936.

Cutting continuity submitted December 9, 1936, under the title "Spooky Hookey."

According to Maltin & Bann, this film was released on December 5, 1936, which was the original date set by Fred Quimby at MGM. However, judging by the dates listed above, it seems apparent that it was actually released closer to its copyright date. Assuming "General Spanky" was released on the date listed by Maltin & Bann for that film, "Spooky Hooky" would then be the 150th film in the series to be released.

Copyrighted December 28, 1936, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP6810. Renewed July 27, 1964, with registration no. R341921. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2031.

All-talking one-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Spooky Hooky".'

King World Productions episode no. 32a, 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 Gordon Douglas
This credit appears in the film.
Assistant Director: Charles Oelze
This credit derives from production documents.
Photography: Art Lloyd, A. S. C.
This credit appears in the film.
Film Editor: William Ziegler
This credit appears in the film.
Sound: W. B. Delaplain
This credit appears in the film.
Story by Hal E. Roach
This credit doesn't appear in the film.
Prop Man: Goode
This credit derives from the production sheets, which don't provide a first name.
Script Clerk: Morton
This credit derives from the daily film reports.
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. 2880.
studio personnel
secretary-treasurer-general manager - Mat O'Brien
vice president in charge of production - S. S. Van Keuren
Roach's assistant on production activities - Lawrence Tarver
assistant secretary-treasurer, comptroller - Hugh Huber
film editor and sound department - Elmer Raguse
story department - Jack Jevne
casting - Joe Rivkin
publicity and advertising - Fred Purner
art department - Arthur I. Royce
construction department - C. E. Christensen
paint department - James Follette
property department - W. L. Stevens
electrical department - William Lewis
laboratory superintendent - Charles Levin
process department - Roy Seawright
still photographer - Bud "Stax" Graves
musical director - Marvin Hatley
men's wardrobe - Harry Black
women's wardrobe - Dorothy Callahan
makeup department - Jack Casey
hairdressing - Peggy Zardo
purchasing department - Russell Walker
cashier - Mrs. M. Van Keuren
paymaster - Mrs. Grace Cash
transportation director - Bob Davis
garage - Walter Johnson
commissary - W. M. Furlong
school teacher - Fern Carter
possible uncredited involvement
writing - Hal Yates, Carl Harbaugh, James Parrott, Hal Law, John Guedel, Felix Adler, Harry Langdon, Richard Flournoy and Gordon Douglas may have been among the gag writers.
property department - Charles Oelze was probably involved in this capacity.
animal training - Tony Campanaro may have been among the animal trainers.
animation effects - Probably the work of Roy Seawright.

the kids:

George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
Featured role. He's the leader among the boys and writes the phony note. He doesn't believe in spooks.
Eugene "Porky" Lee as "Porky"
Featured role. He repeatedly acts like a spook.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat"
Featured role. He loses his ability to whistle when he sees the owl.
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa"
Featured role. He's not quite as brave as Spanky.
John Collum
Extra. A publicity photo reveals that he's one of the kids running out of the school.
Paul Hilton
Extra. A publicity photo reveals that he's one of the kids running out of the school.
Dickie De Neut
Extra. It appears that he's also running out of the school.
Donald Proffitt
Extra. A publicity photo reveals that he's one of the kids running out of the school.
Robert Winckler
Extra. A publicity photo reveals that he's one of the kids running out of the school.
Harold Switzer
Extra. A publicity photo reveals that he's one of the kids running out of the school.
Sidney Kibrick
Extra. A publicity photo reveals that he's one of the kids running out of the school.
Jackie Lindquist
Extra. A publicity photo reveals that he's one of the kids running out of the school.
Darla Hood
She's not in the film itself, but her photo is shown during the opening titles.
Baby Patsy May
She's not in the film itself, but her photo is shown during the opening titles.
other kids
Extras. There are nine more kids in the film. Patsy Barry signs photos from this film.

the animals:

Jiggs
Bit part. He's the largest of the dogs, and belonged to Hal Roach.
dog 087b
Bit part. He's the dog that runs in the opposite direction when the kids come out.
Laughing Gravy
Bit part. He's the little white dog in the opening scene.
Leo
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
Pete the Pup IV
He's not in the film, but his photo is included in the opening titles.
other animals
Bit parts.
(1.) The owl that spooks Buckwheat.
(2.) Three more dogs at the opening of the film. Maltin & Bann list "Von" from "General Spanky" (no. 150), but he's not present.

the adults:

