July Days

film no. 18


technical details:

Production A-18.

Filmed April 12 to May 2, and May 31, 1923. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted August 2, 1923, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU19275. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

Released August 26, 1923. It was the 16th film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

Probable opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "July Days".'

Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1022, "Puppy Love," copyrighted Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17327.


the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Probably credited in the film as a presenter.
Directed by Robert F. McGowan and Tom McNamara
Maltin & Bann only list McGowan, and the film probably reflects this, but without his middle initial. According to Rob Stone's list, McNamara directed for one day, on April 12th.
Assistant Directors: Clarence Morehouse and Tom McNamara
This credit derives from Morehouse's and McNamara's payroll status as the Our Gang assistant directors during this period.
Photographed by Harry W. Gerstad
This credit derives from the weekly studio payroll summaries, which indicate that Gerstad was the regular Our Gang cameraman during this period.
Titles by H. M. Walker
This credit probably appears in the film.
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. Hal Conklin was listed in the payroll summaries as an Our Gang gag man during this period.
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
editing - Credit usually went to Thomas J. Crizer during this period.
writing - Robert F. McGowan, Tom McNamara, Thomas J. Crizer and Leo McCarey may have been among the gag writers.

the kids:

main players
Mickey Daniels as "Mickey"
Lead role. He's the tough kid who can't seem to take anybody, not even Farina. He's the leading character in the film, which revolves around his pursuit of Mary.
Mary Kornman as "Mary"
Featured role. She appears frequently in this short, and is crucial to the plot.
Jack Davis as "Jack"
Supporting role. He's the bully in this short, but is ultimately put down by Mickey.
Jackie Condon
Supporting role. Maltin & Bann indicate that the nickname "Duster-head" was used, but this is actually a bit of name-calling by the gang. He's the new boy in town and gets initiated into the gang. He then sabotages Mickey's attempt to woo Mary.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Supporting role. He mainly provides a few comic moments along the way.
Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison as "Ernie"
Supporting role. He does mostly ensemble acting in this film.
Joe Cobb
Supporting role. He does mostly ensemble acting in this film.

other kids
Julia Brown
Small part. She's the homely girl that flirts with Mickey. She's also in "Lodge Night" (no. 15).
Leona Levin
Small part. She's the little girl with the Dutch boy haircut who appears in the scene where Jack is picking on Julia Brown.
other kids
Bit parts.
(1.) The boy that laughs at Mickey in his armor. We don't get a very good look at him.
(2.) Three girls in addition to Julia Brown who come up to Mickey when his pants are ripped.
(3.) A boy in the scene with Julia Brown and girl 015 when Jack picks them.
(4.) Two boys are in the blacksmith shop at the beginning of the film. One of them looks like he could be Gabe Saienz, whose name was written into the payroll ledgers during the making of this film.

the animals:

Bill the Bulldog
Small part. He doesn't appear too much, but he seems to be Mickey's dog.
Dinah the Mule
Small part. She accompanies Ernie and Farina at the beginning of the film. They're on their way to the blacksmith to get her new horseshoes.
other animals
Supporting roles, bit parts and extras.
(1.) The goat pulling Mickey's cart. Possibly one of the goats from "Young Sherlocks" (no. 3).
(2.) A tree frog that Mickey shows to Mary.
(3.) Two horses seen in the distance when Farina gets on the scooter.
bugwatch
This is also one of those films with flies: one lands on Mickey's hand as he shows Mary the frog, and another lands on Richard Daniels' face as he's trying to thread the needle.

the adults:

Richard Daniels as "'Dad' Anderson"
Featured role. He has a major role in this film, not only building the scooters, but repairing toys for the kids and helping Mickey with his pursuits.
William Gillespie as the businessman
Small part. He's shown briefly towards the end of the film.
other adults
Small parts and bit parts.
(1.) "Mr. Bradley," who advises Mickey on how to pick up girls.
(2.) Mickey's sister, who's shown briefly waiting for her boyfriend.
(3.) Mary and Jackie's mom. She sends Jackie to the blacksmith shop early in the film, then throws water on the serenading Mickey later on.
(4.) Two men from the moving company.
(5.) Two men sitting in front of the blacksmith shop, whose faces can't be seen.

the music (sort of):

"My Aching Heart"
An advertisement proclaims this as the "latest jazz hit for July."

the locations:

