Reunion In Rhythm

film no. 151


technical details:

Production K-5.

Release no. C-585.

Filmed December 9 to 14, 1936. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Negative shipped on December 31, 1936.

Title sheet prepared by Elmer Raguse on January 2, 1937.

Music cue sheet prepared on January 2, 1937.

Cutting continuity submitted January 2, 1937.

Released January 9, 1937. It was the 151st film in the series to be released. Early in the film season, Fred Quimby of MGM had set an original projected release date for this production of January 2, 1937.

Copyrighted January 14, 1937, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP6862. Renewed July 27, 1964, with registration no. R341918. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2032.

All-talking one-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Reunion In Rhythm".'

King World Productions episode no. 48a, 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.
Musical Director: Marvin Hatley
This credit derives from the daily film report of December 4th, which was the date of the recording session.
Musical Arranger: Ted Duncan
This credit derives from a Marvin Hatley memo, which states that Duncan arranged three of the musical numbers.
Dances Staged by Bud Murray
This credit derives from a memo and from the call sheets, which indicate that Murray provided students from his dancing school.
Prop Man: Goode
This credit derives from the production sheets, which don't provide the first name.
Animal trainer: Tony Campanaro
He trained the current Pete.
Script Clerks: Ellen Hansen and Murphy
This credit derives from the daily film reports, which don't provide Murphy's first name. Hansen was the script clerk during the shooting of the film, while Murphy performed this duty at the recording session. Hansen was later known as Ellen Corby.
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. 2943.
studio personnel
vice president in charge of production - S. S. Van Keuren
secretary-treasurer - Mat O'Brien
Roach's assistant on production activities - Lawrence Tarver
assistant secretary-treasurer, comptroller - Hugh Huber
film editor and sound department - Elmer Raguse
casting - Joe Rivkin
story department - Jack Jevne
art department - Arthur I. Royce
property department - W. L. Stevens
process department - Roy Seawright
still photographer - Bud "Stax" Graves
men's wardrobe - Harry Black
paymaster - Mrs. Grace Cash
transportation director - Bob Davis
school teacher - Fern Carter
possible uncredited involvement
writing - Hal Yates, James Parrott, Hal Law, Dennis O'Keefe, 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.

the kids:

George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
Featured role. He runs the show and sings during "The Gay White Way" segment.
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa"
Featured role. He sings during the "Hopeless Love" segment.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas
Featured role. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He repeatedly tries to recite "Little Jack Horner."
Darla Hood as "Darla"
Supporting role. She sings to Porky in "The Toy Shop At Midnight" segment.
Eugene "Porky" Lee as "Porky"
Supporting role. He appears with Darla in "The Toy Shop At Midnight" segment.
Georgia Jean LaRue as "Georgia"
Supporting role. She plays "Mirandy" in the "Hopeless Love" segment.
Matthew "Stymie" Beard
Small part. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He's seen toasting with Buckwheat. This was his final appearance in the series.
boy 141
Small part. He's the first boy on the left to walk out onto the stage behind Spanky during the Broadway number.
Daniel Boone
Small part. He's the top-hatted boy at the far right in "The Gay White Way" segment. It looks like he's also sitting next to Sidney Kibrick in the opening scene.
Gloria Brown
Small part. She's the girl next to Daniel Boone.
girl 151
Small part. She's the blonde girl to the left of Spanky during his big number.
Elaine Merk
Small part. A 1938 casting directory states that she appeared in this film. She's the girl to the right of Spanky during his big number.
Sidney Kibrick
Bit part. He's seen at stage left grimacing at Buckwheat.
Harold Switzer
Bit part. He's one of the kids at stage left.
girl 146
Bit part. She's one of the kids at stage left.
girl 148
Bit part. She's the blonde girl on the left in the shot of the kids at stage left.
Barbara Goodrich
Extra. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. She can be seen walking by in back of Alfalfa during the traffic segment.
Paul Hilton
Extra. It appears that he's in the lower lefthand corner of the screen in the first longshot in the film. He also seems to be in the toy car pushed by girl 148.
girl 147
Extra. She's right behind Barbara Goodrich as they walk behind traffic cop Alfalfa. She's also in the first stage left shot.
boy 148
Extra. It appears that he's sitting on the outside corner of the table arrangement at the bottom of the screen.
John Collum
Extra. Not listed by Maltin & Bann and not easily noticed in the film. The production sheets include his name, but list him as John Keith, which reflects his middle name. He passes in back of Alfalfa in his closeup as the traffic cop.
Barbara Bletcher
Extra. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. She was the daughter of Billy Bletcher and is listed on the production sheets. According to IMDb, she played a fat girl in "Show Boat," but this doesn't help with finding her in this Our Gang short.
Baby Patsy May
She's not apparent in the film, but the production sheets indicate her participation. She's probably the smallest girl sitting across the table from the regular kids. Her photo is seen during the opening titles. Her presence during the filming is also revealed in the book Of All Places.
other kids
Small parts, bit parts and extras. A 1938 casting directory states that Diane Fisher appeared in this film, but I haven't been able to spot her. Laura June Williams (later Kenny) remembered being in this film, but I haven't spotted her yet.
(1.) Two more boys and two more girls in "The Gay White Way" segment.
(2.) About eight more kids taking part in the traffic segment.
(3.) The remaining kids sitting at the tables, all of whom may have participated in the stage performance. A production sheet states that 6 boys and 6 girls were sitting at the tables.

