Hearts Are Thumps

film no. 153


technical details:

Production K-7.

Release no. C-588.

Filmed February 2 to 10, 1937. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Title sheet prepared by Elmer Raguse on March 13, 1937.

Cutting continuity submitted March 13, 1937.

Music cue sheet prepared March 16, 1937.

Negative shipped on March 13, 1937.

Copyrighted March 24, 1937, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP7050. Renewed July 27, 1964, with registration no. R341916. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2032.

Released April 3, 1937. It was the 153rd film in the series to be released. Early in the film season, Fred Quimby of MGM set a projected release date for this production of February 27, 1937.

All-talking one-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Hearts Are Thumps".'

The soundtrack for this film was used for A Little Rascals Color Special made by King-World Productions and presented by Charles King. The resultant film, using puppet animation, was one of five episodes refashioned this way, which were intended to be marketed as a television series that never came to be.

King World Productions episode no. 50b, 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.
Photographed by Art Lloyd, A. S. C.
This credit appears in the film.
Edited by Bert Jordan and William Ziegler
Jordan received sole credit, but Ziegler was the cutter on Feb. 2nd.
Sound by William Randall
This credit appears in the film.
Music Director: Marvin Hatley
This credit derives from the daily film report for the Feb. 17th recording session.
Prop Men: Bob Saunders and Goode
These credits derive from the production sheets. Goode, whose first name is not provided, worked on the first two days and was scheduled for the cancelled shooting dates. Saunders took over when filming resumed.
Script Clerks: Morton and Murphy
These credits derive from the daily film reports. Morton performed these duties on the shooting dates, while Murphy took over for the recording session on the 17th.
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. 3091.
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, 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.
animation - Probably the work of Roy Seawright.

the kids:

Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa"
Lead role. Spanky calls him "Romeo" at one point. He quits the He-Man Woman Haters Club to exchange valentines with Darla, but ends up eating soap.
George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
Featured role. He's the leader of the club, and puts soap into Alfalfa's food.
Darla Hood as "Darla"
Featured role. She convinces Alfalfa to give up the club, and later accompanies him on piano.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat"
Featured role. He joins the club and assists Spanky with his prank.
Darwood Kaye as "Waldo"
Small part. He exchanges valentines with Henrietta, and is then seen sitting behind Buckwheat in class.
Sidney Kibrick
Small part. He's seen exchanging valentines, and is then seen sitting behind Spanky.
Shirley Coates as "Henrietta"
Bit part. She exchanges valentines with Waldo. This was her first appearance in the series.
Eugene "Porky" Lee
Bit part. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He's seen briefly reacting to one of the bubbles. He was present for only the final day of shooting, presumably missing out on the earlier dates due to illness.
Yoshi Nistu
Bit part. He exchanges valentines with Yoko, and is seen in the classroom.
Yoko Kawachichi
Bit part. She exchanges valentines with Yoshi, and is seen in the classroom.
John Collum
Extra. He's seen in the background as Alfalfa eats, and also sits behind Waldo in class.
Jackie Lindquist
Extra. He's listed as an extra for February 4th. The boy sitting behind Shirley Coates (two seats behind Darla) looks like him.
girl 146
Extra. She sits two seats behind Sidney.
Harold Switzer
Extra. He's paired up with Patty Brown in the shot behind Waldo and his girl. In the classroom, he sits in the back seat of Spanky's row.
Joy Healey
Extra. She's listed as an extra for February 4th, a date on which no shooting took place. However, it appears that she's the girl paired up with John Collum. She may also be sitting behind him in class.
Patty Brown
Extra. She's listed as an extra for February 3rd and 4th. It appears that she's the one paired up with Harold Switzer as the two are sitting on the lawn behind Waldo and his girl.
Jerry Tucker
Extra. He's listed as an extra for February 4th and 5th. It appears that he might be the boy with his hair slicked back on the other side of the swings from John Collum and his girl.
Robert Winckler
Extra. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Robert Winkler. He's seen in the shots showing Porky.
Baby Patsy May
She's not in the film itself, but her photo is shown during the opening titles. There was actually footage taken of her for the opening scene in which she exchanged valentines with a boy of similar age.
Beverly Baldey
Extra. She's listed as an extra for February 3rd, 4th and 5th, but as Beverly Baldy. I'm not yet familiar with her.
Gloria Brown
Extra. Listed by Maltin & Bann as well as the production sheets for February 3rd and 4th. She may be in the background in the schoolyard sequence, but I find it impossible to be sure.
Natalie Fisher
Extra. She's listed as an extra for February 4th. I'm not yet familiar with her.
Elliott Fisher
Extra. He's listed as an extra for February 4th. I'm not yet familiar with him.
Tommy McFarland
Extra. He's listed as an extra for February 4th. It doesn't look like he made it into the finished film.
Rex Downing
Extra. He's listed as an extra for February 5th. It doesn't look like he made it into the finished film.
other kids
Bit parts and extras. It's difficult to estimate the number of kids in this film, not only because of the names listed for dates on which no shooting took place, but also because it's apparent that the cast in the schoolyard was not quite the same as it was in the classroom. The most notable additional kid in the film is the girl that exchanges valentines with Sidney, though she might be one of the names listed above. Maltin & Bann list Beverly Lorraine Smith, who I'm not familiar with. There was also a small boy paired up with Baby Patsy in her deleted footage, as well as a double for Darla planned for the shooting on Feb. 9th and 10th.

