A Pleasant Journey

film no. 11

technical details:

Production A-11.

Filmed October 22 to November 16, 1922. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted February 26, 1923, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU18732. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

Released March 18, 1923. It was the 10th film in the series to be released. IMDb lists the release date of Mar. 25, 1923.

Silent two-reeler.

Probable opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "A Pleasant Journey".' This is the way it reads on the lobby poster, but the film itself may have read '"Our Gang" Comedy' or '"Our Gang" Series.'

the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Probably credited in the film as a presenter.
Directed by Robert F. McGowan
This credit probably appears in the film, but without his middle initial.
Assistant Director: Clarence Morehouse
This credit derives from Morehouse's payroll status as the Our Gang assistant director during this period.
Photographed by Len Powers and Harry W. Gerstad
According to the studio payroll summaries, Powers was the official Our Gang cameraman during this period. According to the studio datebook for 1922, Gerstad was the cameraman on the dates indicated above as 'director and cameraman only.'
Titles by H. M. Walker and Tom McNamara
This credit probably appears in the film, but may omit McNamara's name.
Props by Charles Oelze and Dick Gilbert
This credit derives from their payroll status as Our Gang prop men during this period.
Story by Hal E. Roach
This credit probably doesn't appear in the film.
Teacher: Fern Carter
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 - Bud "Stax" Graves and Gene Kornman
possible uncredited involvement
supervision - Charles Parrott (better known as Charley Chase) was still director-general at the studio when this film was made, but had stepped down by the time of its release.
editing - Credit usually went to Thomas J. Crizer during this period.
titles - Tom McNamara probably illustrated the title cards.
writing - Tom McNamara was listed in the payroll summaries as an Our Gang writer during this period. Robert F. McGowan, Thomas J. Crizer and Leo McCarey may have contributed gags.

the kids:

featured players
Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison as "Ernie"
Featured role. He appears pretty much throughout the film, being featured pretty strongly in the early shoeshine sequence. He still seems to be the spokesman for the gang.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Featured role. He appears in the opening scenes with Ernie and throughout the second reel. It should be noted that a double is clearly used in the scene where he's painting the long line of policeman's shoes. It's conceivable that Dorothy Morrison was used for these shots.
Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He appears throughout the extended train sequence, switching clothes with Mary and cutting off part of Gillespie's beard.
Mickey Daniels as "Mickey"
Supporting role. He appears mostly during the extended train sequence, but is also involved in a freckle-counting contest early in the film.
Jack Davis
Supporting role. He mostly does ensemble acting in this film, but is present throughout the train sequence.
Mary Kornman
Supporting role. She appears only during the train sequence, since she's not one of the gang and is traveling with her mother. She switches clothes with Jackie Condon.
Joe Cobb
Apparent small part. He's Mary's brother in this film, and is seen occasionally.
boy 011a as "Speck"
Small part. He appears in an early scene in a freckle-counting contest with Mickey.

the runaways
Elmo Billings
Small part. He's the runaway who does the talking.
Gabe Saenz
Bit part. He's one of the runaways.
boy 009b
Bit part. He's one of the runaways. Previously seen in "The Champeen!" (no. 9), he would also appear in "Back Stage" (no. 13).
Jack McHugh
Bit part. He's the smallest of the runaways. Later seen in "Lodge Night" (no. 15).

the kids at the welfare office
girl 011
Bit part. She pulls the baby's arm in the welfare office.
Doris Oelze
Bit part. She's the baby in the welfare office who gets her arm pulled by girl 011. She reappeared as "Imogene" in "Giants Vs. Yanks" (no. 12).
other kids
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) The small boy who tries on Gillespie's hat in the welfare office. He just possibly may be the small boy at ringside in "The Champeen!" (no. 9).
(2.) The drooling baby in the welfare office.
(3.) Possibly two additional babies at the welfare office, seen only in longshot.

the boys outside the welfare office
George "Freckles" Warde
Bit part. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Monty O'Grady, but I'm quite certain this is incorrect. He appears to be the first boy to throw an apple at Gillespie. Not to be confused with George "Sonny Boy" Warde.
other boys
Bit parts. There are other five boys hanging around Gillespie's car, including the second boy to throw an apple, and the fat boy that sits in the car. The fat boy looks like he might be Tommy Hicks.