the animals:

Pete the Pup IV
Bit part. He's shown at the beginning drinking a toast.
Leo
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Small part. The one remaining animal in the film is the rooster that accompanies Alfalfa.

the adults:

Rosina Lawrence
Supporting role. She handles the introductions at the beginning of the film. Maltin & Bann state that she plays "Miss Jones," but the name isn't used in this film. The cutting continuity refers to her as "Rosina."
Mickey Daniels as "Mickey Daniels"
Supporting role. He gives a short speech. This was his final appearance in the series.
Mary Kornman
Small part. She drinks a toast with Darla. This was her final appearance in the series.
Joe Cobb
Small part. He drinks a toast with Porky. This was his final appearance in the series.
Ernie Alexander as the band leader
Bit part. He's seen in the early part of the film.
other adults
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) The musicians led by Alexander. Only six are visible, but the production sheets state that seven were actually there.
(2.) About twenty additional graduates around the table. One of the production sheets matches this number exactly.

the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A16.) This is played over the MGM lion and opening titles. A Marvin Hatley memo refers to this tune as "Title Music," and gives arrangement credit to Ted Duncan.
"Auld Lang Syne"
Robert (or Rabbie) Burns sent a copy of this Scottish song to the British Museum in the 18th century, which he learned from an old man. This was a number seven hit for Frank Stanley in 1907, and a number five hit for the Peerless Quartet in 1921. In this film, it's sung by the whole cast in the first scene, then by the kids, with different words, at the end of the film. Marvin Hatley received arrangement credit for these versions.
"Lollypops" by T. Marvin Hatley
This is the music that opens and closes "Baby Face."
"Baby Face" by Benny Davis and Harry Akst
Published in 1926. Jan Garber & His Orchestra had a number one hit with this song the same year. In this film Darla sings it to Porky during "The Toy Shop At Midnight" segment. This version was arranged by Ted Duncan.
"New York" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted Apr. 23, 1936. This is the music that opens up "The Gay White Way" segment.
"Broadway Rhythm" by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Freed and music by Brown. Published in 1935. Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians had a number nine hit with this song the same year. It was featured in the film "Broadway Melody Of 1936." In "Reunion In Rhythm," it's sung by Spanky during "The Gay White Way" segment. This version was arranged by Ted Duncan.
"I Hate To Leave Thee" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted Oct. 18, 1933. This is the piece that opens up the "Hopeless Love" segment.
"Going Hollywood" by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Freed and music by Brown. Published in 1933. Featured in the Bing Crosby film of the same name. In "Reunion In Rhythm," it's sung by Georgia Jean LaRue during the "Hopeless Love" segment.
"I'm Through With Love" by Gus Kahn, Matty Malneck and Fud Livingston
Lyrics by Kahn and music by Malneck and Livingston. Published in 1931. Bing Crosby had a number three hit with this song the same year. In this film it's sung by Alfalfa during the "Hopeless Love" segment.
other music
The only remaining music in the film is the fanfare played (twice) by the band at the end of Mickey's speech.