Motor Avenue and National Boulevard
The blacksmith shop, which reads Blacksmithing over the door, was at the northeast corner of Motor and Featherstone. Previously, in "Fire Fighters" (no. 2), there had been a real estate company at this corner. Both businesses were housed in little more than a shack, but the building isn't the same. By the time of "The Sun Down Limited" (no. 31), there doesn't seem to be anything there. One clue might be the window of the Palms Garage, which is repeatedly shown across the street at the southeast corner at 3304 Motor. Normally, the sign in the window facing Featherstone reads 'Palms Garage' (in films made both before and after this one), but in this film, it reads 'G&M Transfer Co.' It's apparent that two businesses were sharing the space. In later films, the back entrance (facing National), is a blacksmith shop run by Julius Scholz. Perhaps Scholtz was the one running the blacksmith shop on the northeast corner, and then moved into the Palms Garage after the transfer company moved out. The fenced-off portion of the Palms Garage property facing National is also shown in this film, as is the fenced-off portion facing Motor, which is where the jazz advertisement is posted. When Mickey talks privately with Mary, they're in front of the Palms Lumber Co. at 10321 National Boulevard, which was right next to the blacksmith shop.
Motor Avenue and Woodbine Street, Palms district, Los Angeles
The northeast corner of this intersection is shown at the beginning of the film as Mickey rides by on his scooter. The brick building is the People's Water Company at 3392 Motor Avenue. Also, in the scene where Farina sits on the block of ice, he's on the south side of Woodbine Street. Behind him is the Masonic Hall at 3402 Motor Avenue.
Motor Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
When Jack bullies the three kids, and Mickey comes along to defend them, this takes place in front of the Palms Press offices on the west side of the 3300 block of Motor. When we first see Ernie and Farina, they're walking past the Palms Chamber of Commerce on the east side of the block, in the building that would later house the Mitholithic company. It appears that Mickey's sister's boyfriend pulls up to the house with the west side of the 3400 block behind him. The house closest to the vacant lot on the southwest corner of Motor and Woodbine is shown. In the shot of Jackie as he's about to walk over to Mickey to beat him up, he's at the intersection of Motor and Stilson. Behind him are the buildings behind the Home Made Bakery.
Irene Street, Palms district, Los Angeles
In the available version, we first see Mickey riding his scooter in front of the house at the northwest corner of Motor and Irene. This was Dickie Moore's house in "Free Wheeling" (no. 117). Later, as the kids are standing next to the blacksmith shop, this house can be seen in the background.
Tijuana
The studio datebook for 1923 indicates that McGowan went to Tijuana for the March 11 shooting.

miscellaneous:

19 shooting dates went into the making of this film. In fact, it might have actually been 20. The entry in the 1923 studio datebook for Mar. 11th reads 'McGowan working - A18 Tia Juana.' Robert McGowan was taking time off from the Our Gang unit while Charles Parrott (aka Chase) directed the initial shooting of "Fast Company" (no. 16). It's odd that the production number A18 would appear in the datebook prior to the first appearance of A17, but it might have been meant as a joke alluding to McGowan spending his Sunday in Tijuana, Mexico, with the knowledge that the next Our Gang production on which he would be working was A18. In any event, filming for "July Days" didn't really begin in earnest until Apr. 12th, the day after initial shooting wrapped on the Tom McNamara-directed "Stage Fright" (no. 17). On that first day, McNamara directed, but McGowan was back at the helm from Apr. 13th until the 'finish' on May 2nd. No shooting took place on Apr. 15th, 22nd, or 29th, which were all Sundays. The next day, work began on "Sunday Calm" (no. 19) with McNamara directing, which continued until the day before Decoration Day. The day after the holiday, May 31st, McGowan directed a final day of shooting for "July Days," and began the filming of "No Noise" (no. 20) the following day.

The datebook also gives information on what the weather was like on the various shooting dates. No description is given for McGowan's Sunday in Tijuana. During the main shooting, the weather is usually described as 'clear.' However, it's described as 'foggy' on Apr. 13th, 16th, 25th and 26th, and 'cloudy' on Apr. 20th and 21st. No description is given for the three Sundays. The weather was once again described as 'clear' on May 31st.

It's likely that the footage in "Mary, Queen Of Tots" (no. 41) involving the knights in shining armor was left over from "July Days," since a publicity photo reveals that one of the knights is Jack Davis.

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

There were 40 copies of this film printed for its initial release.


availability:

Our Gang Volume #1 (VHS) from Grapevine Video and also from The Picture Palace
This copy is a print with generic opening and closing titles, but the inter-titles are intact. The picture quality is fair. The print totals 19:00, with 18:56 of it original footage. Apparently most of the original film is included. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Volume 14 (VHS) from Video Classics
This is essentially the same as the Grapevine version.

© Robert Demoss.


My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Rob Stone (for providing the production number and shooting dates, and for a more accurate directorial credit)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Randy Jones


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