Monkey Business

film no. 48


technical details:

Production K-6.

Filmed October 30 to November 18, 1925. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted February 6, 1926, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU22369. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

Released March 21, 1926. It was the 48th film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

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

Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1054, "Farina's Friend," copyrighted Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17359. Recopyrighted Apr. 15, 1961, with registration number LP19562.


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.
Assistant Director: Robert A. McGowan
Later credited as Anthony Mack. This credit derives from his payroll status as an Our Gang assistant director during this period.
Photographed by Art Lloyd
This credit derives from Lloyd's payroll status as the Our Gang cameraman during this period.
Edited by Richard Currier
This credit probably appears in the film.
Cutter: Lloyd Campbell
This credit derives from Campbell's payroll status as the Our Gang cutter during this period.
Titles by H. M. Walker
This credit probably appears in the film.
Props by Charles Oelze, Don Sandstrom and Ernest Tucker
This credit derives from their payroll status as Our Gang prop men during this period. Tucker's name disappears from the payroll summaries after the week ending Nov. 7th.
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
Released by Pathé Exchange, Inc.
Passed by the National Board of Review
As 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
writing - Robert F. McGowan, Robert A. McGowan, Carl Harbaugh, Hal Yates, Frank Terry and James Parrott may have been among the gag writers.
animal training - There was a chimpanzee named "Akka" that was owned by Castang and Judge, who specialized in chimps. I'm not sure if the "Akka" in this film is the same one, though.

the kids:

Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Lead role. He's essentially the star among the kids, but takes a back seat to the chimp.
Mickey Daniels
Supporting role. As usual, he's the leader of the gang, and the one who gets beaten up by the chimp.
Joe Cobb
Supporting role. He mostly does ensemble acting in this short.
Johnny Downs
Supporting role. He mostly does ensemble acting in this short.
Mary Kornman
Supporting role. She mostly does ensemble acting in this short.
Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He mostly does ensemble acting in this short.
Jay R. Smith
Supporting role. He entirely does ensemble acting in this short.
Jannie Hoskins as "Mango"
Small part. She's shown at Farina's home.
boy 032
Bit part. This is the blonde boy with the penny.
other kids
Bit parts and extras. One other boy shows up with the blonde boy. Later, when the gang has their tent set up, there are a handful of other kids there, including at least one girl.

the animals:

Pal
Small part. He's seen with the gang.
other animals
Lead role, supporting role and extras.
(1.) "Akka" the chimpanzee, who is the star of the film. I'm quite sure that this isn't the same chimp from "Buried Treasure" (no. 47).
(2.) The chimp seen boxing with Akka in the first scene.
(3.) The goat seen in Farina's yard.
(4.) Two geese and a duck shown in Farina's yard.
(5.) A dog shown far into the background walking in front of the building on the northeast corner of Motor and Woodbine.
(6.) At least one chicken behind the fence where the gang is hanging out.

the adults:

Robert A. McGowan as the first police officer
Supporting role. Later credited as Anthony Mack. This is the cop that first warns the kids about the responsibility of keeping a chimp, then appears later with the other cops.
woman 044 as Farina's mom
Small part. It's hard to tell, but I'll assume this is the same woman from "Your Own Back Yard" (no. 44) based on the way she's dressed.
Harry Bowen as the man repairing the auto
Small part. The chimp tears his car apart while he's away.
William Gillespie as one of the police officers
Small part. He's the one who gets beaten up by the chimp.
Charlie Hall as the balloon vendor
Bit part. He doesn't notice that his balloons are missing.
Chris Lynton as the man watering his lawn
Bit part. The chimp puts a kink in his hose, causing him to spray himself.
Charles A. Bachman as one of the police officers
Bit part. He shows up in the patrol wagon.
Ed Brandenberg as the driver of the patrol wagon
Bit part. The chimp pushes him out of the wagon and drives off with the kids in back.
other adults
Small parts, bit parts and extras.
(1.) The man training the chimps at the start of the film.
(2.) Farina's father, who gets beaten by his wife, and then by the chimp.
(3.) The fruit vendor, whose cart is overturned by the chimp.
(4.) The proprietor of the pawn shop, where the chimp steals some guns.
(5.) The cop present with Robert A. McGowan before the wagon arrives.
(6.) The man lighting his cigarette.
(7.) The woman who summons the cop.
(8.) The trainer's assistant.
(9.) The construction worker who gets the hydrant turned on him.
(10.) The man tying his shoe.
(11.) The man and woman walking down the sidewalk.
(12.) Various construction workers at the end of the film.