questionable listings
Winston Doty is listed by Maltin & Bann (but not his identical twin Weston). I can't spot him in this print.

the animals:

Bill as "T-bone"
Supporting role. He appears frequently throughout the film.
other animals
Bit part. The only remaining animal is the little dog held by the woman on the train.

the adults:

featured players
William Gillespie as "Tilford Gillespie," the bachelor
Featured role. He appears pretty throughout the train sequence, and has the hapless task of transporting the kids.
Wallace Howe as the welfare physician and as the passenger with gout
Supporting role. He gets to appear fairly frequently, since he's given two roles in this film.
Mark Jones as the inebriated novelty salesman
Supporting role. He appears during the train sequence and is identified by Maltin & Bann as Roy Brooks. However, if they're talking about the Roy Brooks from the Harold Lloyd films, then I don't see the connection.
Joseph "Ernie" Morrison as the porter
Small part. He appears during the train sequence.
Charles Stevenson as one of the conductors and also as one of the police officers
Small part. He barely appears in the early part of the film, but is given more screen time during the train sequence.
Charley Lloyd as one of the conductors
Small part. He appears during the train sequence. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Charley Young.
Charles A. Bachman as the police sergeant
Small part. Maltin & Bann list him as 'one of the officers,' but he's actually the sergeant in this early scene.
Roy Brooks as the chief of police
Small part. Maltin & Bann list Lincoln Stedman, but this is the guy that looks like Roy Brooks to me. They also credit him as the chief of police, and the telegram he's holding has been sent to the chief of police. He catches the runaways and sends them home.
other adults
Supporting role. Of particular note is "Arabella," the welfare lady, seen only in the first part of the film.

adults at the welfare office
Louise Cabo as one of the mothers
Bit part. She plays the mother of Doris Oelze, and is astonished while Gillespie is holding the baby.
Sam Lufkin as the cab driver
Bit part. He's the driver who carries Arabella into the welfare office.
other adults
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) The mother of girl 011a and the drooling baby.
(2.) The nurse at the welfare office.
(3.) The receptionist at the welfare office.
(4.) Two remaining mothers in the welfare office.

adults on the train
Molly Thompson as Mary and Joe's mother
Small part. She's seen during the train sequence. She mistakenly spanks Jackie, and then pummels Gillespie for spanking Mary.
George B. French
Small part. He's the husband of the woman with the little dog, and shows off some lively sideburns during the sneezing sequence.
Richard Daniels
Small part. He's in the back speaking to the man with the beard.
Vera White
Small part. She's the woman with the little dog who slaps Jackie's hand and bites Howe's finger. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Clara Guiol.
other adults
Bit parts. Jules Mendel plays a passenger on the train, but I haven't identified him.
(1.) The man who trims his beard as Jackie watches. I'm not sure if this is the same bearded man sitting next to Richard Daniels.
(2.) The kissing couple.
(3.) The woman sitting in the back on the left side.
(4.) The worker who pulls T-bone into the baggage car.

adults seen during the shoeshine sequence
Robert F. McGowan
Bit part. He comes up to Farina to speak to him, and then has to hop out of the way to avoid getting his shoes painted.
other adults
Bit parts. Three men and a woman are shown during the shoeshining sequence, plus three pairs of men's legs in another shot. There are also eleven police officers being inspected in addition to Charles Stevenson, who is among them.

the locations:

U.S. Macaroni Co.
This is shown in the background of the shoeshine sequence. Looks like it could be Main Street in Culver City. This company was located at 629 North Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles, but it's possible that there was more than one.
Santa Fe Railroad Co.
This appears to be the location where Tilford meets the gang.
filling station
This is shown as Ernie pulls Farina along in a wagon.
The billboard shown in the background during the shoeshine sequence seems to says Art Schaffner & Sons.
This is painted on two windows of a corner building. The gang is talking to the runaways at this location.
loan office
On the brick wall behind Ernie, it says 'UPEASYTERMS.'
freckle-counting location
Among the giant letters on the wall behind the boys are 'STEAS.'


