Sunday Calm

film no. 19


technical details:

Production A-19.

Prep work May 3, 1923.

Filmed May 4 to 29, July 3 to 14, and October 2, 1923. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Released December 16, 1923. It was the 20th film in the series to be released.

Copyrighted December 24, 1923, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU19759. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

Silent two-reeler.

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


the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Probably credited in the film as a presenter.
Directed by Robert F. McGowan, Tom McNamara and Clarence Morehouse
Maltin & Bann only list McGowan, and the film probably reflects this, but without his middle initial. According to the studio datebook, McNamara directed on all of the May dates except the 28th and 29th, when Morehouse directed (though he's listed as Moorehouse). McGowan then directed the July retakes, while Morehouse directed again on Oct. 2nd.
Assistant Director: Clarence Morehouse
This credit derives from Morehouse's payroll status as the Our Gang assistant director during this period. McNamara was also credited in the payroll summaries as an assistant director until the week ending June 2nd, but probably never served in this capacity for this film, unless he assisted Morehouse on the May 28th and 29th.
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 Dick Gilbert, Charles Oelze, L. Barker and E. P. Norris
This credit derives from their payroll status as Our Gang prop men during this period. Oelze's name is missing from the payroll summaries during the July shooting dates, and is replaced by Barker's. At the time of the October shooting date, Barker was no longer listed, but Norris was.
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. It's also possible that W. H. Belmont, who joined the unit as a writer during the July retakes, also worked on this film.
Teacher: Fern Carter
Her name appears in the studio payroll summaries until the week ending June 30th, after which she appears to have had the summer off. She returned the week ending Sep. 15th.
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 left the studio during this period
still photographer - Bud "Stax" Graves and Gene Kornman, who left the Roach studio the week ending Aug. 4th
driver - Bob Davis joined the Roach studio the week ending June 9th.
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. W. H. Belmont first appeared in the payroll summaries as an Our Gang writer the week ending July 7th, so he may have possibly contributed gags to this film.

the kids:

Mickey Daniels as "Mickey"
Featured role. His first name is indicated in a print with non-original titles which seem to retain the original wording. His big moment is the phonograph prank.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Supporting role. The nickname is indicated in the same print, as well as the pronoun 'she.' His big moment is being woken up by the hog.
Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He's one of the "Tucker" boys. He does mostly ensemble acting, but is the one who makes it possible for Ernie and Farina to join in, and also is responsible for the detached wheel.
Joe Cobb as "Joe"
Supporting role. He's another of the "Tucker" boys, and his first name is indicated in the same print. He does mostly ensemble acting, but is given a solo moment during the toad-catching sequence.
Jack Davis
Supporting role. He's another of the "Tucker" boys. He does mostly ensemble acting in this one.
Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison as "Ernie"
Supporting role. His first name is indicated in the same print. He and Farina stowaway on the journey, but otherwise, he does mostly ensemble acting.
Leona Levin
Supporting role. She's Mickey's little sister. She's used minimally in this film, but is still one of the main players.

the animals:

dog 003
Small part. He eats the limburger.
other animals
Small parts and bit parts.
(1.) The bear cub that disrupts the picnic, but turns out to be tame.
(2.) The horse pulling the wagon. Possibly could be one of the horses from "One Terrible Day" (no. 4).
(3.) A hog that wakes Farina up and chases him.
(4.) A cat licking the top of the milk bottle on the porch.
(5.) A tortoise that comes up behind Farina.
(6.) Several toads (at least four) appear.
(7.) According to Maltin & Bann, field mice are also present, but I haven't spotted any.

the adults:

Helen Gilmore as "Mrs. McTeeter"
Supporting role. She's the mother of Mickey, and is the victim of the phonograph prank.
Richard Daniels as "Pa Tucker"
Supporting role. He's the father of Jack, Joe and Jackie. The 'Pa' part of the character name derives from the same print mentioned above.
Vera White as "Mrs. Tucker"
Supporting role. She's given minimal footage on her own in this film. She's the first one to notice the rain. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Clara Guiol.
Fred Holmes as "Mr. Gibraltar McTeeter" or "Gib"
Supporting role. Character name according to the same print already mentioned. He's the first to notice the bear.
other adults
Bit part.
(1.) The bear trainer, who appears briefly.
(2.) A man and a woman shown in portraits on the walls of the McTeeter home, and a man shown in a portrait on the wall of the Tucker home.

