Mary, Queen Of Tots

film no. 41

technical details:

Production A-41.

Filmed March 16 to April 1, 1925. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted June 11, 1925, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. MU3071. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

Premiered August 17, 1925, at the Ocean Grove Auditorium in New Jersey.

Released August 23, 1925. It was the 42nd film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

Probable opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Mary, Queen Of Tots".'

Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1005, "Mary's Dream," copyrighted Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17310.

the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Probably credited in the film as a presenter.
Supervised by F. Richard Jones
Probably credited in the film as supervising director.
Directed by Robert F. McGowan
This credit probably appears in the film, but without his middle initial.
Photographed by Art Lloyd
This credit probably appears in the film.
Edited by Richard Currier
This credit probably appears in the film.
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. Sandstrom's reappears in the payroll summaries the week ending Apr. 4th, which means he may have worked on this film during the last three shooting dates.
Story by Hal E. Roach
This credit probably doesn't appear in the film.
Animal trainer: Tony Campanaro
He was Pal's trainer.
Sculptor: J. L. Root
This credit derives from Root's payroll status as a sculptor for the Our Gang unit during the week ending Mar. 14th, which was just prior to the shooting of this film. It seems fairly clear that he sculpted the dolls used in this film.
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
still photographer - Bud "Stax" Graves
transportation director - Bob Davis
possible uncredited involvement
photography - Special photographic effects were probably achieved by Alvin V. Knetchel.
>writing - Robert F. McGowan, Frank Terry and James Parrott may have been among the gag writers.

the kids:

Mary Kornman as "Mary"
Lead role. She's the star of the film, the lonely rich girl without other kids to play with, and whose dolls seemingly come to life.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins
Supporting role. The nickname doesn't appear in the film. He's given most of the comedy bits in this film.
Mickey Daniels
Supporting role. As usual, he's the leader of the group of boys.
Joe Cobb
Supporting role. He does mostly ensemble work in this short.
Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He does mostly ensemble work in this short.
Jack Davis
Bit part. He's the other boy in armor besides Mickey Daniels. It's almost certain that this brief sequence was left over from an earlier production, most likely "July Days" (no. 18).
other kids
Johnny Downs, who doesn't appear in the film, appears in at least one publicity photo taken on the set.
Nancy McKee was one of three winners of the Los Angeles Evening Express Baby Contest, and was accordingly awarded a hundred dollars to work in the Our Gang unit for one week. The studio payroll summaries indicate that she earned this money while this film was being shot. It seems probable that she worked elsewhere on the lot (notably in the Charley Chase film "Isn't Life Terrible?"), as she's nowhere to be found in this Our Gang short.

the animals:

Supporting role. He's Mary's dog and takes a bath in her place.
donkey 041
Small part. Shown during the dream sequence.
other animals
Bit parts.
(1.) The pony seen in the swordfighting sequence. Possibly one of the earlier ponies, but it's impossible to be sure.
(2.) The canary shown in the background at the radio station. At KHJ, canaries were kept in a cage and could be heard in the background whenever "Uncle John" did his announcing. Presumably, there are other birds in the cage, but I've only been able to make out one of them in the available print.

the adults:

Fay Holderness as the governess
Featured role. She's featured pretty strongly in this short, always at odds with Mary. Maltin & Bann list May Beatty, but I'm pretty sure this is incorrect. The payroll summaries indicate that Holderness worked on this film.
Richard Daniels as the gardener
Featured role. He's also featured strongly, but is kind to Mary and buys the dolls for her.
Lyle Tayo as "Mrs. Newman," Mary's mom
Small part. She's shown briefly on her way to a bridge game. She doesn't have enough time for her daughter.
Helen Gilmore as the dollmaker's wife
Small part. She's first seen with her husband, then later sells the dolls to the gardener.
Charley Lloyd as the dollmaker
Bit part. He's seen at the beginning of the film with his wife. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Charley Young.
Charles A. Bachman as the police officer
Bit part. He's seen at the end of the film taking the governess away.
James Finlayson as one of the radio actors
Bit part. He's seen briefly at the radio station.
John S. "Uncle John" Daggett as "Uncle John," the radio announcer
Bit part. He appears briefly introducing the radio program.
other adults
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) The other radio actor, who looks somewhat like Lee Phelps.
(2.) The adult in the dog costume.
(3.) The maid, seen briefly with Mary's mother, then again with the governess.
(4.) Mickey's mother, who's seen briefly giving laundry to Mickey.
(5.) The two women seen in the background at the radio station.

the locations:

Hal E. Roach Studios, Culver City
The front of the administration building is shown very briefly in the shot where the governess summons the police officer. The interior footage of the KHJ radio station in Los Angeles was, ironically, shot at the Roach studio and not at the actual station. Obviously, the prop department made quite an effort to reproduce the radio station, even down to the bird cage. The microphone that "Uncle John" speaks into was fake. He went to the Roach studio to shoot the sequence and met the Our Gang kids, who reportedly were familiar with him but had never met him.
the wealthy neighborhood
The spot where Mary first meets the boys seems to be the same walkway location previously used in "One Terrible Day" (no. 4) and "Tire Trouble" (no. 22).
KHJ radio station, Los Angeles
Even though the interior radio station footage was shot at the Roach studio, the shot of the KHJ antenna was almost certainly the real thing.


15 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Two weeks had passed since shooting finished for "Official Officers" (no. 40). However, it's clear that pre-production was taking place during these two weeks, since a sculptor was hired during the second week, presumably to sculpt the dolls seen in this film. The 'start' date for "Mary, Queen Of Tots" was Mar. 16th, and shooting continued until it was 'finished' on Apr. 1st. No shooting took place on Mar. 15th, 22nd or 29th, which were all Sundays. After this, a week and a half passed before shooting started on "Boys Will Be Joys" (no. 42).

