Release no. C-736.
Filmed February 9 to 18, 1938. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.
Cutting continuity submitted March 7, 1938.
Title sheet prepared by Elmer Raguse on March 8, 1938.
Music cue sheet prepared March 8, 1938.
Released March 26, 1938. It was the 165th 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 January 29, 1938.
Copyrighted April 1, 1938, by Loew's Incorporated. Registration no. LP7963. Renewed June 16, 1965, with registration no. R362814. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2033.
Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Three Men In A Tub".'
King World Productions episode no. 50a, available in both colorized and original black-and-white versions.
There are no adults in this film.
At least six days of shooting went into the making of this film, though process shots were achieved on additional
dates. Here's a breakdown of the activity, deriving from call sheets, daily film reports, location work sheets, and
Jan. 18 - A surviving script carries this date. Already included is Waldo's lengthy speech, though minor changes were made prior to filming. Gary Jasgur is referred to as "Gary," even in the dialogue. At one point, Spanky hands him a rope, which jerks Gary into the air. The kids take a sheet and use it as a firemen's net. Spanky then says "Okay, Gary," to which Gary replies "Here I come!" before dropping into the net. Gary also is the one who yells "Go!" at the start of the race.
Jan. 24 - A script survives from this date entitled "Her Hero." Waldo's speech is identical to the earlier version. Buckwheat is consistently referred to as "Buck," and Gary Jasgur is "Gary." John Collum is referred to as the "Judge."
Feb. 5 - Film costs for the previous week were $408.80.
Feb. 7 - A crew production sheet was prepared for this day, indicating that some sort of activity had started.
Feb. 9 - This was the first day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids and Darwood Kaye. Shooting was to take place on the 'green' set on Stage 4. A swayback horse would be needed. The footage to be shot included the opening scenes of the boys in the tree setting, and the scene in which Buckwheat and Porky visit Waldo and Darla. Also to be shot were various shots that ended up being achieved at the Lake Malibu location on a later date. The film at this point was called "Her Hero." The daily film report states that Spanky did not work on this date, so the meeting with Waldo was shot. In addition to the four remaining kids, the swayback horse and an 'animal man' attended. A Tarver memo from this date to Van Keuren, Huber and Collum, stated that the five main kids and Darwood Kaye started as of this date, though it also mentions Spanky's illness. A Collum memo from this date to O'Brien, Van Keuren, Huber and Cash, requests that Alfalfa, Porky, Darla and Buckwheat be 'started' as of this date, as well as Darwood Kaye, who would work with a one-week guarantee.
Feb. 10 - This was the second day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids and Darwood. Next to Spanky's name on the call sheet are the words 'if not ill.' There's another note on the sheet which reads 'If Spanky is ill we will not work tomorrow.' Shooting was to take place on the 'green' set on Stage 4, the object being to achieve the shooting that had been delayed the previous day. The title at this point was "Her Hero." The daily film report reveals that Spanky did indeed attend on this day. The opening footage of the boys in the tree location was finished, but none of the various lakeside shots from the race sequence. These latter shots ended up being filmed at the actual location. It also appears that some final shooting of the meeting with Waldo took place as well.
Feb. 11 - This was the third day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids, Darwood, Gary Jasgur, the teacher Mrs. Carter, 15 extra kids (9 boys and 6 girls between the ages of 6 and 10), and Cy Slocum, who served as a standby swimmer. A note on the call sheet states that a process crew would also be needed to get the remainder of the plates. Shooting was to take place at Lake Malibu Club, the object being to achieve all of the location shots, including those used as background in the process shots. The location work sheet states that 100 people were to attend, including the director, location man, assistant director, cameraman, second cameraman, 2 assistant cameramen, 2 prop men, 3 grips, a script clerk, 4 sound technicians, 6 electricians, 4 members of the process crew, 1 wardrobe matron, 1 hairdresser, 4 whistlemen, 1 stillman, 1 mechanic, 15 drivers, the five main kids plus guardians, another person accompanying Spanky, another person accompanying Alfalfa, Darwood and a guardian, Gary and a guardian, 3 teachers, 15 extra kids and their mothers, and a swimmer. There would also be officers. Transporting all of these people would be 5 to 7 passenger automobiles, 5 trucks, 1 sound truck, 1 generator truck, 1 bus with 43 passengers, and 1 bus with 20 passengers. One hundred lunches would be needed. The call sheet also carries the instruction 'cover set - stage 4 int. barn,' which meant that footage of the construction of the boat would take place if the location shooting couldn't be achieved on this day. This is exactly what happened. For whatever reason, probably inclement weather, the cast and crew put off the location shooting until Feb. 17th (though some of the process backgrounds were shot on other dates), and stayed at the studio to film the barn scene. The title, incidentally, was now "Three Men In A Tub." A Raguse memo, probably from this date, and copied to Van Keuren, Burch, O'Brien, Watt, Hansen, Tarver, Terhune, Ziegler and Seawright, states that this title was being registered and cleared.