Dudley Dickerson as "Sam," the janitor
Supporting role. He doesn't let the boys back into the school, and gets spooked later that night. Maltin's earlier book, The Great Movie Shorts, lists Sam McDaniels, probably in place of Dickerson. The cutting continuity refers to him as "Janitor."
Rosina Lawrence as the teacher
Small part. She's seen talking to the boys as she leaves the school. Maltin & Bann indicate that her name is Miss Jones in this film, but no name is used. The cutting continuity refers to her as "Rosina."
George Washington
The Unfinished Portrait is hanging on the classroom wall.
other adults
Bit parts.
(1.) The two clowns in the circus parade.
(2.) The four mothers of the sick boys.

the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A15.) Most of this piece is played over the opening titles and as we see the dogs. A small portion is repeated as the film closes.
"The Billboard March" by John N. Klohr
Written in 1901 and dedicated to Billboard magazine. This is the circus music played by the passing parade.

the locations:

Hal E. Roach Studios
Filming took place on Stage 4 on each of the shooting dates.
Motor Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
This was where the footage of the circus truck and clowns was taken.

miscellaneous:

Five shooting dates went into the making of this film. Here's a breakdown of the activity, deriving from the call sheets, production sheets, location work sheets, daily film reports, and various memos:
Nov. 7 - Film costs for the previous week were $286.55.
Nov. 11 - This was the first day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys, and two doubles for Buckwheat and Porky. Shooting was to take place on the exterior and interior schoolroom sets on Stage 4, with lightning, rain and thunder effects to be utilized. The production sheet reveals that a man was also present to handle the owl. A surviving script for the film carries this date. A Joe Rivkin memo to Van Keuren, O'Brien, Huber and Cash, stated that Spanky and Alfalfa 'started' as of this date.
Nov. 12 - This was the second day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys, and two doubles for Buckwheat and Porky. Shooting was to take place on the exterior and interior schoolroom sets on Stage 4, with lightning, rain and thunder effects to be utilized. The production sheet reveals that the owl trainer was again present. It also mistakenly identifies this as the third day of shooting. A memo from this date states that "Rise And Shine" was being registered and cleared through MGM for the main title of a forthcoming Edward Sedgwick feature production. It also states that the title "Spooky Hooky" was now the title of the Our Gang short, presumably replacing the other one. However, the production sheets all label the film as 'untitled.'
Nov. 13 - This was the third day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys, two doubles for Buckwheat and Porky, and a 'colored janitor.' Shooting was to take place on the exterior and interior schoolroom sets on Stage 4, with lightning, rain and thunder effects to be utilized. The production sheet reveals that four doubles were used instead of two. It also mistakenly identifies this as the fourth day of shooting.
Nov. 14 - This was the fourth day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys, two doubles for Buckwheat and Porky, and Rosina Lawrence. Shooting was to take place on the exterior and interior schoolroom sets on Stage 4. The production sheet reveals that five 'bit people' were used, but it doesn't mention Lawrence. These five people were Dudley Dickerson and the four mothers of the boys. It also mistakenly identifies this as the fifth day of shooting. Also scheduled for this date was location footage to be shot on Motor Avenue, which would have involved 16 extra kids (mixed of school age), 2 clowns, a truck driver (with truck), and five or six dogs. Also listed are the four mothers, the janitor, and the doubles, but I think the call sheet is simply mixing elements of both location and studio work. In fact, the extra kids and the dogs also appear in the Stage 4 footage. In any event, no footage was shot on Motor Avenue on this date, but was postponed until the 16th. Film costs for the previous week were $4077.82, bringing the total to $4364.37 so far.
Nov. 15 - This was a Sunday, so no shooting took place.
Nov. 16 - This was the fifth day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys and Rosina Lawrence. Shooting was to take place on the exterior and interior schoolroom set on Stage 4. Also scheduled for this date was location footage shot on Motor Avenue involving 16 extra kids (mixed of school age), 2 clowns, a truck driver, and five or six dogs. The circus truck was to be adorned with a banner and loud speakers. Also listed is the janitor, though I think the call sheet is simply mixing elements of both location and studio work. The production sheet reveals that a double was also present. It also mistakenly identifies this as the sixth day of shooting, and also identifies the production as K-2. In any event, the location footage was actually shot on this date.
Nov. 17 - The production sheet for this date states that the production had closed the previous day. However, it still lists Douglas, Oelze, Goode and Lloyd, so perhaps they worked on post-production on this date. A Van Keuren memo (actually written by R. Burch) to Huber and Cash from this date states that Gordon Douglas started as director for this production as of November 9th.
Nov. 19 - A memo from this date states that "Billboard March" was cleared through Mr. Decker.
Nov. 20 - A Joe Rivkin memo from this date to Van Keuren, O'Brien, Huber and Cash, states that Rosina Lawrence 'started' and 'closed' as of Nov. 16th, and that the four main boys also closed on that date.
Nov. 21 - Film costs for the previous week were $1324.82, bringing the total to $5689.19 so far.
Nov. 23 - An Elmer Raguse memo from this date quotes a telegram from Mr. Decker which states that Paine approves instrumental nonvisual use of "Billboard March" for a fee of one hundred dollars.
Dec. 7 - An Elmer Raguse memo from this date indicates that the domestic positive Movietone print was shipped.
Dec. 8 - An Elmer Raguse memo from this date indicates that the domestic negative and domestic negative soundtrack were delivered to the MGM laboratory.

