The Sun Down Limited

film no. 31


technical details:

Production A-31.

Filmed April 21 to May 1, 1924. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted August 2, 1924 by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU20463. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

Released September 21, 1924. It was the 30th film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

Probable opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "The Sun Down Limited".'

Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1009, "All Aboard," copyrighted Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17314.


the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Probably credited in the film as a presenter.
Directed by Robert F. McGowan
The film probably includes this credit, but without his middle initial.
Titles by H. M. Walker
The film probably includes this credit.
Props by Charles Oelze
This credit derives from Oelze's payroll status as Our Gang prop man during this period.
Story by Hal E. Roach
This credit probably doesn't appear in the film.
Animal trainer: Tony Campanaro
He was Pal's trainer.
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
laboratory superintendent - Charles Levin
publicity director - Garrett Graham
purchasing agent - Clyde Hopkins
still photographer - Bud "Stax" Graves
transportation director - Bob Davis
possible uncredited involvement
photography - Credits from this period were in a transition between Frank Young and Art Lloyd.
editing - Credit usually went to Thomas J. Crizer during this period.
writing - Robert F. McGowan, Thomas J. Crizer and James Parrott may have contributed gags.

the kids:

Mickey Daniels as "Mickey"
Featured role. He's the leader of the gang and drives both the grownup train and the kiddie version.
Joe Cobb as "Joe"
Featured role. He's at Mickey's side throughout the short, on both trains.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Featured role. He gets most of the comedy relief, particularly in the scene where's he's run over by the train. He's the porter on the kiddie version.
Gabe Saenz as "Toughy"
Supporting role. He's Mickey's nemesis, having built his own inferior kiddie railroad, and then sabotaging the gang's version.
Mary Kornman as "Mary"
Supporting role. She leaves Toughey behind to ride on Mickey's train.
boy 031 as "Powder-Puff"
Supporting role. He's the older black boy in this film. He tries to join the gang, but they play hard-to-get.
Dorothy Hughes
Supporting role. She's Mary's friend, and flirts with Joe.
Jackie Condon as "Jackie"
Supporting role. He mostly does ensemble acting in this short.
Andy Samuel
Supporting role. He mostly does ensemble acting in this short.
George "Sonny Boy" Warde
Supporting role. Listed as Sonny Loy Warde by Maltin & Bann (he was later known as Sonny Loy). He mostly does ensemble acting in this short.
boy 028
Small part. He's Toughy's sidekick, and later appeared in "Olympic Games" (no. 63).
Lassie Lou Ahern
Small part. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. She's perhaps the smallest of the passengers on the gang's train.
Peggy Ahern
Small part. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. She accompanies Lassie Lou.
other kids
Bit parts and extras. There are quite a few additional kids in this film, but I don't recognize them from other films. The kids are not only passengers on Mickey's train, but also work at the junior train station.

the animals:

Bill the Bulldog
Supporting role. He serves as locomotion for the gang's railroad. Returning after a short absence, he left the series after this film.
Pal
Small part. He belongs to Toughy, pulling his train. Maltin & Bann don't list him.
dog 003
Bit part. He pulls the cart that the kids ride to the station.
other animals
Bit parts. The only remaining animals are the two cats that provide motivation for the train's dog power. They look like they could be the same cat.

the adults:

man 030 as one of the cops
Bit part. Previously seen in "High Society" (no. 30).
other adults
Small parts and bit parts.
(1.) The engineer who warns Mickey to stay off the train.
(2.) The other man in the engine, accompanying Joe.
(3.) The security guard, who chases the gang out of the railroad yard.
(4.) A man in regular clothes at the railroad yard, possibly a foreman.
(5.) Three additional cops chasing down the gang's runaway train.

the locations:

Santa Fe Railroad Yard
The earlier footage is presumably shot in and around this location, including the roundhouse.
Motor Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
The kids' railroad is located east of Motor Avenue on the block just north of Palms Garage at 3304 Motor. The north side of the garage is shown repeatedly, and it also is given one of the best gags in the film. The train enters the back of the building, on National Boulevard, which was the entrance for the Scholtz Blacksmith Shop, and exits the front of the building on Motor Avenue. In one of these shots of the garage, we can see the large house at the corner of National and Vinton in the background. The businesses across the street from the garage are also shown in the background repeatedly, with the Palms Feed & Fuel being quite noticable on the corner. This building, and the one to the right of it on Featherstone Street (now part of National) were later replaced by buildings seen in "Hook And Ladder" (no. 116), including the fire station. We also see the homes and vacant lots across the street from the kids' railroad. North of this area, we see where Motor veers to the right around Dickie Moore's house from "Free Wheeling" (no. 117) on Irene Street. As the train is on the loose, it spends a lot of its time on Motor Avenue. We see the grocery store at 3384 Motor, with the vacant lot to the right of it, which would soon be occupied by a building. We also see the Mitholithic building prior to when this company arrived. We also briefly see the People's Water Company at 3392 Motor, the Masonic Hall at 3402 Motor, and the Palms Chamber of Commerce at 3438 Motor. We also see the intersection of Motor Avenue and Stilson Street (which is now Palms Boulevard), and get a glimpse of a corner of The Palms School at 3520 Motor, just south of this intersection.
Washington Boulevard and Main Street, Culver City
The runaway train goes right by the Sam Seelig Co. Culver City Public Market, with Slater's Drug Store just to the right. This location was on Washington Boulevard right at the spot where Main Street meets it in a T-intersection. The camera is situated on Main and pointing south. Slater's was in the same building as the First National Bank of Culver City at the corner of Washington and Van Beuren.
Culver Boulevard, Culver City
The train rides along a wide boulevard, and at one point, it's clear that we're looking south at the spot where Irving Place meets Culver Boulevard. Irving itself is blocked by cars, but the nearby buildings identify it. The rest of the wide boulevard looks similar, so this is probably also Culver Blvd.
the hill
The hill where the train crashes at the end of the film is also seen in "One Terrible Day" (no. 4)

miscellaneous:

