Roamin' Holiday

film no. 156


technical details:

Production K-10.

Release no. C-590.

Filmed April 22 to May 3, 1937. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Title sheet prepared by Elmer Raguse on May 17, 1937.

Negative shipped on May 24, 1937.

Music cue sheet prepared May 25, 1937.

Cutting continuity submitted May 25, 1937.

Released June 12, 1937. It was the 156th 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 May 22, 1937.

Copyrighted June 24, 1937, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP7254. Renewed July 27, 1964, with registration no. R341919. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2032.

All-talking one-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Roamin' Holiday".'

King World Productions episode no. 45a, 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.
Animal trainer: Tony Campanaro
He trained the current Pete.
Script Clerks: Ellen Hansen and Murphy
These credits derive from the daily film reports, which don't reveal Murphy's last name. Hansen was the script clerk on each of the shooting dates, while Murphy performed this duty at the May 17th 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. 3340.
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
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:

George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
Featured role. He and Alfalfa get fed up with babysitting and run away from home.
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa"
Featured role. He accompanies Spanky throughout the film.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat"
Featured role. He and Porky are able to get treats when all Spanky and Alfalfa can get are dog biscuits.
Eugene "Porky" Lee as "Porky"
Featured role. He accompanies Buckwheat throughout the film.
Darla Hood
Bit part. She informs the boys that they'll be taking dancing lessons.
Joe and Tom White
Bit parts. These are presumably Alfalfa's baby brothers.
Baby Patsy May
She's not in the film itself, but her photo is shown during the opening titles.
other kids
Bit part. The only remaining kid Spanky's baby brother, "Junior."

the animals:

Pete the Pup IV as "Pete"
Supporting role. He's Spanky's dog, and is the means by which the boys get their dog biscuits.
Jiggs
Small part. This is the dog that Buckwheat and Porky use to get food. Maltin & Bann list Von the Dog, presumably meaning this dog, but it's not the dog from "General Spanky" (no. 150).
Laughing Gravy
Bit part. The old folks are feeding this dog when the boys arrive at their store.
Leo
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) The bulldog that pulls Buckwheat and Porky. This is not, incidentally, the same bulldog that appeared in "Cat, Dog & Co." (no. 87).
(2.) The hog.
(3.) Several chickens, most notably the one that ends up with Alfalfa's cowlick.
(4.) Several geese.
(5.) Several other birds, perhaps pigeons.
(6.) Two cows.
(7.) The photo in Maltin & Bann's book shows Alfalfa with several rabbits, a dog and a tortoise, none of whom are in the finished film. The rooster, however, may be the same one noted above.

the adults:

Otis Harlan as "Hiram Jenks" aka "Pa"
Featured role. He teaches the boys a lesson by arresting them and making them work on a rock pile. The script refers to him as "Jenks." The 1977 edition of Maltin & Bann's book, and Maltin's earlier The Great Movie Shorts both list Fred Holmes in this part.
May Wallace as "Ma"
Featured role. She assists her husband in the lesson-teaching. The script refers to her as "Mrs. Jenks," but this name never turns up in the dialogue.

the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A17) This is played over the opening titles and as we first see the boys.
"My Baby's Carriage" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted June 3, 1937. This is played as Spanky and Alfalfa push the baby carriages.
"That Dusty Road" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted June 3, 1937. This is played as the boys are walking into the town.
"Dog Biscuits" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted June 3, 1937. This is played and partially repeated as the boys get dog biscuits from Mrs. Jenks.
"Everybody's Happy" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted June 3, 1937. This is played as Buckwheat and Porky gets the treats and share them with Spanky and Alfalfa.
"You're Under Arrest" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted June 3, 1937. This is played as the boys are arrested.
"Prisoner's March" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted June 3, 1937. This is played as the boys are marched off to the rockpile and begin their work.
"Hurry No. 1" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted June 3, 1937. This is played as the boys escape and are chased around the farm. The daily film report lists this piece simply as "Hurry."
"Basket (Mysterioso)" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted June 3, 1937. This is played midway through the previous piece as Spanky and Alfalfa are in the basket. The daily film report lists this piece as two separate pieces: "Mysterioso" and "Basket." Listening to the soundtrack, however, I think the music cue sheet got it right.
"Home, Sweet Home" by Sir Henry Rowley Bishop
Bishop derived the melody from a Sicilian melody and included it as a "Sicilian Air" in a volume of National Airs in 1821. John Howard Payne put lyrics to it in 1823. The instrumental version heard in this film, arranged by Hatley and copyrighted on June 3, 1937, is played as the boys get attacked by the bees and the end title appears.

the locations:

Hal E. Roach Ranch
All of the Jenksville footage was shot here. In fact, the general store seen in this film is the same one that was used in "Helping Grandma" (no. 103). The old schoolhouse from the Miss Crabtree days can be seen directly across from the store. The building the boys enter to escape Mr. Jenks is the same one used as a blacksmith shop in "Readin' And Writin'" (no. 111). Directly across from this building is the barn that was featured in "It's A Bear" (no. 27). Also, the dirt road that the boys walk along before reaching Jenksville is the access road leading to the ranch. This was located roughly where David Avenue is nowadays, just west of Robertson Boulevard.
Hal E. Roach Studios
The footage in the boys' front yards was shot in front of the dressing room bungalow of "Topper" star Constance Bennett.

miscellaneous:

