Young Sherlocks

film no. 3

technical details:

Production A-3.

Filmed April 3 to 7, and April 24 to May 20, 1922. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for more details.

Previewed during the summer of 1922.

Copyrighted November 11, 1922, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU18401. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

Released November 26, 1922. It was the 4th film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

Probable opening title: 'Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Young Sherlocks".' The '"Our Gang" Comedies' heading may or may not have been added by this time, or perhaps '"Our Gang" Comedy' or '"Our Gang" Series.'

Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1019, "Little Heroes," copyrighted Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17324.

the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Probably credited in the film as a presenter.
Supervised by Charles Parrott
Better known as Charley Chase. This credit appears in the film. Parrott was director-general of all of the studio's output during this period.
Directed by Robert F. McGowan and Tom McNamara
This credit appears in the film, but without McGowan's middle initial.
Titles by H. M. Walker
This credit appears in the film.
Story by Hal E. Roach
This credit doesn't appear in the film.
Released by Pathé Exchange, Inc.
Passed by the National Board of Review
Probably indicated in the film.
studio personnel
general manager - Warren Doane
assistant general manager - L. A. French
secretary-treasurer - C. H. Roach
construction supervisor - C. E. Christensen
purchasing superintendent - John L. Murphy
still photographer - Gene Kornman
possible uncredited involvement
photography - Len Powers was added to the company payroll on Apr. 19th. He was the earliest known photographer for the series, and may have worked on the subsequent shooting dates.
editing - Credit usually went to Thomas J. Crizer during this period.
titles - Tom McNamara probably illustrated the title cards.
writing - Robert F. McGowan, Tom McNamara, Thomas J. Crizer and Leo McCarey may have contributed gags.
property department - Charles Oelze and Dick Gilbert were probably involved in this capacity by this time.

the kids:

main players
Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison as "Ernie"
Lead role. Maltin & Bann indicate that Ernie went by the familiar "Sunshine Sammy" moniker, but there's clearly a point in the film where the name "Ernie" is used. If the other name was used at all, it must have been cut from these prints. Ernie ultimately is the star of this short, appearing throughout and driving the story.
Jackie Condon as "Jackie" aka "Mickey"
Featured role. Jackie also is featured extensively in this short. An early title card introduces him as "Jackie," but in the Freetown sequence, a banner hanging over the town identifies him as "Mickey."
Peggy Cartwright as "Mary Jane" aka "Peggy Cartwright"
Featured role. Peggy gets plenty of footage in this film, being the kidnapped girl. A title card reveals her character's name to be "Mary Jane," but the chalkboard in the kidnappers' hideout lists 'Peggy Cartwright' among the kidnap victims.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins
Featured role. Maltin & Bann provide us with the nickname, but neither of these prints do. He appears at the beginning of the film and again during the Freetown sequence, but not during the major portion of the film.

the Jesse James Juniors
On the wall of the J.J.J.'s secret hideout are the names of the club members, numbered one through five. I don't which character name goes with which kid. The number one member is "Dare Devil Sweeny," who is also named elsewhere on the wall as the "Grand Nite." No. 2 is "Feerless Fred," no. 3 is "Bludy Jones," no. 4 is "Fiting Dick," and no. 5 is "Meen Mike." I'm not positive about the words 'bludy' and 'fiting,' as my sources are the video and a small reproduction of a photo in a booklet.
Jack Davis
Small part. Maltin & Bann list him as Jackie Davis. He's the J.J.J. member seen entering the hideout before Ernie arrives. Otherwise, he's purely incidental to the action. Close inspection reveals that he's already standing inside the hideout as the door's being opened for him. This was his series debut.
Mickey Daniels
Small part. He's given virtually nothing to do other than to sit and listen to Ernie's tall tale.
Gabe Saenz
Small part. This boy appeared several times over the next few years, but is purely an ensemble player here.
other boys
Small parts. There are two remaining boys in the club, neither of whom are recognizable to me from other films.