unused music
"Just A Gigolo" by Leonello Casucci, Julius Brammer and Irving Caesar
Written in 1928 by Austrians Casucci and Brammer as "Schöner Gigolo," and adapted in 1929 with English lyrics by Caesar. Ted Lewis and His Band had a number one hit with this song in 1931. It was originally slated for use in "Reunion In Rhythm," but was reconsidered in light of the publisher's five hundred dollar fee.
"(It Will Have To Do) Until The Real Thing Comes Along" by Mann Holiner, Alberta Nichols, Sammy Cahn, Saul Chaplin and L. E. Freeman
One version of the sheet music lists only the last three names. Published in 1936. Andy Kirk & His Twelve Clouds Of Joy had a number one hit with this song the same year, and the song became Kirk's theme. It was originally slated for use in "Reunion In Rhythm," but was replaced when it was discovered that the song was unavailable for film use.

the locations:

Hal E. Roach Studios
All of the shooting for this film took place on Stage 4.

miscellaneous:

Five days of shooting went into the making of this film. Here's a breakdown of the activity, deriving from the call sheets, production sheets, daily film reports and various memos:
Nov. 20 - A Raguse memo to Van Keuren from this date states that Gordon Douglas was requesting that local information be obtained and clearance secured through MGM in New York for instrumental, vocal, and visual usage of "Just A Gigolo," and "Until The Real Thing Comes Along." Local information in Los Angeles indicated that the numbers were available at standard rates.
Nov. 24 - A Raguse memo to Van Keuren from this date states that Douglas was requesting clearance of "Auld Lang Syne," "Little Bo-Peep Has Lost Her Sleep" and "Broadway Rhythm." Local information indicated that the first two were public domain provided new arrangements were used, and that the third was an MGM-Robbins number available at standard rates. This memo also mentions that "Billboard March," approved the previous day, would be used in production K-4, "Spooky Hooky" (no. 149).
Nov. 25 - A Raguse memo to Van Keuren from this date states that Douglas was requesting local information and MGM New York clearance for the Axst Remick song "Baby Face." Local information in Los Angeles indicated that the number was available at standard rates. The memo also states that the musical setup thus far was "Until The Real Thing Comes Along" (pay), "Baby Face," "Little Bo-Peep, Lost Her Sheep" (PD), "Just A Gigolo" (pay) and "Auld Lang Syne" (PD).
Nov. 27 - A Raguse memo to Van Keuren fromt this date relays a wire from Mr. Decker stating that "Just A Gigolo" should be substituted in light of a five hundred dollar use fee from the publisher. The wire also states that "Until The Real Thing Comes Along" was not available for picture use.
Nov. 28 - A memo from this date relays a wire from Mr. Decker stating that "Old Gray Mare," "Auld Lang Syne" and "Little Bo Peep" were all public domain, and that "Broadway Rhythm" could be licensed for visual vocal use for a hundred dollars. "Old Gray Mare" was not intended for this film, but was being cleared for production F-15, which was "Pick A Star." The memo also states that clearance was being secured for the Robbins numbers "I'm Through With Love" and "Going Hollywood," which would replace "Until The Real Thing Comes Along" and "Just A Gigolo."
Nov. 30 - A Raguse memo from this date relays a wire from Mr. Decker stating that "Baby Face" could be licensed from Paine for visual vocal world rights for a two hundred dollar fee. A Joe Rivkin memo from this date to Van Keuren, O'Brien, Huber and Cash, states that Bud Murray 'started' as of this date. This memo mistakenly identifies the production as K-4.
Dec. 1 - A Raguse memo to Van Keuren from this date relays a wire from Mr. Decker stating that "Little Jack Horner" and "Little BoPeep" were okay for visual recitation, and that "I'm Through With Love" and "Going Hollywood" were also okay at the standard terms. The memo also relates that Douglas had stated that it would cost six hundred dollars for using the musical numbers in this film, with the recording of the numbers being in addition to this.
