Uncle Tom's Uncle

film no. 50


technical details:

Production K-8.

Filmed January 12 to February 3, 1926. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted April 28, 1926, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU22647. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

Released May 30, 1926. It was the 50th film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

Probable opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Uncle Tom's Uncle".'


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 Directors: Robert A. McGowan and Charles Oelze
McGowan was later credited as Anthony Mack. The payroll summaries were listing McGowan as the assistant director for the Our Gang unit during this period, but were still listing Oelze as a prop man. Rob Stone's list gives sole credit to Oelze.
Photographed by Art Lloyd
This credit probably appears in the film.
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 Don Sandstrom
This is according to Rob Stone's list. The payroll summaries also credited Oelze as a prop man during this period.
Animation by E. H. Young
This credit derives from Young's payroll status as the studio animator during this period. The animation in this film involves the hair standing up on the cat's back and the title cards used as Joe's mother calls him.
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
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
writing - Robert F. McGowan, Robert A. McGowan, Carl Harbaugh, Hal Yates and James Parrott may have been among the gag writers.

the kids:

the performers
Joe Cobb as "Joe"
Featured role. He plays Uncle Tom in the gang's production, but is repeatedly interrupted by his mom.
Mickey Daniels as "Mickey"
Featured role. He plays Simon Legree, and is the one in charge.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Supporting role. He plays Topsy in the performance.
Bobby "Bonedust" Young as "Bonedust"
Supporting role. He starts off as the dim-witted curtain puller, but is later part of the show.
Mary Kornman as "Mary"
Supporting role. She plays Little Eva.
Johnny Downs
Supporting role. He plays Marks, the lawyer.
Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He also has a part in the play.
Nancy McKee as "Nancy"
Supporting role. She's the other female lead besides Mary.
other performers
Bit part. The one remaining performer is the girl in blackface during the whipping scene.

kids behind the scenes
Jay R. Smith
Supporting role. He's basically a stage hand, getting more footage than the other backstage kids.
Jannie Hoskins
Supporting role. She's in the loft throwing eggs at the actors.
boy 028
Bit part. He plays French horn in the orchestra, and also appears at the beginning of the film.
boy 032
Bit part. He's the blonde boy shown at the beginning of the film.
David Durand
Bit part. According to Maltin & Bann. Perhaps he's the piano player.
other kids
Bit parts. There are a few other kids working behind the scenes, including a door man and the boy riding the mule. There's also a cashier who looks like she might be Yvonne Armstrong, as shown in a contemporary casting directory.

the audience
Gabe Saenz
Supporting role. He's the tough kid that tries to break up the show. This was his final appearance in the series.
Billy Naylor
Bit part. I'm pretty sure this is the Jewish stereotype in the audience.
Peggy Eames
Bit part. There's a closeup of her laughing when Joe takes the stage without his makeup.
boy 011a
Bit part. He sits next to Gabe. I'm pretty sure this is the same kid from "A Pleasant Journey" (no. 11).
boy 021
Extra. He sits behind Gabe.
other kids
Bit parts and extras. There are perhaps forty kids in the audience. Maltin & Bann list Bobby Green among them, but I don't yet know what he looks like.

questionable listings
Maltin & Bann list Scooter Lowry, Bobby Mallon, Jackie Hanes and Billy Butts, none of whom seem to be in the film.

the animals:

Buster
Small part. This is the dog that crosses the ice with Farina. Appeared as "Magnolia" in "Thundering Fleas" (no. 51).
Pal
Small part. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. He's Joe's dog.
dog 034
Bit part. The dog from "The Big Town" (no. 34).
dog 003
Bit part. Appears to be the same dog featured in "One Terrible Day" (no. 4).
dog 043
Bit part. Presumably the same dachshund that appeared in "Better Movies" (no. 43).
other animals
Small parts, bit parts and extras.
(1.) The goat that plays "Buchanan," who provides the explosion at the end of the film.
(2.) The mule, which Maltin & Bann identify as Dinah, but which seems to me to have larger nostrils.
(3.) The black cat that eats the dove.
(4.) The cat chased by Pal.
(5.) The piglet that plays Elsie.
(6.) The little dog seen backstage.
(7.) A large goose hanging around outside the barn.
(8.) A second piglet.
(9.) At least four chickens.
(10.) At least one pigeon serving as the dove.
(11.) A second goose hanging around with the large goose.

the adults:

woman 016 as Joe's mom
Supporting role. She appears repeatedly to wash Joe's face and put him to work.
other adults
Bit part. The only remaining adult is the mailman, who appears briefly blowing a whistle. We don't get a good look at him.

the locations:

Palms district, Los Angeles
Some of the footage taken on January 20th was shot in Palms. Other footage on that day was shot at the studio. When the kids are running from the goat, they run south down the alley situated parallel to and between Motor and Vinton, having entered on Woodbine Street. The camera shows them from both directions. It looks very much like it's been raining recently in these shots. The goat winds up in the area east of Motor and north of Featherstone. A shot of the kids on top of one of the short cliffs shows the house at the corner of National and Vinton, as well as part of the Palms Lumber Co.

miscellaneous:

16 shooting dates went into the making of this film. The day after retakes were shot for "Baby Clothes" (no. 49), the 'start' date arrived for "Uncle Tom's Uncle" on Jan. 12th. Shooting continued until Feb. 3rd, when it was considered 'finished.' However, the datebook entries for Jan. 22nd and 23rd read 'work suspended account sickness,' and the entry for Jan. 26th reads 'picture tied up account illness of Farina.' And of course, no shooting took place on Jan. 17th, 24th and 31st, which were all Sundays. And for some reason, no shooting took place on Jan. 15th. Four and a half weeks after shooting finished, the Our Gang unit began filming "Thundering Fleas" (no. 51).

There were 40 copies of this film printed for its initial release.


availability:

That Old "Our Gang" Of Mine (VHS) from Video Yesteryear
Released 1992. This copy is a home movie print from Exclusive Movie Studios, Inc., in Chicago, entitled "Uncle Tom's Uncle." The picture quality is good. The print totals 31:10, with 31:05 of it original footage. The print is projected at a slower speed, but it's still apparent that almost all of the original film is included.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Volume 6 (VHS) from Video Classics and
Our Gang Comedies VI (VHS) from The Picture Palace
This copy is essentially the same as Video Yesteryear's. The picture quality is fairly poor, and there's a little bit of footage missing. The print comes from Niles Film Products in South Bend, Indiana. The print totals 23:03, with 22:58 of it original footage.
Our Gang Volume #12 (VHS) from Grapevine Video and also from The Picture Palace
This copy is a home movie print from Blackhawk. There is a bit of footage shown here that isn't in the Exclusive version, but there is also some missing from this version. The print totals 20:31, with 18:49 of it original footage. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.
Our Gang Classics (VHS) from Jef Films
Released 1997. This is the Exclusive version, but with a Jef Films copyright shown at the bottom of the screen.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Vol. 7 (VHS) from HenryButch
This copy is identical to Grapevine's.

© Robert Demoss.


My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Rob Stone (for providing the production number, shooting dates, location info, suspension of production, and some of the crew credits)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Matthew Lydick (for the correct spelling of Gabe Saenz's last name, and for providing info on the Jef release)


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