the animals:

Leo
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
Pete the Pup IV
He's not actually in the film, but his photo is shown during the opening titles.

the adults:

Rosina Lawrence as the teacher
Small part. Maltin & Bann indicate that her name is "Miss Jones" in this film, but the name isn't used. She appears in the latter part.

the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A15.) This is played over the opening titles and as we first see the kids. A small portion is repeated at the close of the film. Also, according to the music cue sheet, this is the tune that Darla whistles to herself, though you'd never know by listening to her.
"Colonial Gayeties" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted May 7, 1936. This is played as the kids exchange valentines and the boys form the He-Man Woman Haters Club. It's played again as Alfalfa swings Darla, and Spanky and Buckwheat find some soap. This version differs from the flute-dominated version reproduced by the Beau Hunks.
"Little Dancing Girl" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931. Also known as "Dancing Girl" and "Dancing Girls." This is played, and partially repeated, as Alfalfa gives up the club in favor of Darla. Most of it is repeated as the kids enter the classroom and Alfalfa gets ready to sing. This is the version reproduced on the first Beau Hunks CD.
"Moondust" by T. Marvin Hatley
This is played as Spanky tampers with Alfalfa's lunch and Darla makes him eat it.
"It Is To Laugh" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted 1930. This is played as Alfalfa forces himself to eat the sandwich and cream puffs. This is the version reproduced on the first Beau Hunks CD.
"Let Me Call You Sweetheart" by Leo Friedman and Beth Slater Whitson
Copyrighted 1910. Music by Friedman with lyrics by Whitson. The Peerless Quartet had a number one hit with this song in 1911. In this film, it's sung by Alfalfa.

unused music
"I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" by John Kellette and Jaan Kenbrovin
Kenbrovin was actually a collective pseudonym for James Kendis, James Brockman, and Nat Vincent. The song debuted in the Broadway musical "The Passing Parade Of 1918," but wasn't published until 1919. Henry Burr and Albert Campbell had a number one hit with this song in the spring of 1919, and Selvin's Novelty Orchestra got to number one with it in the fall of the same year. Originally, this was the song Alfalfa was supposed to sing in "Hearts Are Thumps," but the three hundred dollar fee led to its replacement.

the locations:

Hal E. Roach Studios
This entire film was shot on Stage 4.