Dec. 4 - A recording session directed by Hatley took place on this date. Five songs were recorded: "Auld Lang Syne," "Baby Face," "Broadway Rhythm," "Going Hollywood" and "I'm Through With Love."
Dec. 5 - A Hatley memo to Miss Burch from this date states that arranger Ted Duncan furnished orchestral arrangements for "Title Music," "Broadway Rhythm" and "Baby Face." Film costs for the previous week were $293.98.
Dec. 7 - Gordon Douglas and Charles Oelze led eight children through rehearsals on this date.
Dec. 9 - This was the first day of shooting. Present were the five main kids, Rosina Lawrence, Georgia Jean LaRue, Baby Patsy, the four graduates, 39 extras and two school teachers. Shooting took place on Stage 4. A script with this date reveals that there was additional footage and dialogue for the graduates, including a bit of dialogue for Stymie.
Dec. 10 - This was the second day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids, Rosina Lawrence, Georgia Jean LaRue, Baby Patsy, the four graduates, 10 kids from the Bud Murray dance school, John Keith (no doubt Collum), Barbara Bletcher, 7 boys (20 yrs. old), 7 girls (20 yrs. old), an 8 piece orchestra (20 yrs. old) including the leader, 6 boys and 6 girls of school age, 3 girls and 3 boys of the 'collegiate' type, and Pete the Pup. Shooting was to take place on the exterior school set on Stage 4, with playbacks of "Auld Lang Syne" and "Cutie Face" (sic). The film at this point was identified as "Untitled (Our Gang)." The production sheet reveals that 45 extras were used on this day, as well as two school teachers. No mention is made of Pete.
Dec. 11 - This was the third day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids, Georgia Jean LaRue, Baby Patsy, 10 kids from the Bud Murray school, 4 boys and 4 girls of school age, 8 boys and 8 girls of the 'collegiate' type, and Pete the Pup. Shooting was to take place on the exterior school set on Stage 4, using two cameras, and was to include playbacks of "Broadway Rhythm," "Baby Face," "Going Hollywood" and "I'm Through With Love." The film at this point was identified as "Untitled (Our Gang)." The production sheet reveals that 34 extras were used on this day, as well as two school teachers. No mention is made of Pete.
Dec. 12 - This was the fourth day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids, Georgia Jean LaRue, 8 girls and 8 boys of the 'collegiate' type, 4 girls and 4 boys of school age, and Pete the Pup. Shooting was to take place on the exterior school set on Stage 4, using two cameras, and involving the doll shop and the farm setting. Playbacks were to be "Going Hollywood," "I'm Through With Love" and "Baby Face." The film at this point was identified as "Untitled (Our Gang)." The production sheet reveals that 24 extras were used on this day, but doesn't mention Pete. A Raguse memo from this date set the onscreen credits for this film. The title "Reunion In Rhythm" was also official as of this date. Film costs for the previous week were $4477.27, bringing the total to $4771.25 so far.
Dec. 13 - This was a Sunday. No shooting took place.
Dec. 14 - This was the final day of shooting, and was almost entirely a day of retakes. Present were the five main kids, Georgia Jean LaRue, and 8 extra kids. Shooting took place on Stage 4.
Dec. 15 - The production sheet for this date states that the production closed the previous day. Douglas, Oelze, Goode and Lloyd are all listed on the sheet, perhaps indicating that they were involved in some sort of post-production on this date. A Rivkin memo to Van Keuren, O'Brien, Huber and Cash, from this date states that Rosina Lawrence 'started' as of December 9th, and 'closed' as of December 10th. Another Rivkin memo to the same four people states that the five regular kids were 'closed' as of December 14th.
Dec. 19 - Film costs for the previous week were $1081.33, bringing the total to $5852.58 so far.
Dec. 31 - The domestic negative and domestic negative soundtrack were delivered to the MGM lab on this date. The domestic positive Movietone print was also shipped on this date.