10 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Here's a breakdown of the activity, deriving from the call sheets, talent sheets, location work sheets, daily film reports, and various memos:
Apr. 22 - This was the first day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids, twin babies, another baby, and Pete the Pup. Among the props ordered were a couple of baby buggies. Shooting was to take place in front of 'Miss Bennett's dressing room.' This is a reference to Constance Bennett, who was currently starring in the feature film "Topper." (It should be noted that production F-17, which was "Topper," is mentioned as being 'in production' on the talent sheets for most of the shooting dates of this Our Gang short.) The talent sheet for this date reveals the presence of four extras, three of whom would have been the babies. The film at this point was known as "Untitled 'Our Gang'." A surviving script carries this date and reveals that Alfalfa's description of his cowlick as 'my personality' was thought up on the set. A Joe Collum memo to Van Keuren, O'Brien, Huber and Cash, indicated that the five main kids all 'started' on this date.
Apr. 23 - This was the second day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids, twin babies, another baby, and Pete the Pup. All were to report in the morning, except the babies, who were scheduled for 3pm. Shooting was to take place in from of 'Miss Bennett's dressing room.' Among the props ordered were a couple of baby buggies. The talent sheet reveals the presence of six extras. The film at this point was known as "Untitled 'Our Gang'."
Apr. 24 - This was the third day of shooting. The talent sheet reveals the presence of two extras. Film costs for the previous week were $1700.22, bringing the total cost to $1742.95 so far.
Apr. 25 - This was a Sunday. No shooting took place.
Apr. 26 - This was the fourth day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids and Pete the Pup. Shooting was to take place in front of 'Miss Bennett's dressing room.' The talent sheet reveals that presence of one extra. At this point, the film was known as "Roamin' Holiday."
Apr. 27 - This was the fifth day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys, Otis Harlan, May Wallace, Pete the Pup, Laughing Gravy and Jiggs. Shooting was to take place on set or at the general store at the Roach Ranch. The talent sheet reveals the presence of one extra. The location work sheet states that shooting took place on the exterior and interior of the general store at the Roach Ranch. Present were the director, assistant director, cameraman, assistant cameraman, 2 prop men, 4 grips, 1 script clerk, 4 sound men, 9 electricians, 1 wardrobe matron, 1 makeup artist, 3 whistlemen, 1 stillman, the four main boys, Harlan, Wallace, 3 dogs, 2 cows, pigs, a truck for electricity, 1 prop truck and a sound truck.
Apr. 28 - This was the sixth day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys, Harlan, Wallace, and the three dogs. Shooting was to take place on set or at the general store at the Roach Ranch. The location work sheet gives the same details as on the previous day.
Apr. 29 - This was the seventh day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys, Harlan, Wallace, and the three dogs. Shooting was to take place on set or at the general store at the Roach Ranch. The talent sheet reveals the presence of 2 bit players (Harlan and Wallace) and 1 extra. The location work sheet gives the same details as on the previous day.
Apr. 30 - This was the eighth day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys, Harlan, Wallace, and the three dogs. Shooting was to take place on set or at the general store at the Roach Ranch. The talent sheet reveals the presence of 2 bit players (Harlan and Wallace) and 1 extra. The location work sheet gives the same details as on the previous day.
May 1 - This was the ninth day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys, Harlan, Wallace, one dog, two cows, and some pigs. Shooting was to take place on set or at the general store at the Roach Ranch. The location work sheet gives the same details as on the previous day, except that only one dog was present. Film costs for the previous week were $3456.96, bringing the total cost to $5199.91 so far.
May 2 - This was a Sunday. No shooting took place.
May 3 - This was the final day of shooting. Scheduled for 7am were various animals, including a dog, two cows, and some pigs. Scheduled for a 10am call were the four main boys, Harlan and Wallace. Shooting was to take place on set or at the general store at the Roach Ranch. The location work sheet gives the same details as on the previous day, except that the adult actors were not present. This document corroborates the 7am animal footage.
May 4 - A Collum memo from this date to Van Keuren, O'Brien, Huber and Cash, indicates that the five main kids were 'closed' the previous day.
May 17 - A recording session took place on this date to record the background soundtrack music. Douglas, rather than Hatley, was listed on the daily film report as the director. All of the titles were recorded on this date except "Good Old Days."
May 8 - Film costs for the previous week were $1002.17, bringing the total cost to $6202.08 so far.
May 15 - Film costs for the previous week were $539.14, bringing the total cost to $6741.22 so far.
May 22 - Film costs for the previous week were $592.26, bringing the total cost to $7333.48 so far.
May 24 - 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.
July 8 - A Raguse memo from this date indicates that the Canadian negative and Canadian negative soundtrack were delivered.

The negative cost on this film as of July 3, 1937, was $27,247.72.

Jenksville is the town the boys visit.

This film was 976 feet in length.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B580.


availability:

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 15 (VHS) from Cabin Fever and
The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Volume Three (4 LD set) from Cabin Fever
Released 1995. This is a complete original print with excellent picture quality. The total footage lasts 10:40. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.
The Little Rascals Volume 1 (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 10:20, but the original soundtrack lasts an additional 0:13.
The Little Rascals Book XVII (VHS) from Blackhawk Video
This is the Blackhawk print.
The Little Rascals: Roamin' Holiday/Free Eats (VHS) from Republic Pictures Home Video
Released May 1991. This is the Blackhawk print.
The Little Rascals - The Complete Collection (8 DVD set) from Genius Products
Released late Oct. 2008. This is the Blackhawk print.
Rascal Dazzle (VHS/LD) from Embassy Home Entertainment
Original film released 1981. Video released 1984. Four clips from this film are included. The first lasts 0:37, and shows Alfalfa's cowlick being plucked by the chicken. The second lasts 1:10, and shows the boys getting dog biscuits. The third lasts 1:10, and shows Spanky and Alfalfa pushing the baby carriages. The fourth lasts 0:06, and shows the boys walking down the road, 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)
Piet Schreuders (for providing copyright dates for the music)
Bob Satterfield & Richard Bann (for identifying the location of the ranch)
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)


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