10 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Two weeks after filming finished for "High Society" (no. 30), the 'start' date for "The Sun Down Limited" arrived on Apr. 21st. Shooting continued until May 1st. The next day, May 2nd, the studio datebook states 'company held up account accident to Mr. McGowan.' This same wording was repeated the next day. On Monday the 5th, the datebook reads 'alternating held up acct McGowan's accident.' Then for the rest of the week, the Our Gang unit continued to alternate (meaning no filming took place), even though the production number A-31 was still being entered. After this, another three weeks went by without any progress and the unit finally began shooting "Every Man For Himself" (no. 32). Apparently, the unit never returned to "The Sun Down Limited" and the existing footage was sufficient to put together a cohesive short.

The 1924 studio datebook reveals what the weather was like on the various shooting dates. It was usually 'clear,' but it was described as 'foggy' on Apr. 22nd and May 3rd, and 'foggy AM' on May 2nd. It was described as 'cloudy' on Apr. 23rd. No description was given for Sundays.

This film was the sixth of six in the fifth 'series' of Our Gang films.

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


availability:

The Little Rascals - Hook And Ladder/Hi Neighbor/Sundown Ltd. (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. This copy is a home movie print from Exclusive Movie Studios, Inc., in Chicago, entitled "Sundown Ltd." The inter-titles are original, but not the opening and ending titles. This print, as well as all other available versions, is missing a couple of inter-titles as well as a minimal amount of footage. The ending title appears to be taken from one of the later talkies. The picture quality is very good. The print totals 25:43, with 25:32 of it original footage.
Our Gang Comedies (3 LD set) from MGM/UA Home Video
Released 1994. This is also a home movie print from Exclusive Movie Studios, but with a freeze-frame of the opening title. The original footage totals about 25:50 and the picture quality is very good.
The General (1927) and Sundown Ltd. (1924) (DVD) from Reelclassicdvd.com
This is the home movie print from Exclusive Movie Studios. This version includes the copyright notice. The image is a bit cropped throughout the print. The print totals 25:21, with 25:29 of it original.
The Our Gang Collection - Volume 2 (DVD) from Reelclassicdvd.com
Released Mar. 2007.
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 as part of The Best Of Our Gang Volumes 1 & 2 (2 DVD set).
The Little Rascals Collection (5 DVD set) from Passport Video
Released July 13, 2004. This is also the home movie print, and includes the copyright notice. The title of the DVD set is superimposed in the lower right hand corner of the screen. The print totals 25:56, with 25:46 of it original footage. There's also a clip lasting 0:02, showing Mickey, which is included in the main menu of these DVDs.
Our Gang Silent Comedies (Volume 1) (VHS) from Nostalgia Family Video
This copy is also the home movie print, and includes the copyright title card. The picture quality is fairly good. The print totals 19:20, with 19:11 of it original footage.
Our Gang Volume #2 (VHS) from Grapevine Video and also from The Picture Palace
This copy is also the home movie print, and is virtually the same as the one from Nostalgia Family Video. The print totals 19:16, with 19:07 of it original footage. This version has appeared numerous times on bootlegs.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Volume 9 (VHS) from Video Classics
This copy is also the home movie print, but includes the original end title. The print totals 23:11, with 23:07 of it original footage.
The Original Little Rascals Comedies (2 Movie Collection) (VHS) from Video Resource Distributors
Also packaged into a 2 VHS set entitled The Original Little Rascals Comedies (4 Movie Collection). The tape is in EP mode, but the quality is still pretty good. The print is identical to the one from Nostalgia Family Video.
The Little Rascals & Our Gang Collection Vol. 1 (DVD) from Janus Entertainment, Inc.
Also compiled with Vol. 2 into a 2 DVD set entitled The Little Rascals Our Gang Collector's Edition.
The Original Comedy Classics
Released 1999. Includes other stars beside Our Gang.
Our Gang Volume 2 (DVD) from TV Classics
Released Sep. 5, 2003.
TV Time Comedy 100 TV Episodes (10 DVD set) from TV Time
This collection also features films with other stars.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Vol. 5 from HenryButch
This copy derives from the MGM/UA laserdisc.
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.
The Our Gang Story (VHS/DVD) from GoodTimes Home Video
VHS released 1994. DVD released May 21, 2002. Also included as part of Our Gang Collector Series 4 Pack (4 DVD set), released Mar. 21, 2001, Our Gang Collector Series 5 Pack (5 VHS/DVD set), released Feb. 2002 (VHS) and Mar. 2004 (DVD), and The Best Of Our Gang Volume 1 (DVD), released June 1, 2004. A clip lasting 1:10 is included, showing footage from the runaway train sequence, with narration added.
SlapHappy: Vol. 9 (DVD) from Fishigan Films
Released 2003. Originally produced in 2001. Includes a clip from this film. This volume is also included as part of The SlapHappy Collection (11 DVD set).
SlapHappy: The Movie (DVD) from Fishigan Films
Released 2004. Includes a clip from this film. This volume is also included as part of The SlapHappy Collection (11 DVD set).

© Robert Demoss.


My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Rob Stone (for providing the production number)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Matthew Lydick (for the correct spelling of Gabe Saenz's last name)


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