Rushin' Ballet

film no. 155


technical details:

Production K-9.

Release no. C-589.

Filmed March 9 to 13, 1937. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

First previewed at the Uptown on April 6, 1937.

Title sheet prepared by Elmer Raguse on April 7, 1937.

Negative shipped on April 10, 1937.

Music cue sheet prepared on April 12, 1937.

Cutting continuity submitted April 13, 1937.

Copyrighted April 22, 1937, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP7097. Renewed July 27, 1964, with registration no. R341920. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2032.

Released April 24, 1937. It was the 155th 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 April 24, 1937, making this a rare instance in which the actual release date matched.

All-talking one-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Rushin' Ballet".'

King World Productions episode no. 44a, available in both colorized and original black-and-white versions.


the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Credited in the film as a presenter. The 1977 edition of Maltin & Bann's book gives the credit as 'produced by Hal Roach for M-G-M.'
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: William Randall
This credit appears in the film.
Dances Staged by Bud Murray
This credit derives from memos and call sheets.
Prop Man: Goode
This credit derives from the production sheets, which don't mention the first name.
Script Clerk: Morton
This credit derives from the daily film reports, which don't mention the first name.
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. 3196.
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
musical director - Marvin Hatley
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 effects - Probably the work of Roy Seawright.

the kids:

Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa"
Featured role. He's the jury in the protection society, and ends up dancing a ballet with the two bullies.
George "Spanky" McFarland
Featured role. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He's the judge in the protection society and accompanies Alfalfa through most of the film.
Tommy "Butch" Bond
Featured role. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He and Woim chase Spanky and Alfalfa into the ballet school, where they take part in some unscheduled dancing.
Sidney Kibrick as "Woim"
Featured role. He accompanies Butch throughout the film.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat"
Supporting role. Butch and Woim steal his marbles and his mother's tomatoes.
Eugene "Porky" Lee as "Porky"
Supporting role. He accompanies Buckwheat throughout the film.
Darwood Kaye
Small part. Maltin & Bann indicate that the "Waldo" moniker was used in this film, but it wasn't. He's one of the two boy dancers replaced by Butch and Woim.
Harold Switzer
Small part. He's the other boy dancer replaced by Butch and Woim.
Gloria Brown
Small part. She's the ballet dancer next to Spanky.
Rae-Nell Lasky
Small part. A casting directory entry places her in this film. She's to the far left as the dance begins, but is best seen as Kathryn Sheldon hastens the girls to the stage.
Camille Williams
Small part. A 1938 casting directory states that she appeared in this film. She's second from the left as the dance begins.
Pricilla Montgomery
Small part. A casting directory entry places her in this film. She's third from the left as the girls begin their dance.
John Collum
Extra. He sits in the front closest to the door.
Elaine Merk
Extra. The 1938 directory states that she was one of the dancers in this film, but it's pretty clear that this is an exaggeration, as she can be seen sitting a couple of rows behind John Collum.
Darla Hood
Maltin & Bann list her as a cast member, but the only role she could have played was that of the tap-dancing girl, in a routine that's heard but never shown. We see her from behind as she exits the stage. The production sheets support this theory, and even mention the presence of a dance partner. Even if this isn't her in the film, her photo is still shown during the opening credits. It seems likely that footage was shot of this tapdancing routine but cut from the finished film.
Baby Patsy May
She's not in the film itself, but her photo is shown during the opening titles.
other kids
Small parts, bit parts and extras. Maltin & Bann list Maria Ayres, but I'm not familiar with her.
(1.) The tapdancing boy, who's seen from the back as he exits the stage.
(2.) Numerous kids shown in photos on the wall of the dressing room.

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:

Kathryn Sheldon as the dance recital teacher
Featured role. She's too overworked to notice the extra ballet dancers, until it's too late.
Fred Holmes as a member of the audience
Extra. He sits in the front row.
Ernie Alexander as a member of the audience
Extra. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. I'm pretty sure he's near the center of the audience.
other adults
Small parts and extras.
(1.) The three musicians.
(2.) The remaining adults in the audience, numbering probably at least fifteen.

the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A17.) This is played over the opening titles and during the game of marbles. It's played at double the usual length. The end part is played as Buckwheat and Porky sing 'la la la la' out the door of the ballet school, and as the end title appears.
"Wobbly Feet" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted Jan. 3, 1935. This is the tapdancing music played as Spanky and Alfalfa hide out in the costume room.
"Alfalfa Ballet" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted Mar. 9, 1937. This is played during Spanky and Alfalfa's ballet routine. Another piece with this title is played during Alfalfa, Butch and Woim's ballet routine. It's listed separately on the music cue sheet, but only one piece with this title was copyrighted. This second piece has a few similarities, but overall sounds like a separate piece of music.

the locations:

