Shivering Spooks

film no. 52


technical details:

Production K-10.

Filmed April 7 to 28, 1926. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted July 26, 1926, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU22968. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

Premiered July 4, 1926, in New York City.

Released August 8, 1926. It was the 52nd film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

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

Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1023, "The Haunted House," copyrighted Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17328.


the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
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
According to Rob Stone's list. This credit might not have appeared 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
According to Rob Stone's list. Oelze was also listed as a prop man in the payroll summaries 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 cries of the frightened kids.
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
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, Hal Yates, Carl Harbaugh and James Parrott may have been among the gag writers.
animal training - Tony Campanaro may have been among the animal trainers.

the kids:

Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Featured role. He gets more footage than any other kid, particularly during his long sequence with the ghost.
Joe Cobb
Featured role. He first has to deal with Scooter pulling his pants down, then Farina.
Elmer "Scooter" Lowry as "Skooter"
Supporting role. He first appears with Farina as the two are caught in the middle of a gunfight. Later, he hangs off of Joe and pulls his pants down repeatedly.
Mary Kornman
Supporting role. She reads a ghost story for Farina and Scooter, but is otherwise part of the ensemble.
Johnny Downs
Supporting role. He seems to be the default leader now that Mickey Daniels has departed, but is mostly part of the ensemble.
Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He gets a brief moment to himself being chased by the ghosts, but mostly does ensemble acting.
Jay R. Smith
Supporting role. He mostly does ensemble acting.
Bobby "Bonedust" Young
Supporting role. He mostly does ensemble acting.

the animals:

Buster
Supporting role. This dog appears frequently throughout the film.

the adults:

George B. French as "Professor Fleece"
Featured role. He's virtually the star of the film, and puts on a fake seance.
Stanley "Tiny" Sandford as the detective
Supporting role. He's shown in the gunfight with Fleece, then appears at the end to make the arrest.
Harry Bowen as one of the assistants
Supporting role. I think he's the one that handles the controls. He seems to be second-in-command.
Ham Kinsey as one of the assistants
Small part. He's the assistant that makes spooky sounds through the tube.
Jack O'Brien as the grocer
Small part. His store serves as a front for the crooked seance.
Hugh Fox as one of the assistants
Small part. He's the third assistant, and isn't given much of anything specific to do.
Clara Guiol as one of the "suckers"
Bit part. She talks about how the professor brought back her second husband, and offered to bring back the third.
other adults
Small parts, bit parts and extras.
(1.) About 25 'suckers' at the seance. Maltin & Bann list Dorothy Walbert, but the payroll ledger doesn't bear this out. Is the man who wants success the same one lugging sandbags in "Boys Will Be Joys" (no. 42)?
(2.) A man standing by his car in the background as Farina and Scooter run from the cops.

the locations:

Motor Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
As Farina and Scooter are caught in the crossfire, they're running along the 3300 block of Motor Avenue. Views of the east side of the street reveal the Palms Depot in the background on National Boulevard, as well as the large house at the corner of National and Vinton. Shots pointing north up the middle of Motor reveal the buildings on the left side of the street, as well as the house on the northwest corner of Motor and Irene. There is also a shot pointing south at the intersection with Woodbine, with a good view of the vacant lot on the southwest corner. The cop chases the two boys away at the northeast corner of Motor and Woodbine. The buildings shown in this shot are the People's Water Company at 3392 Motor and the Masonic Hall at 3402 Motor. The kids' ball game is played in the large lot on the east side of Motor north of Featherstone. Shown in the background of these shots is the house at the northwest corner of Motor and Irene, which was later Dickie Moore's house in "Free Wheeling" (no. 117). Rob Stone's list mentions "Mota Av." as a location on April 19th, which is almost certainly Motor Ave. Some footage was also shot at the studio that day.
Media Park
According to Rob Stone's list, footage was shot here on April 14th.
Motor Avenue
According to Rob Stone's list, footage was shot on 'Mota Avenue' on April 19th.
Hal Roach Studios
According to Rob Stone's list, footage was shot on a studio stage on April 19th.

miscellaneous:

15 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Two weeks after shooting finished for "Thundering Fleas" (no. 51), the Our Gang unit began shooting "Shivering Spooks" on Apr. 7th. Shooting continued until Apr. 22nd, when it was considered 'finished.' No shooting took place on Apr. 11th or 18th, which were both Sundays. It should also be noted that the production was mistakenly labeled E-10 on Apr. 13th, instead of K-10. After nearly a week, retakes were shot on Apr. 28th. After this, three and a half weeks passed before the unit began shooting "The Fourth Alarm!" (no. 53).