the locations:

Mentone Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
The opening scene in which the gang is pummeling Farina, and the scenes in which the chimp rides the bike, were shot in the backyard of a house on Mentone. In some shots, the vacant lot on the southwest corner Motor and Woodbine is seen. The lot itself is where the chimp first attacks Mickey, with the billboard significantly featured. Seen in the background of various shots are the Mitholithic Mfg. Co. on the east side of the 3300 block of Motor, the People's Water Company at 3392 Motor, and the Masonic Hall at 3402 Motor. In other shots, the Mentone house is shown, and when Farina escorts the chimp into the house, they're walking into the back door of the same house.
Woodbine Street, Palms district, Los Angeles
The chimp walks out of the alley between Motor and Vinton and starts walking along the fence going east on Woodbine. We're made to believe that Farina is sitting on the curb further east down Woodbine, but in reality, he was sitting just slightly west of the alley. In the various shots with the chimp and Farina's dad, we see the back of the People's Water Co., as well as the entrance to the alley and the house at the corner of Woodbine and Vinton. Later, we see a cop at the corner of the same fence, who's noticing the chimp going into the little shack. However, the shack is actually located on the south side of Woodbine in the alley behind the Masonic Hall. When the chimp drives away in the police wagon, he's driving down this alley south from Woodbine.
Motor Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
During the rolling skating sequence, the chimp goes south along the 3300 block of this street, with views of much of the west side of the street, including the Sanitary Market at 3343 Motor, the Arthur Boetsch Barber Shop at 3351 Motor, the Palms Hardware Co. at 3351 Motor, and the house at 3359 Motor later used in "The Old Wallop" (no. 68). Also seen in the distance is the house at the corner of Motor and Irene which was later used as Dickie Moore's house in "Free Wheeling" (no. 117). There's also some footage showing the east side of the 3400 block, with a glimpse of the Palms Chamber of Commerce. Another shot has the camera pointing south and swinging from the west to east sides of the intersection of Motor and Stilson (now Palms Boulevard). It's possible to make out the gas station on the northwest corner, the Palms School on the southeast corner, and the Home Made Bakery on the northeast corner in this shot. Also, the old man summons the cop on the Motor side of the People's Water Co.
Featherstone Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
This is now part of the rerouted National Boulevard. After the police wagon finally crashes (at the Roach studio), we see the chimp chase the kids east on Featherstone towards Motor Avenue. To the far right is the Los Angeles City Engine Co. 43 at 10416 Featherstone, which was later seen in "Hook And Ladder" (no. 116). Next to it on the corner is the Palms Feed & Fuel at 3303 Motor, and across the street at the opposite corner is the Palms Garage at 3304 Motor.
Irene Street, Palms district, Los Angeles
This appears to be the location of the fire hydrant, which the chimp turns on. As we see the utility worker sliding down the street, he's heading towards Motor Avenue. Visible along the left side are the steps leading up to the corner house, which is most famous for being Dickie Moore's home in "Free Wheeling" (no. 117). In the distance can be seen the railroad bridge just south of where Motor crosses the tracks.
Bacon's Pharmacy and Safeway Stores, Inc., Palms district, Los Angeles
This is at 3568-3570 Motor Avenue, and has the word "DRUGS" boldly shown on the building. Later seen in "Bouncing Babies" (no. 93).
Culver Hotel, Culver City
In the scene where the chimp throws the torpedo at the couple walking down the sidewalk, they're walking along the Culver Boulevard side of this hotel. Seen in the distance is the building at the corner of Culver and Washington Boulevards. The hotel is also seen elsewhere during this sequence. The shot in question shows a streetcar (heading for Redondo Beach) on the left side of the screen, with Culver Boulevard running parallel to it. Off to the right of the screen is Washington Boulevard. This shot pans to the right, showing the First National Bank of Culver City at the corner of Washington and Van Beuren, and continuing to pan as far as Irving Place.
Main Street, Culver City
As the police wagon speeds through the streets, we get a brief look at the Adams Hotel. Then the camera points in the opposite direction for a look up Main Street. The building on the northeast corner of Main and Culver is also shown in the shot of Charlie Hall selling balloons. The address is 7001 Main Street.
MGM Studios, Culver City
At one point, the police wagon speeds past the Ince Colonnade on Washington Boulevard, which provided MGM with their northern entrance. There's a banner hanging over the street which mentions Grauman's Egyptian Theater.
Hal Roach Studios, Culver City
Much of the chimp-on-a-rampage footage was shot here on the New York exterior set.
Farina's house
This location also served as Farina's home in "Your Own Back Yard" (no. 44). Location information connected with "Bring Home The Turkey" (no. 57) reveals that this house was on or around Motor Avenue.