All three previews were successful, making it unnecessary to do any re-shoots.

The negative cost on this film as of Feb. 13, 1937 was $21,174.44. This amount was certified as of March 30, 1937. Maltin & Bann provide a breakdown of this on page 238 of the 1992 edition of their book.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B618.

The circus that the boys miss out on is called the Grant Bro's Circus.

This film is 956 feet in length.


availability:

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 3 (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 complete original print with excellent picture quality. The total footage lasts 10:26. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.
The Little Rascals Volume 3: Collector's Edition (VHS) from Hallmark Home Entertainment
Released Aug. 15, 2000. Also included as part of The Little Rascals Volumes 1-5: Collector's Edition (5 VHS set) and The Little Rascals Volumes 1-10: Collector's Edition (10 VHS set), both released Aug. 15, 2000.
The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 3 & Vol. 4 (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 (DVD) from Hallmark Home Entertainment
Released Aug. 19, 2003. This is a copy of the Cabin Fever version.
The Little Rascals - The Complete Collection (8 DVD set) from Genius Products
Released late Oct. 2008. This is identical to the Cabin Fever version. There are also two clips from this film included in the documentary The Story Of Hal Roach And Our Gang.
The Little Rascals Colorized Collection (VHS) from Hallmark Home Entertainment
Released Apr. 19, 1999. One of six same-named VHS releases, each with three colorized films, deriving from the Cabin Fever versions.
The Little Rascals Book IX (VHS) from Blackhawk Video
This is a home movie print from Blackhawk. The opening title and crew credits are remade, but the end title is original. The picture quality is good. The original footage totals 9:59, but the original soundtrack lasts an additional 0:20.
The Little Rascals Two Reelers Vol. 1 (VHS) from Spotlite Video
This is the Blackhawk print, but with the company name blacked out. It was also included as part of a 6 VHS boxed set.
The Little Rascals: Fish Hooky/Spooky Hooky (VHS) from Republic Pictures Home Video
This is the Blackhawk print.
Hal Roach's Rascals 3-Tape Set (3 VHS set) and
Hal Roach's Rascals (DVD) from Brentwood Video
VHS released Feb. 2000. DVD also included in a 2 DVD set with same-named volume. This copy is identical to Grapevine's. This is the Blackhawk print, but with the company name blacked out. Also included is a documentary entitled Hollywood Hall Of Fame, with 8 clips from this film. The 1st lasts 0:03, and shows the boys walking out of the school. The 2nd lasts 0:02, and shows Spanky and Buckwheat. The 3rd lasts 0:02, and shows Porky saying 'O-Tay.' The 4th lasts 0:03, and shows Buckwheat trying to whistle. The 5th lasts 1:12, and shows the scene with the note and the teacher. The 6th lasts 0:22, and shows Porky as a ghost. The 7th lasts 0:25, and shows Buckwheat and the skeleton. The 8th lasts 0:01, and shows the four boys in their beds.
Our Gang Comedies presents Hal Roach's Rascals 2 Pack (2 VHS set) from Brentwood Video
Released Nov. 2000. Also released as part of Our Gang Comedies presents Hal Roach's Rascals 10 Pack (10 VHS set).
Rescue From Gilligan's Island (DVD) from Brentwood Video
Released Nov. 7, 2000.
Wolfman (DVD) from Brentwood Video
Released Nov. 7, 2000.
One For The Road (DVD) from Brentwood Video
Released May 22, 2001.
The New Daughters Of Joshua Cabe (DVD) from Brentwood Video
Released May 22, 2001.
Against All Hope (DVD) from Brentwood Video
Released May 22, 2001.
7 Lucky Ninja Kids (DVD) from Brentwood Video
Released July 10, 2001.
The Over The Hill Gang (DVD) from Brentwood Video
Released July 10, 2001.
The Bad Cop Chronicles: Confessions Of A Police Captain (DVD) from Brentwood Video
Released Oct. 30, 2001.
The Ghost Walks (DVD) from Brentwood Video
Little Rascals Volume 2 (DVD) from East West Entertainment
Released 2005. This is the Blackhawk print, but with the company name blacked out.
Rascal Dazzle (VHS/LD) from Embassy Home Entertainment
Original film released 1981. Video released 1984. A clip lasting 0:11 is included, showing the circus parade, with music and narration 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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