Your Own Back Yard

film no. 44


This film is not officially available, and has, until recently, been considered lost. A reel containing all of reel one and a bit of reel two has been found in England, while most of reel two was donated to the Library Of Congress in 1979. There is also a company named Televista which has a negative of this film awaiting restoration.

technical details:

Production K-2.

Filmed June 30 to July 29, 1925. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted August 28, 1925, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU21857. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

Released September 27, 1925. It was the 43rd film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

Probable opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Your Own Back Yard".' The sheet music for the song "Stay In Your Own Back Yard" reads like this, except that it substitutes the word "Comedy" for "Comedies."

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 and Len Powers
Maltin & Bann list only McGowan, and the film probably reflects this, but without his middle initial. He's credited on the cover of the sheet music mentioned below. According to Rob Stone's list, McGowan and Powers co-directed July 10 to 13.

Edited by Richard Currier
This credit probably appears in the film.

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.

Released by Pathé Exchange, Inc.
Passed by the National Board of Review
Probably indicated in the film.

studio personnel
possible uncredited involvement

the kids:

Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Lead role. He's the star of the film. His mother tells him to stay in his own back yard to avoid being picked on by the white kids.

Mickey Daniels
Supporting role. He cons Farina out of his ice cream cone.

Johnny Downs as "John Downs"
Supporting role. He's the one that sets up the trick camera. His name appears on his scooter, which Farina tries to ride without permission.

Joe Cobb as "Joe"
Supporting role. He excitedly runs home to tell his mother that the doctor has delivered a baby, but she already knows.

Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He assists Johnny with his camera.

Mary Kornman
Supporting role. Like everybody, she falls victim to the trick camera.

other kids
Bit part and extra.
(1.) The Mexican boy who sells the jumping beans to Farina.
(2.) Two black girls who tease Farina because of the hole in the seat of his pants.
(3.) A background kid who gets out of the way of Joe as he runs by, and another background kid roller skating down the street.

the animals:

Supporting role. He's one of the dogs who's given dental cream, only to be mistaken for a mad dog. His highlight occurs when he 'freezes' in front of a taxidermist's office.

Dinah the Mule
Apparent small part. She's seen in Farina's back yard.

other animals
Small parts.
(1.) The little white goat named Narcippus, who follows Farina everywhere. An alternate print of the film with non-original titles calls him 'Narcissus.'
(2.) The third 'mad dog.'
(3.) Two chickens that have a tug of war over a worm, plus several other chickens, chicks, ducks and geese, in Farina's yard.
(4.) A dog shown in the background accompanying pedestrians.

the adults:

woman 044 as Farina's mom
Supporting role. She tells him to stay in his own back yard.

William Gillespie as half of the quarrelsome couple
Small part. He and Fay Wray have words with each other.

Fay Wray as the other half of the quarrelsome couple
Bit part. According to Maltin & Bann. The surviving footage isn't clear enough for me to tell.

Charley Oelze as the man with the samples
Bit part. According to Maltin & Bann. He's giving away the samples of dental cream. I can't positively identify him in the footage I've seen.

Harry Bowen as the donor
According to Maltin & Bann. Presumably they mean one of the people who put money into Farina's cup.

other adults
Small part and bit parts.
(1.) Several cops chase after the dogs. Farina thinks they're after him.
(2.) Several people exiting a building through a revolving door.
(3.) The man setting down the hot rod of metal.
(4.) Several pedestrians and drivers.

the music (sort of):

"Stay In Your Own Back Yard" by Karl Kennett and Lyn Udall
Written in 1899 with lyrics by Kennett and music by Udall. The sheet music for this song is shown at the beginning of the film. Subsequent to this film's production, the front cover of the sheet music was changed to include a photograph of Farina and his mother in the back yard, with the gang looking over the fence behind them. This later issue of the sheet music mispelled Kennett's last name as Kenneth.


Reportedly, 21 shooting dates went into the making of this film, more than usual for this time period. It seems likely that unused footage from this production went into "One Wild Ride" (no. 45), which was shot in only four days. Two weeks after filming finished on "Better Movies" (no. 43), the 'start' date for "Your Own Back Yard" arrived on June 30th. Shooting continued until July 16th, after which it was suspended for some reason. According to Maltin & Bann, some of reel one was reshot after a disappointing preview, so presumably this explains the delay. The datebook entry for the 17th reads 'will not shoot until July 20th,' and for the 18th, it similarly reads 'not working until 20th.' Filming resumed, not surprisingly, on July 20th, but lasted only until July 23rd. The entry for the 24th reads 'will not shoot until Monday,' while the entry for the 25th similarly reads 'not shooting until Monday.' Sure enough, filming resumed on Monday, July 27th (though the production is mistakenly labeled E-2 rather than K-2), and lasted until July 29th. After this, four days of shooting went into "One Wild Ride," with August 4th being the day when filming was 'finished' (something that hadn't been indicated since "Better Movies"). No shooting took place on July 5th, 12th, 19th or 26th, which were all Sundays, nor on July 4th, which was Independence Day. It should also be noted that McGowan shared his directorial duties with Len Powers on July 10th, 11th and 13th.

There were 35 copies of this film printed for its initial release.

©Feb. 15, 2005, by Robert Demoss.
2005 updates: 2/27, 3/20, 4/25, 10/26, 11/17.
2006 updates: 6/12.
2007 updates: 4/1, 10/22, 11/25.
2008 updates: 2/21, 3/31, 7/6.
2009 updates: 3/8, 5/9, 5/17, 5/18, 6/1, 6/15, 7/23.

Thanks to Robin Cook, Rob Stone, Michelle Schacht and Joe Moore for assistance on this page.

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