miscellaneous:

17 shooting dates went into the making of this film. About a week and a half after shooting finished for "Buried Treasure" (no. 47), the 'start' date for "Monkey Business" arrived on Oct. 30th. Shooting continued until Nov. 18th, when it was considered 'finished.' No shooting took place on Nov. 1st, 8th or 15th, which were all Sundays. After this, two and a half weeks passed before the Our Gang unit began shooting "Baby Clothes" (no. 49).

There were 38 copies of this film printed for its initial release.

In the TV print, the calendar on the kitchen wall can almost be made out to say January. If the days of the week run Monday through Sunday, then this works, but if it's the traditional Sunday through Saturday, then it's more likely to be October 1925.


availability:

Laurel and Hardy and Friends - Volume Ten (VHS) from Hal Roach Studios
Released June 1, 1999. This print has an original opening title, no crew credits, and a non-original end title followed by a Pathécomedy title card. At least two inter-titles are missing from this print. The picture quality is good. The print totals 24:35, with 24:31 of it original footage. Almost the entire original film is included.
Kid Gangs And Juvenile Stars (DVD) from Looser Than Loose Publishing
Released 2007. This print compares to the one on the "Laurel and Hardy and Friends" VHS, and totals 19:39.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Volume 2 (VHS) from Video Classics and
Our Gang Comedies II (VHS) from The Picture Palace
This print is identical to the one from the "Laurel and Hardy and Friends" release. A version of this film has appeared numerous times on bootlegs, and probably derives from the Video Classics release.
Rascals Silents Vol. 1 (VHS) from A-1 Video
This copy derives from the same source as the "Laurel and Hardy and Friends" print, but less of the picture frame is shown. The print totals 18:29, with 18:26 of it original footage.
Hail...Hail - "Our Gang's" All Here (VHS) from Video Yesteryear
Released 1987. This copy is a TV print from Those Lovable Scallawags With Their Gangs entitled "Monkey Business." This print includes at least two inter-titles that are not in the "Laurel and Hardy and Friends" version. The print totals 16:00, with 15:33 of it original footage. Since the print is projected at a slower speed, this represents only about two-thirds of the original film.
Our Gang Comedies (3 LD set) from MGM/UA Home Video
Released 1994. This version is essentially the same as the "Laurel and Hardy and Friends" print. The footage totals 24:36.
A Festival Of Silent Comedy Volume Four (DVD) from Reelclassicdvd.com
This version is comparable to the Video Classics version, and is missing the same small amount of footage. The footage totals 24:12.
The Our Gang Collection - Volume 1 (DVD) from Reelclassicdvd.com
Released Feb. 2007. Previously released on "A Festival Of Silent Comedy Volume Four."
Our Gang Silent Comedies Vol. 4 (VHS) from HenryButch
This print is identical to the A-1 Video version.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Vol. 5 (VHS) from HenryButch
This copy derives from the MGM/UA laserdisc.
The Our Gang Story (VHS/DVD) from GoodTimes Home Video
VHS released 1994. DVD released May 21, 2002. Also included as part of Our Gang Collector Series 4 Pack (4 DVD set), released Mar. 21, 2001, Our Gang Collector Series 5 Pack (5 VHS/DVD set), released Feb. 2002 (VHS) and Mar. 2004 (DVD), and The Best Of Our Gang Volume 1 (DVD) released June 1, 2004. A clip lasting 0:38 is included, combining footage of Farina getting beaten up by the gang, with his meeting with the chimp and the subsequent beating of Farina's father, with narration added.

© 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)
Robin Cook (for noticing the extra inter-title in the Scallawags version, and for info regarding the laserdisc version)
Mark Brumfield
Lynn Paden (for alerting me to the reelclassicdvd release)


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