the locations:

Motor Avenue
It appears that the wagon is traveling north on Motor Avenue as it crosses the tracks. As we look back on the parents noticing the runaway wagon, what looks like the Palms Garage can be seen in the distance, and the lone house on the right side of the image looks like a house on the west side of Motor seen in "The Sun Down Limited" (no. 31).
Palms Lumber Company, Palms district, Los Angeles
Ernie hitches to the back of the wagon right across the street from this company at 10321 National Boulevard. The wagon is traveling up the alley between Motor and Vinton Avenues, and makes a left on National as Ernie and Farina join them. Before they hitch themselves to the wagon, Ernie and Farina are hiding behind the back fence of the property at 3316 Motor, which eventually was the location of Master Mfg.
the neighborhood
I don't yet know where the Tuckers' and McTeeters' neighborhood is, but the Tuckers live at 1797 and the McTeeters live at 1799 (probably a corner house).

miscellaneous:

33 days of shooting went into the making of this film. The 1923 studio datebook indicates that the Our Gang unit was 'preparing' for this film on May 3rd with director Tom McNamara. This was the day after Robert McGowan had finished initial shooting for "July Days" (no. 18). Actual shooting for "Sunday Calm" began on May 4th and continued under McNamara until May 26th. After the usual Sunday off, the Our Gang unit put in two more shooting dates on May 28th and 29th, but this time under assistant director Clarence Morehouse. Apparently, neither McNamara nor McGowan were available for these two dates. May 29th was considered the 'finish' date. No shooting took place on May 6th, 13th, 20th or 27th, which were all Sundays, nor on the 30th, which was Memorial Day. McGowan spent a day shooting retakes for "July Days" on the 31st, and then directed the unit through "No Noise" (no. 20) and retakes for "Stage Fright" (no. 17). On July 3rd, the day after retakes were finished for this last film, McGowan began working on "Sunday Calm" again, continuing until the film was considered 'finished' on July 14th. No shooting took place on July 8th or 15th, which were both Sundays, nor on July 4th, which was Independence Day. The Our Gang unit actually had a few days off before McGowan started the next film on the 18th, which was "Derby Day" (no. 21). Work started and finished not only for this film, but also for "Tire Trouble" (no. 22) and "Big Business" (no. 23), and Mark Goldaine had just begun directing "The Buccaneers" (no. 24) before "Sunday Calm" was finally completed. On Oct 2nd, shooting was divided between Goldaine's "The Buccaneers," and Morehouse's "Sunday Calm."

The datebook also gives information about what the weather was like on the various shooting dates. During the initial shooting in May, the weather was almost always described as 'clear.' However, it's described as 'foggy' from May 16th to 19th, and 'foggy AM' on the 15th. No description is given for the 13th, 20th, 27th or 30th. For the July dates, the weather was 'clear' on each date except the 11th, when it was 'foggy.' No description is given for the two Sundays or for the holiday. For the final date in October, the weather was again 'clear.'

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

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

While sitting on the front porch, Joe and Jack are both holding the comics section of the Los Angeles Sunday Times. They've only got the outer part of the section, which splits in half as they're handling it. Joe's reading the front, while Jack is reading the back, but we see the illustrations on the opposite sides of the pages. On Joe's half, we see Martin Branner's Winnie Winkle, while on Jack's half, we see C. M. Payne's Smatter Pop. After several seconds, they both turn their pages around. Jack's half now shows Frank King's Gasoline Alley, while Joe's half shows the front page, though I can't make out which comic is on there.

Brought along on the picnic is some MacLaren's Limburger Cheese.


availability:

This film is not officially available. I have, however, been able to view most of it on various home movie fragments.


© Robert Demoss.


My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Rob Stone (for providing the production number, and story and shooting dates, as well as a more accurate directorial credit)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Robin Cook (for pointing out the last name of Tucker for one of the two families)


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