other kids
Mary Kornman
Extra. In the shot of the three girls drinking soda pop, she's the one on the left.
Walter Wilkinson
Extra. It looks like he's among the kids in Freetown, and can be seen as they all walk up to Farina's baby buggy.
other kids
Bit parts and extras. There are probably forty or fifty kids in the Freetown sequence, mostly in longshot, and even when not, they're difficult to connect with kids seen in other films. The boys and girls number about equally, and there are probably about ten babies and toddlers.

the animals:

Dinah the Mule as "Dinah"
Featured role. One of Dinah's biggest roles in the series, she's right there with the boys during the rescue sequence, even donning a disguise like they do.
pony 001 as "Gee Whiz"
Featured role. This is Peggy's pony, and is given a lot to do during the kidnapping sequence, making this the biggest role a pony ever had in this series.
Bill as "Buster"
Supporting role. He appears early in the film, but doesn't appear again until the Freetown sequence, where he rescues Farina from being carried away by some balloons.
dog 003
Bit part. He appears very briefly as Peggy's dog in the scene where she's kidnapped. He had a much bigger role in "One Terrible Day" (no. 4).
other animals
Small parts and bit parts.
(1.) The goat that plays "Bossy." She provides milk for Farina.
(2.) A cow seen during the Freetown sequence, and probably the same one seen in "One Terrible Day" (no. 4).
(3.) A cat that's chased away by dog 001, and possibly the cat seen in "Our Gang" (no. 1).
(4.) A 'kid' that suckles on Bossy. Possibly seen again in "One Terrible Day" (no. 4).
(5.) A hog being suckled by six piglets.
(6.) A chicken with eight or nine chicks following it. It might be the same chicken that attacks Ernie after he tries to steal an egg.
(7.) Four puppies apparently belonging to dog 001.

the adults:

Charles Stevenson as "Giovanna de Bullochi," leader of the kidnappers
Featured role. He has the biggest role among the adults in this film as the leader of the gang of kidnappers. Maltin & Bann state that he also appears early in the film as a police officer. It looks to me like this role is played by William Gillespie.
Charley Lloyd as Mary Jane's rich father
Supporting role. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Charley Young. He appears briefly a couple of times during the film.
William Gillespie as a member of the gang of kidnappers, and also as the police officer
Supporting role. He appears in a large moustache and wears a light-colored hat with a hatband. He seems to be the number two man in the gang, and is given more to do than any of them other than Stevenson. It also appears that he plays the cop earlier in the film, a role Maltin & Bann credit to Stevenson.
Dick Gilbert as the motorist and also as a member of the gang of kidnappers
Supporting role. He's seen as a member of the kidnapper's gang, tying Peggy to a tree in his biggest scene. Early in the film, he appears as the motorist who gives Jackie a tip.
Dot Farley as Mary Jane's mother
Small part. She appears alongside Young, hugging Peggy quite a lot when they're reunited.
George Rowe as the baker
Small part. He appears briefly early in the film.
Florence Hoskins as Ernie and Farina's mother
Small part. This is mostly a guess, but a careful study of the video frames gives me a strong feeling that this character is played by Farina's real-life mother, who is otherwise seen much more clearly in "The Smile Wins" (no. 66).
Mark Jones as a member of the gang of kidnappers
Small part. He's the short guy with the round face, and does mainly ensemble acting. Maltin & Bann list Roy Brooks, but as in other films, it's likely to be Jones. Brooks doesn't look like this.
Wallace Howe as a member of the gang of kidnappers
Small part. He's the one driving the getaway car, but otherwise does ensemble work. It seems as though both Howe and Ed Brandenburg were listed for this single character in Maltin & Bann's cast listing, as none of the other kidnappers resemble either one of them.
Joseph Morrison as a bank employee
Bit part. He's seen loading bags of ransom money into the car owned by Peggy's parents. He's seen only in longshot, but Maltin & Bann say it's him.
other adults
Small parts and bit parts.
(1.) The kidnapper with the moustache and plaid cap. He's given mostly ensemble work in this film, with his biggest scene being the one in which he steps outside after hearing a gunshot.
(2.) The green grocer who sells the apple to Peggy.
(3.) The guy leading the cow through Freetown.
(4.) The attendant getting rid of the flies in Dinah's stall in Freetown.
(5.) The balloon man in Freetown.
(6.) The chauffeur (who we never get a good look at).
(7.) The bank manager (who's seen only in longshot).
(8.) The gas station attendant (whose face is never seen).
(9.) Somebody walking inside Oscar's Luncheon.