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, daily film reports and various memos:
Jan. 21 - A Tarver memo to Raguse on this date (copied to Van Keuren) requests that visual vocal instrumental use be checked for "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles."
Jan. 22 - A Tarver memo to Douglas on this date (copied to Van Keuren) states that vocal visual rights to "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" would cost three hundred dollars.
Jan. 23 - A Tarver memo to Raguse on this date (copied to Van Keuren) requests clearance of "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" for visual vocal use.
Jan. 25 - A Raguse memo to Tarver on this date (copied to Van Keuren) relays a wire from Mr. Decker which states that Paine approves visual vocal world rights of "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" for two hundred dollars.
Jan. 30 - Film costs by this time had reached $306.79.
Feb. 2 - This was the first day of shooting. Scheduled for a 9am call were Baby Patsy, a 'messenger boy' to pair up with her, substitutes for the both of them, Sid Kibrick, a freckle-faced girl, a sissy boy, a sissy girl, 2 'Jap children' (boy & girl), 5 extra girls and 5 extra boys. Obviously, the opening exchanging of Valentines was to be filmed. Scheduled for an 11am call were Spanky, Alfalfa and Buckwheat, and scheduled for a 1pm call was Darla. Shooting was to take place on the school set on Stage 4. The film at this point was referred to as "Untitled (Our Gang)." The production sheet reveals that Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Darla, Patsy, 26 extras and 2 teachers were present. A surviving script carries this date.
Feb. 3 - This was the second day of shooting. Scheduled were Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Darla, Harold Switzer, John Keith (Collum), '2 Jap Kids,' Darwood Kaye, Shirley Coates, Patty Brown, Gloria Brown, Beverly Baldy, and '2 other kids.' Shooting was to take place on the school set on Stage 4. The film at this point was referred to as "Untitled (Our Gang)." The production sheet reveals that Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Darla, 16 extras, and 2 teachers were present.
Feb. 4 - This was supposed to be the third day of shooting, but the call sheet reveals that Alfalfa was ill the previous day and that this third day of shooting might be postponed. This is exactly what happened, as shooting didn't resume until Feb. 8th. Scheduled were Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, and Darla. Also scheduled were the following girls: Shirley Coates, Patty Brown, Gloria Brown, Beverly Baldy, Natalie Fisher, Yoko Kawachichi, and Joy Healey, and the following boys: Harold Switzer, Jerry Tucker, Darwood Kaye, Jackie Lindquist, Tommy McFarland, Elliott Fisher, and Yoshi Nistu. If only a list this complete had been provided on a day when shooting actually took place! Shooting was to take place on the school set on Stage 4. This was the first call sheet to carry the title "Hearts Are Thumps."
Feb. 5 - This was supposed to be the fourth day of shooting, but Alfalfa's illness delayed production until Feb. 8th. Scheduled were Spanky, Alfalfa, Darla, Rex Downing, Harold Switzer, Jerry Tucker, Beverly Baldy, John Keith (Collum), 2 more boys and 5 more girls. Buckwheat was scheduled to arrive in the afternoon. Shooting was to take place on the school set on Stage 4. For some reason, the call sheet for this day refers to the film as "Our Gang (untitled)."
Feb. 6 - A production sheet was prepared for this day, listing Douglas, Oelze, Goode, and Lloyd, but as usual, it reads 'no production - account of sickness.' It seems likely that this would have been the final day of shooting. Film costs for the previous week were $1725.94, bringing the total to $2032.73.
Feb. 7 - This was a Sunday. No shooting took place.
Feb. 8 - This was the long-awaited third day of shooting. Present were Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Darla, 14 extras and one teacher. Shooting took place on Stage 4. A Rivkin memo to Van Keuren, O'Brien, Huber and Cash, from this date states that Spanky, Alfalfa, Darla and Buckwheat 'started' as of Feb. 1st.
Feb. 9 - This was the fourth day of shooting. Scheduled were Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Darla, Rosina Lawrence, 20 extras, and a double for Darla. Shooting was to take place on the exterior schoolhouse set on Stage 4. The production sheet reveals the presence of Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Darla, 22 extras and 2 teachers, but no Lawrence and no double for Darla.
Feb. 10 - This was the final day of shooting. Scheduled were Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Darla, Rosina Lawrence, 20 extras, and a double for Darla. Shooting was to take place on the exterior schoolhouse set on Stage 4. The production sheet reveals the presence of Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Darla, Lawrence, 21 extras, and 2 teachers. Also present was Porky, who had presumably been ill previous to this date. Shooting did indeed take place on Stage 4, but the presence of Rosina Lawrence and Porky makes it clear that interior footage was shot. Rivkin memos to Van Keuren, O'Brien, Huber and Cash, from this date indicate that Rosina Lawrence and Porky 'started' on this date.
Feb. 11 - The production sheet for this date states that the production had closed the previous day. Nevertheless, Douglas, Oelze, Saunders and Lloyd are listed, which perhaps means that they were busy with post-production activity on this day.
Feb. 13 - Film costs for the previous week were $1748.57, bringing the total to $3781.30.
Feb. 17 - Marvin Hatley directed a recording session on this day to add a six piece orchestra to "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" and also record "Moondust" with a five piece orchestra.
Mar. 13 - A Raguse memo indicates that the domestic negative and domestic negative soundtrack were shipped to the MGM lab, and that the domestic positive Movietone print was shipped to W. D. Kelly in New York.
Apr. 9 - A Raguse memo indicates that the Canadian dupe negative and Canadian negative soundtrack were delivered.

