Derby Day

film no. 21


technical details:

Production A-21.

Filmed July 18 to August 13, 1923. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted November 9, 1923 by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU19594. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

Released November 18, 1923. It was the 19th film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

Opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Derby Day".'

Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1027, "Little Jockeys," copyrighted Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17332.


the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Credited in the film as a presenter.
Directed by Robert F. McGowan
This credit 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 Harry W. Gerstad
Credited in the film, but not in the book.
Edited by T. J. Crizer
Credited in the film, but not in the book. The 'T' stands for Thomas.
Titles by H. M. Walker
This credit appears in the film.
Props by Dick Gilbert, L. Barker and E. P. Norris
This credit derives from their payroll status as Our Gang prop men during this period. Barker's name is removed from the payroll summaries after the week ending July 21st, and was replaced by Norris's.
Story by Hal E. Roach
This credit doesn't appear in the film. W. H. Belmont was included in the payroll summaries as an Our Gang writer during this period,
Released by Pathé Exchange, Inc.
Passed by National Board of Review
As 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 studio the week ending Aug. 4th
transportation director - Bob Davis
possible uncredited involvement
writing - Robert F. McGowan, Thomas J. Crizer and Leo McCarey may have been among the gag writers.

the kids:

main players
Mickey Daniels as "Mickie"
Featured role. He's definitely the take-charge guy in this film. It's his idea to have the kiddie race. At the race, his name is spelled "Micky." He rides dog 001 (aka Bill).
Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Featured role. He swipes hot dogs in the early sequence, and then rides a tricycle in the kiddie race, eventually becoming the winner.
Joe Cobb as "Joe"
Featured role. He's selling lemonade with Mickey in the early sequence. At the kiddie race, he gets some footage flirting with a girl, then rides the cow.
Jackie Condon as "Jackie"
Supporting role. He's selling hot dogs with Jack in the early sequence, then rides a cart pulled by dog 003 (aka Barney) in the kiddie race.
Jack Davis as "Jack"
Supporting role. He's selling hot dogs with Jackie in the early sequence, then rides Mary's pony in the kiddie race. This was his last Our Gang appearance.
Mary Kornman as "Mary"
Supporting role. She's the rich girl whose father is big at the racetrack.
Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison as "Ernie" aka "Sammy"
Supporting role. The inter-titles call him "Ernie," but the board showing the jockeys with their accompanying animals lists him as "Sammy." Maltin & Bann seem to indicate that the nickname "Sunshine Sammy" was used in this film, but it isn't. He rides Dinah the Mule in the kiddie race.
George "Sonny Boy" Warde as "Sing Joy"
Supporting role. Listed by Maltin & Bann by the character name. The payroll summaries verify that Warde played this role. He joins the gang in their adventures, riding a cart pulled by the goat.
girl 021
Small part. The fat girl that flirts with Joe. She later appeared in "Big Business" (no. 23) and "Commencement Day." (no. 26).

other kids
boy 021
Bit part. He's running one of the betting booths. Later seen in "Big Business" (no. 23).
Gabe Saenz
Bit part. He's the second boy running a betting booth. His booth is called "Dugans Betting Stand," which might refer to his character name.
boy 011b
Bit part. Maybe - maybe not. He's the band member in the upper right.
boy 007d
Bit part. This is the boy who looks over the kids' names and the animals they're riding, and looks kind of like Johnny Downs.
Julia Brown
Bit part. I'm guessing that she's the one on the right among the three 'society' girls in the stands.
Peggy Ahern
Bit part. She's the middle girl seen applauding the band.
Lassie Lou Ahern
Bit part. She's the girl to the right of Peggy.
Andy Samuel
Extra. He's among the crowd of kids watching the race.
other kids
Bit parts and extras. There are perhaps a hundred or so kids in the stands of the kiddie race. Most of these are impossible to identify, and most of the ones that are clearly seen don't look familiar to me from other films. Maltin & Bann list Billy Lord, and they might mean the kid running the newsreel camera, since he's wearing Harold Lloyd glasses, like the boy in "The Big Show" (no. 7) and other films in which they list Billy Lord. However, I don't think it's the same kid, and I also think they were in error listing him for the other films. There are also two or three kids next to a house, with some adults, that Joe races past on his cow.