the locations:

Motor Avenue and Woodbine Street, Palms district, Los Angeles
The northeast corner of this intersection shows up in a lot of silent Our Gang films. Gillespie (while playing the cop) walks to this corner while he's looking for Jackie. The brick building is the People's Water Company, located at 3392 Motor Avenue. This building is also in the background as Mary Jane's parents are racing to the hideout. Also shown in this shot is the Masonic Hall at 3402 Motor Avenue. As the camera pans north, we see the grocery store at 3384 Motor, two doors up from the water company. In between is a vacant lot that will be filled in later episodes.
Overland Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
It appears that this is where the early scene with Ernie and Farina takes place.
the cellar entrance
This looks pretty similar to the entrance that Red Mike goes into in "A Quiet Street" (no. 5). If they're the same, then some changes have been made between the two films, particularly when it comes to surrounding objects. The sign painted on the entrance might suggest that this is a studio set.
Oscar's Luncheon
This is shown as Ernie first meets Peggy. At the bottom of the building, it reads 'XLNT Tamales & Chili.' Oscar's sells cigars, cigarettes, tobacco and cold drinks, including Coca-Cola. To the left of Oscar's is a garage with a sign that says 'Repair Garage.' To the right is a sign that says 'Beverly Club.'
First National Bank of Culver City
This is shown in the scene where Mary Jane's parents are getting the ransom money. It was located at 9434 Washington Boulevard at the eastern corner of the T-intersection with Van Beuren Place. The car pulls up on the Washington side of the building, but the corner is clearly seen, along with the entrance to the underground walkway that takes pedestrians across Washington.
The car speeds past a billboard that reads 'References Required Harry H. Culver & Co. Culver City.'
Hal Roach Ranch
The eucalyptus-lined road seen in this film looks similar to the one seen in later shorts such as "School's Out" (no. 102).
C. Moore - Occulist
Since this serves a purpose in the story, I'm guessing the studio created this shop.
Mary Jane's yard
The location where Mary Jane is playing with her dog and pony, and gets kidnapped, is similar to the maid location in "Saturday Morning" (no. 6). I'm not sure if it's the same place, but it could possibly be.
Hal E. Roach Studios
The bakery location looks entirely like the New York street set at the Roach studio. I'm guessing that the Freetown sequence was also shot on the Roach backlot, but it doesn't have that familiarly distinctive look, so maybe not.


29 days of shooting went into the making of this film. Shooting started on Apr. 3rd, but is listed in the datebook as 'discontinued' for both the 8th and the 10th, suggesting that this was a problematic production. No work took place on the 9th, which was a Sunday. Filming began anew on Apr. 24th and continued until May 20th, when it was considered 'finished.' No shooting took place on Apr. 30th, May 7th, May 14th or May 21st, which were all Sundays. It's interesting to note that shooting began the Monday after the Saturday 'finish' for "Fire Fighters" (no. 2), and that shooting for "One Terrible Day" (no. 4) began the Monday after the Saturday 'finish' for "Young Sherlocks."

The Motion Picture News of June 3, 1922, reported: "Fifty children were used in the final scenes for the Third Kiddie Animal Comedy, directed by Bob McGowan and still untitled."

