film no. 38
- Our Gang Volume #2 (VHS) from
Grapevine Video and also from
The Picture Palace
- This copy has an illustrated main title card replacing the original, but otherwise has the original
inter-titles. It retains the title "Ask Grandma." The picture quality is fairly poor. The print totals
17:40, with 17:24 of it original footage. It appears that most of the original film is included. This version has
appeared on numerous bootlegs.
- Our Gang Silent Comedies Volume 12 (VHS)
from Video Classics
- This copy is essentially the same as Grapevine's.
- Our Gang Silent Comedies #2 (VHS) from
Nostalgia Family Video
- This copy is a TV print from the Mischief Makers series entitled "Grandma Knows Best."
This print includes the TV show's opening and closing theme song. The picture quality is fairly good, and there is a
little bit not included in the other available version. The print totals 13:20, with 12:09 of it original footage.
Roughly two-thirds of the original film is included. This version has appeared on at least one bootleg
- Our Gang Silent Comedies Vol. 1 (VHS)
- This is the same version as the one released by Grapevine.
- The Original Comedy Classics
- Released 1999. Contains six Our Gang shorts in addition to films starring other people.
Filmed probably in late December 1924 and early January 1925. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for
Copyrighted April 2, 1925, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU21304. Since the copyright was not renewed,
this film is now in the public domain.
Released May 31, 1925. It was the 39th film in the series to be released.
A 33-second excerpt from this film was included as part of The Boy Friends comedy "Too Many Women." This
footage does not show up in the available prints of "Ask Grandma."
Probable opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Ask
Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1030, "Grandma Knows Best," copyrighted
Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17335.
- Produced by Hal Roach
- Probably credited in the film as a presenter.
- Directed by Robert F. McGowan
- This credit probably appears in the film, but without his middle initial.
- 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.
- Teacher: Fern Carter
- Released by Pathé Exchange, Inc.
- Passed by the National Board of Review
- Probably indicated in the film.
- studio personnel
- possible uncredited involvement
- supervision - F. Richard Jones became director-general of the studio after this film was shot, but
before it was released.
- editing - Credits were in a transition between Thomas J.
Crizer and Richard Currier during this
- writing - Robert F. McGowan,
Thomas J. Crizer, Frank Terry and
James Parrott may have contributed gags. Maltin &
Bann indicate that Leo McCarey and Frank Capra were contributing gags during this period, but McCarey was busy with the
Charley Chase unit and Capra had left the studio by this time.
- animal training - Tony Campanaro may have been
among the animal trainers.
- main players
- Mickey Daniels as "Mickey" aka "Michael," and as
"Martha" as a kid
- Lead role. Grandma calls him "Steve" while they're playing ball, but this is probably a
baseball player's name. He's the star of the film, torn between pleasing his mother and being a real boy. He also
has a brief role as his mother as a child.
- Johnny Downs as "Johnnie"
- Featured role. He's the bully that finally causes Mickey to forsake his mother's wishes and
- Mary Kornman as "Mary"
- Featured role. She's the object of the dispute between Mickey and Johnnie.
- Allen "Farina" Hoskins
- Supporting role. The nickname doesn't appear in these prints. He has a relatively small role in this,
but gets some comic moments during the fight.
- Joe Cobb as "Joe"
- Supporting role. He's initially the one getting picked on, and Mickey comes to his
- Jackie Condon
- Supporting role. He does mostly ensemble acting in this film.
- George "Sonny Boy" Warde
- Supporting role. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. He does mostly ensemble acting in this
- boy 032
- Supporting role. He's the blonde boy at the fight.
- boy 028
- Supporting role. He's one of the remaining boys at the fight.
- other kids
- Supporting roles.
(1.) The girl hanging out with Mary.
(2.) Three additional boys, a tall one, a short one and a toddler, that appear in the scenes with the airplane
ride and the fight.
- boys from the past
- David Sharpe
- Bit part. According to Maltin & Bann, who identify him as the largest of the boys in the flashback
scene, and the one that Mickey-in-drag picks a fight with. Mickey actually fights all four. The available print
makes it hard to verify, but it could very well be him. He's tall enough that he may also provide the stunt double
work in this film, as he did in the parallel scenes in "Fly My Kite" (no. 107).
- Gabe Saienz
- Bit part. Yet another appearance for this prolific peripheral kid.
- other boys
- Bit parts. Two remaining boys are in the flashback scene. One of them looks like the boy from "The
Big Show" (no. 7) that resembles Johnny Downs.
- kids at the ballet class
- Bit parts and extras. Four boys are shown at the beginning of the film. A publicity photo reveals that
nine girls were also present, either cut from these prints or from the film entirely.
- Bit part. This is a small black cat that causes the shutter to roll up. Possibly the cat from "Fire
Fighters" (no. 2).
- Florence Lee as "Grandma"
- Featured role. She's featured very strongly in this short, providing Mickey with most of the
happiness in his life.
- Lyle Tayo as "Martha," Mickey's mom
- Supporting role. She's the cause of Mickey's frustration, but changes her mind when she sees her
- Noah Young as Johnnie's dad
- Small part. He's the thuggish guy that holds Mickey back so Johnnie can beat on him. Grandma knocks
him for a loop.
- Katherine Grant as the ballet instructor
- Small part. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. She's seen briefly at the beginning of the
- other adults
- Small parts and extras.
(1.) The stunt double for Grandma. This may well be David Sharpe, as he was fairly tall by this time.
(2.) Mickey's dad, shown only in a photograph.
(3.) At least five other mothers are shown at the ballet class.
- the back porch
- Appears to be the same one used in "Dr. Jack" and "The Kid From
The 1924 and 1925 studio datebooks don't mention production A-38, which was "Ask Grandma." However,
it seems likely that the film began as part of "The Love Bug" (no. 37), since the two have many
similarities. Or perhaps the person writing the production numbers into the datebooks made an error. See the page for
"The Love Bug" for more details.
Mickey reads The Book Of The Dance by Arnold Genthe.
He and Grandma read Wild West Weekly.
There were 36 copies of this film printed for its initial release.
©Feb. 9, 2005, by Robert Demoss.
2005 updates: 2/27, 3/16, 3/27, 4/25, 9/6, 12/15.
2006 updates: 1/9, 5/16, 6/12, 10/25.
2007 updates: 4/1, 10/17, 10/22, 11/5, 11/25.
2008 updates: 2/21, 3/31, 7/6.
2009 updates: 6/25, 7/19, 8/6.
Thanks to Rob Stone and Joe Moore for assistance on this page.