Deleted footage from this film included the exchanging valentines between Baby Patsy and a 'messenger boy.'

As mentioned in Julia Lee's book, Yoshi and Yoko were referred to in the script as "Americanized Jap kids."

The negative cost on this film as of April 24, 1937, was $19,536.05.

The gang calls their club The He-Man Woman Haters Club.

Some reissue and TV prints carry the title "Hearts Are Trumps."

This film was 953 feet in length.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B446.


availability:

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 2 (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 10:24. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs. Two clips are included in the opening advertisement of all the Cabin Fever VHS releases. The 1st lasts 0:05, and shows Spanky forming the club. The 2nd lasts 0:02, and shows Alfalfa blowing bubbles.
The Little Rascals Volume 2: 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 - The Complete Collection (8 DVD set) from Genius Products
Released late Oct. 2008. This is identical to the Cabin Fever version. There are also three 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 XIV (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 very good. The original footage totals 9:59, but the original soundtrack lasts an additional 0:17.
The Little Rascals Two Reelers Vol. 4 (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 Best Of The Little Rascals (LD) from Republic Pictures Home Video
Released 1989. This is the Blackhawk print.
Rascal Dazzle (VHS/LD) from Embassy Home Entertainment
Original film released 1981. Video released 1984. Three clips from this film are included. The first lasts 0:05, and shows Darla winking and Alfalfa's heart palpitating. The second lasts 1:46, and shows Alfalfa's song, with narration added. The third lasts 0:56, and shows Alfalfa and Darla exchanging valentines.
Jackie Remembers Our Gang - Memories From Little Rascals Family Theater (VHS/DVD) from Jackie Taylor
Four clips from this film are included. The first lasts 0:04, showing Alfalfa swinging Darla. The second lasts 0:03, and shows Spanky, Alfalfa and Buckwheat, with narration added. The third lasts 2:22, and shows Alfalfa's song. The fourth lasts 0:02, and shows Alfalfa crossing his eyes and a bubble bursting in Buckwheat's face.
Jackie Remembers Our Gang - The Silent Era (VHS/DVD) from Jackie Taylor
A clip lasting 0:04 is included, showing Alfalfa swinging Darla.
Laugh? I Thought I'd Die! (VHS) from Reader's Digest Video
A clip lasting 0:03 is included in the introduction, showing Alfalfa with bubbles coming out of his mouth. Another clip lasting 1:51 is included, showing Alfalfa's song.
The Little Rascals Clay Animation (VHS)
The claymation version has appeared on various homemade VHS tapes and DVDs on eBay.

© 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)
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)


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