Activity on the set of this film is described in the 1937 book Of All Places.

The negative cost on this film, as of March 6, 1937, was $23,973.37. This amount was certified on March 30, 1937.

This film was originally going to be "Our Gang Follies Of 1937," and presumably a two-reeler.

Buckwheat repeatedly recites "Little Jack Horner," which was first published in 1725. However, it had already circulated for many years prior to this. Studio memos indicate that another choice for recitation was "Little Bo Peep," which dates from at least the Victorian era.

The reunion in the film is for the Adams Street Grammar School.

This film was 966 feet in length.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B578.


availability:

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 1 (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 10:34. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs. There's also a clip lasting 0:04 included in the opening advertisement of all the Cabin Fever VHS releases, as well as a clip lasting 0:06 included in the opening montage of all the Cabin Fever releases. Both clips show the final song.
The Little Rascals Volume 1: 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. 1 & Vol. 2 (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 Volumes 1-2 (DVD) from Hallmark Home Entertainment
Released Aug. 15, 2000. Same contents as the Cabin Fever DVD.
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 - The Complete Collection (8 DVD set) from Genius Products
Released late Oct. 2008. This is identical to the Cabin Fever version.
The Little Rascals: Reunion In Rhythm/Mike Fright (VHS) from Republic Pictures Home Video
Released May 1991. 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 10:07, but the original soundtrack lasts an additional 0:21.
The Little Rascals Book V (VHS) from Blackhawk Video
This is the Blackhawk print.
Little Rascals Varieties (VHS/DVD) from GoodTimes Home Video
Included as part of Our Gang Collector Series 4 Pack (4 DVD set) released Mar. 21, 2001 and Our Gang Collector Series 5 Pack (5 DVD set) released Mar. 2004. The latter was also released as a 5 VHS set in Feb. 2002. Also included as part of The Best Of Our Gang Volume 2 (DVD) released June 1, 2004. Almost the entire film is shown, entitled "Vacation Reunion," and lasting 9:26.
Rascal Dazzle (VHS/LD) from Embassy Home Entertainment
Original film released 1981. Video released 1984. Five clips from this film are shown. The first lasts 1:21, and shows Darla singing to Porky. The second lasts 0:51, and shows Spanky's opening number. This is followed by a clip lasting 0:44 is included, showing Georgia Jean LaRue's number. The fourth clip lasts 0:40, and shows the opening reunion footage. The final clip lasts 0:20, and shows the kids' farewell song.
Jackie Remembers Our Gang - The Silent Era (VHS/DVD) from Jackie Taylor
A clip lasting 0:18 is included, showing the reunion footage, with narration added. Five seconds of this footage is repeated later, also with narration added.
The Our Gang Story (VHS/DVD) from GoodTimes Home Video
VHS released 1994. DVD released May 21, 2002. Also included as part of Our Gang Collector Series 4 Pack (4 DVD set), released Mar. 21, 2001, Our Gang Collector Series 5 Pack (5 VHS/DVD set), released Feb. 2002 (VHS) and Mar. 2004 (DVD), and The Best Of Our Gang Volume 1 (DVD) released June 1, 2004. A clip lasting 0:19 is included, showing the reunion footage. A second clip lasting 0:30 is included, showing Spanky's opening number. And a third clip lasting 0:59 is included, showing the opening reunion footage. All three of these clips have narration added. Another clip lasting 0:24 is included, taken from the theatrical trailer for "Little Rascals Varieties."
Superstars Of Our Gang (DVD) from Legend Films
Released Mar. 27, 2007. Also included as part of The Little Rascals In Color! (3 DVD set). Footage from this film is included in the theatrical trailer for "Little Rascals Varieties."

© 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)
Piet Schreuders (for providing copyright dates for the music)
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)


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