18 days of shooting went into the making of this film. Initially, director McGowan and cameraman Gerstad shot incidental scenes without the regular cast and crew, who were still shooting "Boys To Board" (no. 10) with director Tom McNamara. In fact, the regular cast and crew were taking their usual Sunday off when McGowan and Gerstad began their work on Oct. 22th. Specifically, the 1922 datebook for this date reads 'Gerstead (sic) made shots for A11 but no other chg.' This work resumed on the 24th, when the datebook reads 'Bob McGowan started work on A11 with Gerstead as camera man but without A company staff or cast; making incidental scenes.' On the 25th, it reads 'McGowan on A11 incidental scene without staff & cast,' and on the 26th and 27th, it reads 'McGowan on A11 without staff & cast.' Incidentally, Oct. 23rd was devoted entirely to "Boys To Board," as were the dates from Oct. 28th to Nov. 1st. When "Boys To Board" wrapped on Nov. 2nd, the main filming for "A Pleasant Journey" began the very same day, and continued until Nov. 16th, when it was considered 'finished.' No shooting took place on Nov. 5th or on the 12th, which were both Sundays. Filming for "Giants Vs. Yanks" (no. 12) began the day after shooting wrapped for "A Pleasant Journey."

The Motion Picture News of Mar. 24, 1923, carried the following review by Lillian Gale: "The Roach comedies known as 'Our Gang' have earned sufficient reputation as to immediately identify them with the stock cast including Sunshine Sammy, Mickey Daniels, Jackie Condon, little Farina, Jackie Davis et al. Therefore, the best way to form a good idea of what 'A Pleasant Journey' is like, is to picture yourself suddenly called upon to take that gang from Los Angeles to San Francisco in a Pullman, otherwise occupied by finicky people, a man with the gout and a woman, who without children of her own, could advise the proverbial old lady in the shoe how to manage them.
"The plot suggestion is that the Children's Welfare Association of Los Angeles wishes to send a number of children to San Francisco and assign one of their members to make the trip. She suffers a sprained ankle and induces her fiance, a bachelor of thirty, to take her place. 'Our Gang' take advantage of an unusual opportunity to 'train ride,' substituting themselves for the orphans and not until they have successfully annoyed all the passengers and arrive at San Francisco, does the bachelor learn that he has traveled with the wrong outfit. Furthermore, he faces having to take them back.
"A traveling salesman on board offers to help entertain the gang by opening his sample case containing horns, fire works and sneeze powder. Consequently, there is not a dull moment and we defy anyone to look at this picture and refrain from laughing aloud."

The datebook also gives information about what the weather was like on each of the shooting dates. During the preliminary October dates, it was usually described as 'bright.' Specifically, on Oct. 22nd, it was described as 'bright - Santa Ana wind,' on the 25th, it was described as 'dull - haze & smoke in air - warm & pleasant,' on the 26th, it was 'bright - somewhat hazy,' and on the 27th, it was described as 'medium - rained AM.' Most of the November dates were described as 'bright,' with Nov. 3rd specifically being described as 'bright - windy & cold.' Both Nov. 2nd and Nov. 7th were described as 'medium,' while Nov. 8th and 9th were 'rainy' and Nov. 10th was 'dull & rainy.'

The Motion Picture News of Aug. 11th reported the following: "James W. Dean, the well-known reviewer whose opinions are widely syndicated, in his current list of the season's 'Ten Best Pictures,' places the Hal Roach 'Our Gang' two-reel comedy, 'A Pleasant Journey,' well towards the top of his list of selections. He explains his choice as follows: '"A Pleasant Journey" is only two reels long. I place it in my list because it is the most entertaining comedy I ever saw. It is one of those hilarious comics played by Hal Roach's troupe of kids.'"

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

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

See anything that needs changing? Contact me at BtheW@aol.com.

© 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)
Doris Oelze & Nancy Thompson (for identifying Doris' involvement in this film)
Geoff Lucas (for noticing the use of a double for Farina)
Matthew Lydick (for the correct spelling of Gabe Saenz's last name)

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