the animals:

Bill the Bulldog as "Bill"
Supporting role. He's Ernie and Farina's dog. He's provides security at the kiddie race, wearing what seems to be the same police outfit he wore in "Fire Fighters" (no. 2). Later, he pulls Mickey's cart.
Dinah the Mule as "Dinah"
Supporting role. She's pulling Ernie and Farina's wagon. She later is ridden by Ernie in the kiddie race.
pony 002 as "Sam" aka "Sammy"
Supporting role. This is Mary's pony, which is shown in the photo in Maltin & Bann's book. They identify it as Dinah the Mule. I'm pretty sure it's the pony from "Fire Fighters" (no. 2), though in the film, everybody refers to it as a horse. It's ridden by Jack in the kiddie race.
dog 003 as "Barney"
Supporting role. This is the dog that pulls Jackie's cart in the kiddie race.
other animals
Supporting roles, bit parts and extras.
(1.) The goat that plays "Baa," who pulls Sing Joy's cart.
(2.) The cow ridden by Joe. The inter-titles identify her as "The Sheik" or "Sheik," but the film footage reveals her name to be "Mary."
(3.) The cat that plays "Whitey," and serves as the motivation for dog 001 to run.
(4.) The turtle that is paid as admission into the kiddie race.
(5.) Probably at least a dozen horses are shown at the adult race, and several more are grazing in the background during the kid version.

the adults:

William Gillespie as Mary's dad, the horse owner
Supporting role. He's aghast at his daughter's association with the scruffy boys of the gang, but becomes a good guy at the end of the film, offering a five dollar purse.
Wallace Howe as the gate attendant
Small part. Mary manages to sneak the boys past him.
Richard Daniels as the horse trainer
Small part. He's shown in the early scenes being friendly with the boys.
Charles A. Bachman as the trumpeter
Bit part. Maltin & Bann list him as an officer, no doubt because he's in military garb. He doesn't appear to be among the police officers at the end of the film.
Edmond Fortune as one of the cops
Bit part. He's the old guy with the moustache shown at the end of the film. I'm pretty sure he's also the cop in "Stage Fright" (no. 17).
other adults
Bit parts and extras. Several jockeys are seen riding horses at the grownup race, as well as others working at the tracks and scores of people, almost all men, in the stands. At the end of the film, six additional cops show up to scare the kids away. There are also a few adults next to a house that Joe races past on his cow.

the locations:

Motor Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
The footage of the kids running the hot dog and lemonade concessions was shot on the 3200 block of Motor Avenue, just north of Featherstone Avenue (now part of National Boulevard). The kids are along the western side of the street. As Sonny Boy Warde tries out the lemonade, we can see the Palms Feed & Feul at the southwest corner of Motor and Featherstone. A shot looking the opposite direction reveals part of the house at the corner of Motor and Irene. The fence for the Southern Racing Association was set up on the east side of Motor, and was not part of an actual racetrack.
racetrack
The adult race is clearly authentic, and while there was probably no race taking place while the boys cheered on the sidelines, they're nevertheless at the actual track during this scene. Behind them are the stables through which they've just walked, and these are seen in longshot as the horses race by.
billboards
Wherever it was that the kiddie race was filmed, there was a Club Royale billboard there. Another billboard says "McBryde."

miscellaneous:

23 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Three days after shooting retakes for "Sunday Calm" (no. 19), the Our Gang unit began filming "Derby Day" on July 18th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of Aug. 13th. No shooting took place on July 22nd, July 29th, Aug. 5th, or Aug. 12th, which were all Sundays. The day after filming ending, shooting began immediately on "Tire Trouble" (no. 22).

At the kids' racetrack, we see the 'T-Wana Betin Stand' and 'Dugans Beting Stand.' The name 'Dugan' had been used in the previous film, "No Noise" (no. 20).

The 1923 studio datebook gives information regarding what the weather was like on the various shooting dates. On the vast majority of dates, the weather was described as 'clear.' On Aug. 9th and 11th, it was described as 'foggy,' while July 23rd was described as 'cloudy - hot' and July 31st as 'hazy.' No information was given for the Sunday off-days.

