The Mysterious Mystery!

film no. 33


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.


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.

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.

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
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
possible uncredited involvement


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.

Allen Cavan as Adelbert's tutor
Small part. He's the victim of Adelbert's pranks at the beginning of the film. Maltin & Bann indicate that he's the grandfather, but I think this might be a mistake.

Charley Young as the butler
Bit part. Shown briefly letting the gang into the mansion.

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:

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.

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


©Feb. 4, 2005, by Robert Demoss.
2005 updates: 2/27, 4/25.
2006 updates: 1/2, 1/9, 6/12, 10/25.
2007 updates: 4/1, 10/17, 10/22, 11/25.
2008 updates: 1/19, 2/21, 3/18, 3/31, 7/6.
2009 updates: 6/16, 6/19, 6/30, 7/23.


Thanks to Rob Stone, Joe Moore and Mark Brumfield for assistance on this page.


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