Feb. 12 - The daily film report for Feb. 16th refers to background plates from Feb. 12th, suggesting that the crew went to the Lake Malibu Club for this purpose. However, no production crew sheet was prepared. Film costs for the previous week were $2744.43, bringing the total to $3153.23 so far.
Feb. 13 - This was a Sunday. No shooting took place.
Feb. 14 - This was the fourth day of shooting. Present were Alfalfa, Porky, Buckwheat, Darla and Darwood. Spanky did not work. Process shooting took place on the exterior lake set on Stage 1. It appears that very little footage was finished on this day, however, since most of the process shots were achieved on Feb. 18th.
Feb. 15 - For some reason, no shooting took place on this date, even though a production crew sheet was filled out. A Raguse memo from this date to Van Keuren relayed a wire from Mr. Orr of MGM in New York, which stated that the title "Three Men In A Tub" was cleared.
Feb. 16 - Shooting took place on this date, but the daily film reports don't refer to it as a 'day of shooting' since only process shots were achieved. Present were Alfalfa, Porky and Buckwheat. Not working on this day were Spanky, Darla, and Darwood. Background plates were shot at Malibu Lake, which probably indicates that shots of the three boys in the boat were filmed, only to later be projected on a screen behind Waldo and Darla in their boat. There's also a note on the daily film report which reads: 'The added 625' camera footage was used for background plates on 2/12/38.'
Feb. 17 - This was officially the fifth day of shooting. Present were the five main kids, Darwood Kaye, Gary Jasque (sic), and 15 extra children. The daily film report also mentions that a pay adjustment was made for Harold Switzer, no doubt because he was willing to be pushed into the lake. Shooting took place at Malibu Lake, six days after it was originally to have happened. No location work sheet survives, but it can be assumed that most, if not all, of the people scheduled for that earlier date showed up on this date. All of the authentic location shots were achieved on this date, not counting those used in process shooting.
Feb. 18 - This was the final day of shooting. Present were Alfalfa, Porky, Buckwheat, Darla, Darwood, and 1 'animal man.' Spanky did not work. Process shooting took place on the exterior lake set on Stage 1.
Feb. 19 - Film costs for the previous week were $3467.16, bringing the total to $6620.39 so far.
Feb. 21 - A Collum memo from this date to O'Brien, Van Keuren, Huber and Cash, requested that the five main kids and Darwood Kaye be 'closed' as of Feb. 18th.
Mar. 5 - A Raguse memo from this date indicates that the domestic negative and domestic negative soundtrack were delivered to the MGM lab, and that the domestic positive Movietone print was shipped to W. D. Kelly in New York.
Apr. 4 - A Raguse memo from this date copying Huber, Van Keuren, O'Brien and Burch, states that the Canadian dupe negative composites for productions K-18 and K-19 were both delivered.
A document prepared at the beginning of the film season gave projected dates for all of the one-reelers to be released. Editing on this film was to begin on Dec. 30th, with the negative cut on Jan. 12th and shipped to MGM on Jan. 15th, and the film released on Jan. 29th.
The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B642.
On the afternoon of Sunday, February 6th, the members of Our Gang were guests on the George Jessel program "Thirty Minutes In Hollywood."
An article in the Feb. 10th Oakland Tribune states that Spanky was on a vaudeville tour of the east in an act in which he heckles Jack Pepper from a stage box. Clearly, this act couldn't have been going on at this time, but since Spanky's impending retirement from the series had already been announced, it's conceivable that his vaudeville tour of the early spring was already in the planning stages, and that the newspaper reporter misunderstood the details. An article in the Feb. 18th Lowell Sun also states that Spanky was currently touring, but filming for "Came The Brawn" (no. 166) was only three days later.
Alfalfa's boat is called 'Darla the 4th.'
This film is 962 feet in length.
© Robert Demoss.