The Mysterious Mystery!

film no. 33


technical details:

Production A-33.

Filmed June 30 to July 19, and September 8 to 15, 1924. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted December 11, 1924, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU20884. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

Released December 14, 1924. It was the 33rd film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

Opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "The Mysterious Mystery!".'

Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1003, "Private Eye," copyrighted Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17308.


the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
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: Lloyd French
This credit derives from French's payroll status as the Our Gang assistant director beginning the week ending July 19th.
2nd Assistant Director: Freeman Rollins
This credit derives from Rollins' payroll status as the Our Gang 2nd assistant director beginning the week ending July 19th and ending the week ending Sep. 13th.
Photographed by Art Lloyd
This credit derives from Lloyd's payroll status as the Our Gang cameraman during this period.
Titles by H. M. Walker
This credit probably appears in the film.
Props by Charles Oelze and Don Sandstrom
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. Edward Sullivan was listed in the studio payroll summaries as an Our Gang gag man starting the week ending Sep. 13th, which means that he may have contributed gags for the added scenes.
Animal trainer: Tony Campanaro
He was Pal's trainer.
Teacher: Fern Carter
Most of the shooting for this film took place while she was on her summer break. Her name reappears in the studio payroll summaries the week ending Sep. 13th.
Released by Pathé Exchange, Inc.
Passed by the 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
laboratory superintendent - Charles Levin
publicity director - Garrett Graham
purchasing agent - Clyde Hopkins
still photographer - Bud "Stax" Graves
transportation director - Bob Davis
possible uncredited involvement
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. Also referred to as "Sherlock Hawkshaw," his detective nickname. He's the leader of the gang's detective agency and gets at least as much screen time as anybody else.
Jackie Condon as "Little Adelbert Wallingford"
Featured role. He's the kidnap victim, but wins the hearts of his kidnappers.
Joe Cobb as "Joe"
Featured role. His detective nickname is "Watson." He's the second-in-command in the detective agency, and gets quite a bit of screen time.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Featured role. His detective nickname is "Hawk-Eye," but Maltin & Bann imply that this was used in place of "Farina," which it isn't. He provides comic punctuation throughout, particularly with his magnifying glass.
Eugene "Pineapple" Jackson as "Snowball"
Supporting role. Maltin & Bann indicate that his screen name was "Pineapple," but it's "Snowball." He's already a main player in this, his first short, but is overshadowed by a few of the others.
Andy Samuel as "Andy"
Supporting role. He does mostly ensemble acting in this short. This was essentially his last appearance, unless you count "Boys Will Be Joys" (no. 42).
George "Sonny Boy" Warde as "Sing"
Supporting role. Listed as "Sing Joy" by Maltin & Bann. He does mostly ensemble acting.

the animals:

Pal
Supporting role. He belongs to Gene and Farina in this one. He wears a disguise and gets a bit of abuse from Farina and his magnifying glass.
other animals
Supporting role. The pigeon that figures strongly in the plot.

the adults:

Charles A. Bachman as "Detective Jinks"
Supporting role. He falls victim to the gang's ingenuity and vows revenge.
William Gillespie as "Mr. Wallingford"
Supporting role. He's Adelbert's father, and is given a substantial role.
Sam Lufkin as the leader of the kidnappers
Supporting role. He's basically the heartless one among the kidnappers.
Dick Gilbert as one of the kidnappers
Supporting role. He's seen mostly in the scenes with Adelbert and the third kidnapper.
Chris Lynton as Adelbert's tutor
Small part. He's the victim of Adelbert's pranks at the beginning of the film. Maltin & Bann list Allen Cavan. They also indicate that he's the grandfather, but I think this might be a mistake.
Charley Lloyd as the butler
Bit part. Shown briefly letting the gang into the mansion. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Charley Young.
other adults
Supporting roles and bit parts.
(1.) The third kidnapper, who helps Gilbert babysit Adelbert.
(2.) "Sam," the cop, who meets up with Farina early on, then frees Jinks from the gang's clutches.
(3.) The pilot, who isn't seen too clearly in this print.
(4.) Adelbert's mother, who's seen briefly at the mansion.
(5.) The maid, who's seen in the background at the mansion.
(6.) The guy that starts the propellor on the plane.