The Motion Picture News of November 25, 1922, carried a review of this film written by Lillian Gale: "One of 'Our Gang' Series, with the whole 'gang' present. Chiefly, among these are 'Sunshine Sammy' and his tiny black companion. The two colored children start on a 'gold hunting' adventure, the baby girl being carried along in an improvised vehicle which uses 'Sammy' as a human motor. But they get hungry and being without funds, are tempted sorely to rebel at their fates, when they see the little rich girl buy and feed big red apples to her pony. But the rich girl gives 'Sammy' an idea, so that when he accidentally falls in with a den of juvenile 'Jesse James' impersonators he is able to tell how he bravely rescued the child of the rich from a band of kidnappers. Most convincing is his tale, and he is about to join the order of 'Young Sherlocks,' when along comes 'Sammy's' mother, who rushes the children back to reality, and ends an otherwise perfect day for the youthful desperadoes. Granting that there are always a great many exteriors in these comedies, which benefit by natural lighting, it must be said that the photography is unusually clear, the direction splendid and the 'kiddie' players a credit to the producer."

The 1922 studio datebook reveals what the weather was like while this film was shot. During the initial early April activity, the weather was described as 'medium' on the 3rd and 6th, 'dull' on the 4th, 'medium dull' on the 8th, 'medium bright' on the 7th, 'fairly bright' on the 10th, and 'windy & cold' on the 5th and 9th. When work resumed during late March and most of April, the weather was described as 'dull' on Apr. 24th and 28th, May 2nd to 6th, and May 17th and 18th. It was described as 'bright' on May 1st, May 10th to 13th, and May 19th to 21st. 'Bright day' was the term used for May 14th. The weather was described as 'medium' on Apr. 29th, and May 15th and 16th, 'fair' on Apr. 30th, and 'raining' on May 9th. For May 8th, the description reads 'started bright & turned dark; rained in evening.' No description was given for Apr. 25th to 27th, or for May 7th.

Jackie hides in a box of Puffed Wheat to escape the cop.

This film was the fourth of six in the first 'series' of Our Gang films.

38 still images were printed into numerous press photos to promote this film.

The kidnappers have the names of various kids on the wall of their hideout, with a column each for girls and boys. Among the names of the girls are "Mary Jones," "Annie Wilson," and "Lena Meeney." Another name looks to be "Margaret Watson." And as mentioned above, the name "Peggy" is included, with what appears to be "Cartwright" as the last name. Among the boys names are "Johnny Jones," a boy named "Harry" and a boy named "Willie" (I can't tell what the last names are of these latter two).


Our Gang Silent Comedies (Volume 1) (VHS) from Nostalgia Family Video
This is a TV print entitled "Young Sherlock" and is from the series Those Lovable Scallawags With Their Gangs. The series opening title cards appear in addition to the episode title card. The picture quality isn't particularly good, and most of the first few minutes of the film have been removed. There are also a lot of shorter bits of footage missing. The print totals 13:06, with 12:41 of it original footage. About two-thirds of the original film is included.
Our Gang Volume #1 (VHS) from Grapevine Video and also from The Picture Palace
This is also the TV print, and is almost identical to the Nostalgia Family Video version, except that the original footage totals 12:38. This version has been included on numerous bootlegs.
Our Gang - Volume #1 (1922-1923) (DVD-R) from Grapevine Video
Released early March 2006. This is also the TV print, but with a remade opening title.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Vol. 11 (VHS) from Video Classics
This is virtually identical to the Grapevine version.
Little Rascals Volume 5 (DVD) from East West Entertainment
This is the TV print.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Vol. 9 (VHS) from HenryButch
This is essentially the same as the Grapevine version.
Our Gang (CD-ROM) from Rom-Man Technologies
Copyright 1994 by Onscreen Entertainment, Inc. This print is missing the opening title card (but retains the one with the crew credits), so the eBay seller referred to it as "The Prospectors," which derives from one of the first text-titles. Since it's a CD-ROM, there are fewer frames per second, and the resolution is limited, but the quality of the print is superior to the TV print. The opening sequence with Ernie Morrison and Farina Hoskins is included, but the final Freetown sequence is missing (as are a few shorter bits elsewhere). The print totals 17:11, with 17:08 of it original. Roughly three quarters of the original film is included. Watching this version in conjunction with the TV print would result in a nearly complete print.

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© Robert Demoss.

My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Rob Stone (for providing the production number and shooting dates)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Robin Cook (for verifying Mary Kornman's presence in this film)
Matthew Lydick (for the correct spelling of Gabe Saenz's last name)
Mark Brumfield

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