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

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


availability:

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 14 (VHS) from Cabin Fever and
The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Volume Three (4 LD set) from Cabin Fever
Released 1995. This is a complete original print with excellent picture quality. It runs at 26:51 at a slower projection speed. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.
The Little Rascals Collection (5 DVDs) from Passport Video
Released July 13, 2004. This is also an original print and has very good picture quality. The title of the DVD set is superimposed in the right hand corner of the screen. It runs 25:20.
Our Gang Comedies (3 LDs) from MGM/UA Home Video
Released 1994. This is also an original print with very good picture quality. The footage totals 25:20.
Laurel and Hardy and Friends - Volume Five (VHS) from Hal Roach Studios
Released Dec. 15, 1998. This is a mostly original print with very good picture quality. The original footage totals 25:16, and is then followed by an end title by Atlas, and then a freeze-frame of the Pathécomedy title card and the Pathé rooster.
The Our Gang Collection - Volume 1 (DVD) from Reelclassicdvd.com
Released Feb. 2007. This is an original print with very good picture quality. The footage totals 26:28.
Rascals Silents Vol. 3 (VHS) from A-1 Video
This is a mostly original print with an Atlas Films end title. The picture quality is good. The footage totals 22:35.
The Original Little Rascals Comedies (2 Movie Collection) (VHS) from Video Resource Distributors, Inc.
Released in 1994. This is a home movie print from Exclusive Movie Studios, Inc., in Chicago, entitled "Derby Days." The tape is in EP mode, but the picture quality is still fairly good. The print totals 17:31, with 17:27 of it original footage. This was repackaged as part of The Original Little Rascals Comedies (4 Movie Collection), a double VHS release.
Our Gang Volume #11 (VHS) from Grapevine Video and also from The Picture Palace
This is also the home movie print, but of rather poor quality. The print totals 17:20, with 17:14 of it original footage. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Volume 13 (VHS) from Video Classics
This copy is identical to Grapevine's.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Vol. 5 (VHS) from HenryButch
This copy derives from the MGM/UA laserdisc.
The Little Rascals - The Pooch/Arbor Day/Derby Day (VHS/DVD) from GoodTimes Home Video
Released Mar. 1 or 21, 2001. Presumably released initially on VHS. Included as part of The Little Rascals 4-Pack DVD, released May 29, 2001, and probably also Our Gang Collection (10 VHS set/8 DVD set), released May 7, 2002.
The Little Rascals - Funniest Episodes (5 VHS set) from GoodTimes Home Video
Released June 25, 2002.
The Best Of Our Gang Volume 2 (DVD) from GoodTimes Home Video
Released June 1, 2004. Also included on The Best Of Our Gang Volumes 1 & 2 (2 DVD set).
The Little Rascals & Our Gang Collection Vol. 2 (DVD) from Janus Entertainment, Inc.
Also released with Vol. 1 as a 2 DVD set entitled The Little Rascals Our Gang Collector's Edition.
Our Gang Volume 2 (DVD) from TV Classics
Released Sep. 5, 2003.
TV Time Comedy 100 TV Episodes (10 DVD set) from TV Time
Three Stooges, Little Rascals & East Side Kids Collection (5 DVD set) from Diamond Ent. Corp.
Released Aug. 30, 2005.
Classic Troublemakers (3 DVD set) from St. Clair Entertainment
Released Oct. 25, 2005.
Jackie Remembers Our Gang - The Silent Era (VHS/DVD) from Jackie Taylor
Two clips, lasting 0:05 and 0:24 respectively, are shown on this tape, with commentary by Jackie Taylor.
The Little Rascals - The Complete Collection (8 VHS set) from Genius Products
Released late Oct. 2008. Includes several clips from this film as part of a documentary called The Story Of Hal Roach And Our Gang.

© Robert Demoss.


My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Rob Stone (for providing the production number and shooting dates)
Paul Mular
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Matthew Lydick (for the correct spelling of Gabe Saenz's last name, and for noticing Andy Samuel in the crowd)
Lynn Paden (for alerting me to the reelclassicdvd release)


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