Hal E. Roach Studios
The entire film was shot at the studio, mostly on Stage 4. The production sheets are inconsistent, though, about the dance school set, which was either Stage 3 or 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:
Mar. 8 - An extant script for this film carries this date, and mentions 'Miss Sheldon,' five girls from the Bud Murray school and a boy to serve as Darla's dancing partner. In this script, Spanky and Alfalfa don't end up with the marbles at the end of the film, so Buckwheat and Porky throw the tomatoes at them. Scheduled for this date was a rehearsal with the kids from the Bud Murray dance school. The call sheet indicates that Spanky, Alfalfa, Tommy Bond and Sid Kibrick were to attend, and that it would take place in the dubbing room. During the evening, "Alfalfa Ballet" was to be recorded on Stage 4 with a six-piece ensemble. A Rivkin memo to Van Keuren, O'Brien, Huber and Cash, reveals that the rehearsal took place at the Murray school, and that Murray would need to get paid for furnishing the piano player. Another Rivkin memo from this date to same four people indicates that Tommy Bond 'started' as of Mar. 6th.
Mar. 9 - This was the first day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys, Tommy Bond and Sid Kibrick. Shooting was to take place on the fence and barn set on Stage 4. The production sheet reveals that an extra was also present. Scheduled for the evening was a recording session on stage 4 with a six-piece ensemble. The film at this point was known as "Untitled (Our Gang)."
Mar. 10 - This was the second day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys, Tommy Bond and Sid Kibrick. Shooting was to take place on the fence and barn set on stage 4. The production sheet reveals that an extra was also present. The film at this point was known as "Our Gang (Untitled)."
Mar. 11 - This was the third day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys, Tommy Bond, Sid Kibrick, Darwood Kaye, Harold Switzer, five girls from the Bud Murray school, Miss Sheldon, 1 girl for piano, 1 girl for cello, 2 girls for violin, Darla, a boy for Darla, and 1 school teacher. Shooting was to take place on the interior dance school set on Stage 3. The film at this point was known as "Untitled (Our Gang)." There's also an instruction on the sheet which reads 'F-17 process crew - will leave studio 8am to make plates on f-17.' This refers to the current feature production of "Topper."
Mar. 12 - This was the fourth day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys, Tommy Bond, Sid Kibrick, Darwood Kaye, Harold Switzer, five girls from the Bud Murray school, Miss Sheldon, 1 girl for piano, 1 girl for cello, 2 girls for violins, Darla, a boy for Darla, 18 mixed extras for the audience, and 1 school teacher. Shooting was to take place on the interior school house set on Stage 4. The production sheet reveals that the four boys, Darla, Tommy, Sid, Darwood, 3 bits, 30 extras, and 1 school teacher attended. The call sheet includes another reference to production F-17. A memo from this date to Van Keuren, O'Brien, Huber and Cash, indicates that Darla 'started' and 'closed' on Mar. 11th, which seems to contradict Darla's presence on the Mar. 12th production sheets. A Rivkin memo from this date to the same four people indicate that dance instructor Murray 'closed' on this date. A Raguse memo from this date reveals that the title at this point was "Wrong Righters," even though the production sheets still listed it as "Untitled (Our Gang)."
Mar. 13 - This was the final day of shooting, though the call sheet mistakenly refers to it as the fourth day. Scheduled were the four main boys, Tommy Bond, and Sid Kibrick. Shooting was to take place on the basement and fence sets on Stage 4, with process shots scheduled for 5pm. The production sheet reveals that the cast was joined by Darwood Kaye and Harold Switzer. A Raguse memo from this date reveals that "Rushin' Ballet" had been substituted for "Wrong Righters," even though the call sheets still listed it as "Untitled (Our Gang)."
Mar. 15 - The production sheet states that production closed as of Mar. 13th, but still lists Douglas, Oelze, Goode and Lloyd. A Rivkin memo from this date to Van Keuren, O'Brien, Huber and Cash, indicates that the four main boys and Tommy Bond 'closed' as of Mar. 13th.
Mar. 20 - Film costs for the previous week were $842.38, bringing the total to $5292.47 so far.
Apr. 10 - A Raguse memo from this date 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.

The negative cost on this film as of June 5th was $24,352.22.

Spanky and Alfalfa's protection society is called The Sekret Revengers Club.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B586.


availability:

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 11 (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 10:39. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs. There's also a clip lasting 0:06 included in the opening advertisement of all the Cabin Fever VHS releases, which shows Spanky and Alfalfa pretending to be dummies. There's also a clip lasting 0:01 included in the opening montage of all the Cabin Fever releases, which shows Alfalfa crossing his eyes.
The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 11 & Vol. 12 (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.
The Little Rascals Volume 2 (VHS) from Spotlite Video
Released 1985. 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 10:15, but the original soundtrack lasts an additional 0:18.
The Little Rascals Book X (VHS) from Blackhawk Video
This is the Blackhawk print.
The Little Rascals: Rushin' Ballet/Lucky Corner (VHS) from Republic Pictures Home Video
Released May 1991. This is the Blackhawk print.
Rascal Dazzle (VHS/LD) from Embassy Home Entertainment
Original film released 1981. Video released 1984. A clip lasting 8:36 is included, showing most of the film. Another clip lasting 0:02 is included, showing Butch and Woim getting hit with tomatoes, 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)
Piet Schreuders (for providing copyright dates for the music)
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)


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