Mary reads to Farina and Scooter from a book called Ghost Stories by R. M. Young, specifically a story called "Graveyard Ghosts.".

The gang's hideout is called Capt. Kid's Tresure Cave.

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


availability:

Our Gang Volume #2 (VHS) from Grapevine Video and also from The Picture Palace
This copy has the original opening title card and inter-titles, but no crew credits. The end title is generic and followed by the Pathé rooster. The picture quality is fairly good, and the music is the same as in "Mary, Queen Of Tots." The print totals 18:07, with 18:01 of it original footage. Almost the entire original film is included. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Volume 13 (VHS) from Video Classics
This copy is virtually the same as Grapevine's.
Our Gang Comedy Festival II (VHS/DVD) from GoodTimes Home Video
VHS first released 1989. This is essentially the same version as Grapevine's, except that the PathéComedy title appears after the rooster. There is about two seconds missing from the scene where the gang is trapped in the cave. The initials 'GT' are superimposed in the right-hand corner throughout the print, and the VHS is in LP mode. This VHS was included as part of the Our Gang Collector Series 5 Pack released Feb. 2002, while the DVD was included as part of a 5 DVD set of the same name released Mar. 2004.
Our Gang (VHS) from Video Yesteryear
Released 1987, and reissued Feb. 1992, with an EP version released Sep. 1999. This copy is a TV print from Those Lovable Scallawags With Their Gangs. Or at least the opening title is, because the rest of the print is like Grapevine's, except with a slightly better picture quality. It's also missing the two seconds from the cave scene. Also the PathéComedy title appears after the rooster. The print totals 27:50, with 27:20 of it original footage. Even though the length is largely due to a slower projection speed, almost all of the original film is included.
Rascals Silents Vol. 3 (VHS) from A-1 Video
This version is the TV print from Those Lovable Scallawags With Their Gangs, and is essentially the same as the Video Yesteryear version. The picture quality is fair. The footage totals 19:57, with 19:40 of it original.
The Headless Horseman (1922) and Shivering Spooks (1926) (DVD) from Reelclassicdvd.com
This is essentially the same as the other versions with the splice during the cave sequence, but with a refashioned opening title deriving from "Derby Day" (no. 21). The footage totals 21:13, with 21:25 of it original.
The Our Gang Collection - Volume 2 (DVD) from Reelclassicdvd.com
Released Mar. 2007.
Our Gang Comedies presents Hal Roach's Rascals 2 Pack (2 VHS set) from Brentwood Video
Released Nov. 2000. Also included as part of 10 VHS set called Our Gang Comedies presents Hal Roach's Rascals 10 Pack. This copy includes the missing two seconds, but the last part of the film is missing.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Vol. 1 from HenryButch
This is the same version as the one released by Grapevine.
Creepy Comedies
This is the only Our Gang short on this release.
The Original Comedy Classics
Released 1999. This release also includes non-Our Gang material.
Our Gang's Greatest Hits (VHS) from Video Dimensions
Released 1981. This is a virtually complete version of the film, but with an opening title from the TV series Those Lovable Scallawags With Their Gangs. Otherwise, it's comparable to the version from GoodTimes Home Video.
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 3:32 is included, showing various parts of the film, with narration added.
Hal Roach's Rascals 3-Tape Set (3 VHS set) and
Hal Roach's Rascals (DVD) from Brentwood Video
VHS released Feb. 2000. The DVD is also available in a 2 DVD set with another same-named DVD. Included is a documentary entitled Hollywood Hall Of Fame, with 5 clips from this film. The 1st lasts 0:01, and shows the gang in their hideout. The 2nd lasts 0:06, and shows Farina in the spooky house. The 3rd lasts 0:03, and shows Scooter pulling Joe's pants off. The 4th lasts 0:14, and shows Farina riding on the table. And the 5th lasts 0:01, and shows the gang witnessing the crime.

© Robert Demoss.


My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Rob Stone (for providing the production number, shooting dates, location info, and some of the crew credits)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Mark Brumfield (for noticing the missing footage in certain copies of this film)
Lord Heath (for putting a face to the name with Clara Guiol)
Matthew Lydick


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