Circus Fever

film no. 35

technical details:

Production A-35.

Filmed October 20 to 25, and November 1 to 4, 1924. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted January 19, 1925, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU21047. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

Released February 8, 1925. It was the 35th film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

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

Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1026, "Spring Fever," copyrighted Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17331.

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 during this period.
Photographed by Art Lloyd
This credit probably appears in the film.
Edited by Thomas J. Crizer
This credit probably appears in the film. In an inside joke, the circus is called "Crizer's Colossal Circus."
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. H. C. Greening was listed in the studio payroll summaries as an Our Gang gag man during this period. Edward Flannigan began to be listed the week ending Nov. 25th, so he may have contributed gags to this film as well.
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
writing - Robert F. McGowan, Thomas J. Crizer and James Parrott may have contributed gags.

the kids:

Mickey Daniels as "Mickey"
Featured role. Below his bedroom window on the outside wall, his name is spelled "Micky." As usual, he's the guy with all the bright ideas.
Joe Cobb as"Joe" aka "Joey"
Featured role. He gets quite a lot of footage trying to keep from waking up.
Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He joins along with Mickey and Joe on their quest to see the circus.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Supporting role. He's a "she" in this film. He and Gene are quarantined, and he provides some comedy relief when the doctor comes to visit.
Eugene "Pineapple" Jackson as "Gene"
Supporting role. He isn't given too much to do, other than be present in the scenes with Farina.
Mary Kornman as "Mary"
Small part. She doesn't appear too much in this print, but she's the one that informs the boys that the kids are getting free tickets to the circus.
Billy Murphy
Small part. He's the younger sibling of Mickey (who has to give him a bath) and Jackie. Sometimes listed in the payroll ledger as "Baby Murphy."
David Durand
Small part. This is another younger sibling of Mickey and Jackie.
Johnny Downs
Small part. He's shown riding Mary around on his bike. This was his series debut.
Dorothy Hughes, Dorothy Seay and Peggy Ahern
Small parts. These three girls are seen in the slow-motion scene as well as the final shot outside the window. Maltin & Bann list Peggy (as Peggy Ahearn).
other kids
Bit parts and extras. In the shots with the three girls listed directed above, two boys are also present. There are also at least twenty kids shown filing into the school building. The payroll ledger doesn't list any of them, and the camera's position outside the chain link fence suggests that we're looking at the real thing with kids that probably don't even know they're being filmed. Maltin & Bann list Ivadell Carter (as Wadell Carter), but if "The Love Bug" (no. 37) is any indication, then they're misidentifying Dorothy Hughes.

the animals:

Small part. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. He gets some pretty good footage trying to wake up Joe.
other animals
Bit parts. Three kittens are shown at the beginning of the film, one of whom gets drenched by Mickey.

the adults:

Helen Gilmore as Mickey and Jackie's mom
Supporting role. She's given a fair amount of footage in this one.
Grace Wood as Joe's mom
Supporting role. She appears about as often as Gilmore. She later appeared in "Thundering Fleas" (no. 51) and "Spanky" (no. 113).
Joseph Morrison as "Dr. Royal Fitzhugh Sorghum"
Supporting role. He has an extended scene examining Farina and Gene.
Charley Lloyd as "Doctor Pipp"
Small part. He visits Mickey and Jackie and determines that they're not sick. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Charley Young.
other adults
Small parts, bit parts and extras.
(1.) Gene and Farina's mother, who could just as easily be a man, and is definitely a white person in blackface.
(2.) The painter shown briefly shooing the boys away after they've painted the spots on their faces.
(3.) Quite a few people shown in the background while Morrison is driving down the street.

the locations:

Motor Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
Joseph Morrison drives his car up and down Motor Avenue in this film. We see glimpses of the Peoples Water Company at 3392 Motor, Palms Realty right next to it at 3388 Motor, and the grocery store next to that at 3384 Motor. Most conspicuous of all is the Micholithic Mfg. Co. on the same side of the block, which is extensively shown during this sequence. We're led to believe that Farina and Gene live right across the street from this location. In fact, we see quite a lot of the west side of the street as Mickey, Joe and Jackie, inspect Morrison's car and get shooed away. We also see the Masonic Hall at 3402 Motor as Morrison pulls away. The Micholithic building had previously housed the Palms Chamber of Commerce. The new location at 3438 Motor is also shown in this film. I also strongly suspect that the shot of the children walking into the school was achieved at Palms Elementary School at 3520 Motor Ave.
other locations
There are many locations that are illegible. Beyond the brick wall with the poster on it is a sign that says "Oak."


8 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Roughly two and a half weeks after shooting finished for "The Big Town" (no. 34), the 'start' date arrived for "Circus Fever" on Oct. 20th. Shooting continued until Oct. 25th. After a few days, shooting began on "Dog Days" (no. 36). Filming was divided between the two films on Nov. 1st, and was devoted exclusively to "Circus Fever" on Nov. 4th, which turned out to be the last day of filming for that short. After this, filming continued for "Dog Days." No shooting took place on Sundays.

Doctor Pipp: "We must teach these little rascals a lesson - So they'll never dare play sick again -"

Even though the flyer advertising the circus calls it "Crizer's Colossal Circus," the poster on the fence is for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows. The poster is weathered, since the June 2 date was already months into the past.

Mickey and Joe communicate with each other using a 'tube phone' that stretches between their respective bedrooms. At each end is a drawing on the wall which conceals the phone. At Joe's end is a drawing of a horse, which was later seen in "The Fourth Alarm!" (no. 53).

During this period, the 1924 studio datebook begins to phase out the describing of the weather on the various shooting dates. However, it was described as 'clear' on both Oct. 20th and 24th.

33 still images were printed into numerous press photos to promote this film.


Our Gang Silent Comedies Volume 4 (VHS) from Video Classics and
Our Gang Comedies IV (VHS) from The Picture Palace
This copy is a home movie print by Pathé with original inter-titles. The opening title reads "Pathé presents His Rascals in Circus Fever." The print totals 23:44, with 23:30 of it original footage.

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© 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)
'mrsoandso' (for noticing the drawing of the horse's head in this film and one other)

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