the locations:

Main Street, Culver City
As Andy is dressed as a woman, he walks along the Culver Boulevard side of the Adams Hotel, the address of which was 3896 Main. As Detective Jinks follows him, he first turns the corner from Washington Boulevard and walks along the Main Street side of the hotel. During this shot, the Sam Seelig Co. Culver City Public Market can be seen in the background on Washington Boulevard. Jinks continues to follow Andy along the Culver Boulevard side of the hotel and into the alley behind it. As Mickey peers into the alley, Farina burns him with the magnifying glass. A reverse angle shot shows the business section of Main Street in the background.
Motor Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
Farina follows the cop south along the west side of Motor Avenue to the park bench on the northwest corner of Motor and Woodbine. The bench advertises "United Builders General Contractors, 7030 Cardiff St." Later, Farina burns the dog with his magnifying glass at the southeast corner of Motor and Featherstone, right next to the Palms Garage at 3304 Motor. It appears that the dog sticks his butt in the puddle at the northeast corner, the same spot where Jackie Condon landed in the puddle in "Fire Fighters" (no. 2), though it's not actually the same pothole. As Joe is dressed as a baby and is following Jinks, there is a moment when they're in front of the Masonic Hall at 3402 Motor. This is also where Joe later summons the cop to come and arrest Jinks. One of the places where Jinks follows Andy-in-drag is across the vacant lot on the southwest corner of Motor and Woodbine.
Mentone Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
Jinks follows Andy into the back door of a house on Mentone. In other Our Gang films, this house is normally seen in the background while activity takes place in the backyard.
Overland Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
As Gillespie and Bachman are racing along in the car, we get a driver's-eye-view of the road. During this shot, the car drives west on National Boulevard and makes a left on Overland Avenue. It then goes south on Overland, heading down the same hill seen in "One Wild Ride" (no. 45) and "Free Wheeling" (no. 117).
real estate office
Gillespie and Bachman drive past this.

miscellaneous:

20 shooting dates went into the making of this film. After finishing "Fast Company" (no. 16), the Our Gang unit waited a week before 'starting' filming for "The Mysterious Mystery!" This continued until July 19th, when principle shooting was considered 'finished.' In between, there was a fire at the studio at 6 PM on July 7th. No shooting took place on June 29th, July 6th or July 13th, which were all Sundays, nor on July 4th, which was Independence Day, nor on July 5th, which the studio took off to create a three-day weekend. After principle shooting was finished, seven weeks passed (including three in which the studio was closed) before the Our Gang unit returned to "The Mysterious Mystery!" on Sep. 8th. After this, retakes were shot on Sep. 12th, and added scenes on Sep. 13th and 15th. No shooting took place on the 7th or 14th, which were Sundays, nor on the 9th, 10th or 11th. After this, nearly a week passed before shooting began on "The Big Town" (no. 34).

Mickey reads Tales Of Sherlock Holmes, published by The International Adventure Library.

The 1924 studio datebook reveals what the weather was like on most of the shooting dates. Usually, it was described as 'clear', but on June 30th and July 3rd, it was 'bright,' on July 1st and 7th, it was described as 'medium,' and on July 2nd it was described as 'somewhat dull.' No description was given for the remaining shooting dates, nor for any of the days off.

There were 32 copies of this film printed for its initial release.


availability:

Rascals Silents Vol. 1 (VHS) from A-1 Video
This copy is a home movie print from Pathescope in Boston. It includes the original opening title, and the inter-titles, but is missing the crew credits, and has a Pathescope end title. The footage totals 19:47, with 19:45 of it original. It appears that almost all of the original film is included.
The Our Gang Collection - Volume 3 (DVD) from Reelclassicdvd.com
Released July 2007. This version is comparable to the A-1 version, but replaces the Pathescope end title with a new Pathé end title. The footage totals 19:51, with 19:46 of it original.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Vol. 4 (VHS) from HenryButch
This is the same version as the print released by A-1.

© 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)
Mark Brumfield


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