It's likely that the fantasy scene with the two boys in armor was shot during the making of "July Days" (no. 18), since Jack Davis is present, and also since that earlier film involved a similar theme. "July Days" was shot from April 12 to May 2, and also on May 31, 1923.

A photograph reveals that a birthday party took place at the studio commissary around this time. The kids' clothes, particularly Mary's dress, narrows everything down to this film, which would mean that it was Jackie Condon's birthday being celebrated (though, oddly enough, Joe Cobb sits at the head of the table). Interestingly enough, Andy Samuel is present and sitting right next to his replacement, Johnny Downs, who is wearing his 'civilian' clothes (which is also consistent with this film since he wasn't in it). Also sitting with the kids is Martha Sleeper.

An article in the Apr. 12, 1925, edition of the Los Angeles Times describes John Daggett's visit to the Roach studio to film his brief appearance in the film. It states that he did this on Monday, which would logically mean Apr. 6th. It's possible that an earlier Monday was being talked about, but if not, then the studio datebook omits this date on the shooting schedule.

The radio show is called "Take Off That Hat."

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


Our Gang Volume #2 (VHS) from Grapevine Video and also from The Picture Palace
This copy has a remade opening title card, and an ending card that looks straight out of the sixties, but the inter-titles are original. The print totals 19:51, with 19:38 of it original footage. Almost the entire original film is included. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Volume 14 (VHS) from Video Classics
This copy is essentially the same as Grapevine's.
Our Gang Comedies presents Hal Roach's Rascals 2 Pack (2 VHS set) from Brentwood Video
Released Nov. 2000. This was also included within a 10 VHS set entitled Our Gang Comedies presents Hal Roach's Rascals 10 Pack. This copy suffers from a slight case of the jitters. Normally, I would think it just was my own copy with the problem, but the DVD version from this company does the same thing. This is probably the version that appeared on certain bootlegs containing the Roach talkies.
Hal Roach's Rascals (DVD) from Brentwood Video
This is also available in a 2 DVD set with another same-named DVD. This copy is identical to the Grapevine version. Even though it's on DVD, it was clearly copied from a VHS, and suffers from a slight case of the jitters.
Hal Roach's Rascals (DVD) from Brentwood Video
The DVD is one of two with this name, this other containing the entire film. This DVD includes a documentary entitled Hollywood Hall Of Fame, with 15 clips from this film. The 1st lasts 0:06, and shows Richard Daniels first meeting the boys. The 2nd lasts 0:09, and shows Mary explaining the boys to Daniels. The 3rd lasts 0:02, and shows Mary with the boys outside. The 4th lasts 0:03, and shows Mary reacting to the dolls. The 5th lasts 0:29, and shows the miniature boys. The 6th lasts 0:05, and shows Mary first meeting the boys. The 7th lasts 0:06, and shows the radio performers. The 8th lasts 0:07, and shows the boys eating while Mary holds the dolls. The 9th lasts 0:07, and shows Joe slipping on the rug. The 10th lasts 0:02, and shows Mary looking worried. The 11th lasts 0:14, and shows Farina running from Mary. The 12th lasts 0:02, and shows Mary's mother's muddy face. The 13th lasts 0:04, and shows the boys coming out of hiding. The 14th lasts 0:15, and shows the boys riding around on the cart. And the 15th lasts 0:01, and shows the boys on the lawn.
Hal Roach's Rascals 3-Tape Set (3 VHS set) from Brentwood Video
Released Feb. 2000. This set contains the same print as the DVD as well as the Hollywood Hall Of Fame documentary.
The Little Rascals Collection (5 DVD set) from Passport Video
Released July 13, 2004. This is the same version as Grapevine's. The picture quality is fairly good, but the picture jitters a bit. The title of the DVD set is superimposed in the lower right hand corner of the screen.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Vol. 1 (VHS) from HenryButch
This is the same version as the one released by Grapevine.
Our Gang Classics (VHS) from Jef Films
Released 1997. This version has a non-original opening and is comparable to the one from Grapevine, but without the usual soundtrack. A Jef Films copyright is shown at the bottom of the screen.
Little Rascals Volume 3 (DVD) from East West Entertainment
This is essentially the same version seen elsewhere.
Little Rascals Volume 4 (DVD) from East West Entertainment
This is essentially the same version seen elsewhere.
The Little Rascals & Our Gang Collection Vol. 2 (DVD) from Janus Entertainment, Inc.
This was also compiled with Vol. 1 into a 2 DVD set entitled The Little Rascals Our Gang Collector's Edition.
The Original Comedy Classics
Released 1999. This collection also includes films featuring other stars.
TV Time Comedy 100 TV Episodes (10 DVD set) from TV Time
This collection also includes films featuring other stars.
Our Gang Volume 2 (DVD) from TV Classics
Released Sep. 5, 2003.
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.
Our Gang: Hilarious Hits (DVD) from Quality Television
Released Oct. 31, 2006. Also included as part of Our Gang: Terrific Tot Tales (2 DVD set) released Apr. 24, 2007.

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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)
Jim Hilliker (for info about Uncle John as well as location info for the radio station scene)
Randy Jones (for identifying Jack Davis as the other armored boy, and for info about Uncle John)
Dave of Our Gang Follies (for the info about Uncle John)
Matthew Lydick (for information regarding Nancy McKee's presence at the studio during this time, and also for providing info about the Jef release)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)

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