War Feathers

film no. 54


technical details:

Production K-12.

Filmed August 5 to September 4, 1926. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Released November 21, 1926. It was the 54th film in the series to be released.

Copyrighted December 13, 1926, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU23419. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.

This film was reissued and played in theaters through 1930.

Silent two-reeler.

Probable opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "War Feathers".'

Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1007, "Ride 'Em Cowboy," copyrighted Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17312.


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 Robert A. McGowan
Maltin & Bann list only Robert F. McGowan, and the film credits probably reflect this, but without his middle initial, which stands for Francis. Robert A. (for Anthony) McGowan was his nephew, and it's the 1926 studio datebook that reveals him as the director of this film (as Robert McGowan, Jr.), with his uncle directing the added scenes. The nephew was later credited as Anthony Mack. According to the payroll summaries, the nephew was still officially an assistant director during this period.
Assistant Director: Charles Oelze
According to Rob Stone's list.
Photographed by Art Lloyd
According to Rob Stone's list. This credit might not appear in the film.
Edited by Richard Currier
This credit probably appears in the film.
Cutter: Edmund Hannan
This credit derives from Hannan's payroll status as the Our Gang cutter starting the week ending Aug. 28th.
Titles by H. M. Walker
This credit probably appears in the film.
Props by Don Sandstrom and Timothy O'Donnell
Sandstrom is listed by Rob Stone. Both names are listed as prop men for the unit in the payroll summaries from this period.
Animation by S. E. Overton
This credit derives from Overton's payroll status as the studio animator during this period. The animation in this film involves Farina's bulging eyes.
Story by Hal E. Roach
This credit probably doesn't appear in the film.
Watchman: E. B. Pence
This credit derives from his listing in the studio payroll summary for the week ending Aug. 20th.
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
school teacher - Fern Carter was probably away from the studio while this film was being made, though the payroll summaries reveal that she was receiving her salary during this period.
possible uncredited involvement
writing - Robert F. McGowan, Robert A. McGowan, Carl Harbaugh, Frank Butler 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's basically the star of the short. He steals an Indian kid's clothing and ends up on a reservation. After escaping, he joins the other kids at the outlaw's ranch.
Joe Cobb
Featured role. Introduced in the titles as "Leaping Lollypop." Johnny calls him "Chief." He's featured throughout the film, shooting arrows and trying to keep Scooter from sneezing.
Johnny Downs
Featured role. He seems to be the leader of the gang, and does some Bronco busting at the ranch.
Jannie Hoskins as "Mango"
Supporting role. She's seen off and on, and has the closing gag, in which she swallows the half dollar.
Bobby "Bonedust" Young
Supporting role. Maltin & Bann seem to indicate that the nickname was used in this film, but it doesn't appear in either of these prints. He's given a gag in which his pants fall down.
Elmer "Scooter" Lowry
Supporting role. It's his sneeze that alerts the outlaws to the kids in the wagon.
Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He mostly does ensemble acting in this film.
Peggy Ahern
Supporting role. Listed as Peggy Ahearn by Maltin & Bann. She's mainly part of the ensemble.
Jay R. Smith
Supporting role. He basically does ensemble acting in this film.
Mildred Kornman
Small part. She's seen off and on, mainly being carried by other kids.
other kids
Supporting role. The only remaining kid is the Indian boy. Farina switches clothes with him.

the animals:

parrot 008 as "Marmaduke"
Small part. Presumably the same parrot as previously seen.
Dinah the Mule
Small part. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. She kicks the outlaws right into the well. Somebody has painted some large spots on her.
donkey 013
Extra. Possibly the same donkey from "Back Stage" (no. 13), but perhaps not.
donkey 041
Extra. Looks like the donkey from "Mary, Queen Of Tots" (no. 41). Accompanies the other donkey while wandering around the town square.
other animals
Small parts, bit parts and extras.
(1.) The bear that appears during the Indian sequence.
(2.) A cow made up to look like a buffalo. Not previously seen.
(3.) Various horses ridden by the lawmen, the outlaws, and the Indians. There is a white horse ridden by one of the Indians, which might be horse 014. There's also a dark horse with a white spot on its snout ridden by one of the deputies that could be the horse from "Fast Company" (no. 16).

the adults:

Garry O'Dell as "'Bicarbonated' Billy"
Supporting role. He breaks out of jail and later lets the kids play at his ranch.
Chet Brandenberg as one of the outlaws
Supporting role. He's the one with the long scar across his face.
George B. French as one of the ranchers
Supporting role. He's the one with the big moustache. He drives the wagon.
Hayes Robertson as one of the conductors
Small part. He's the black man that gets the arrow in his butt.
Oscar Morgan as Farina's father
Small part. He's a preacher and doesn't let his little boy play with the roughneck kids of the Gang.
Sam Lufkin as the sheriff
Small part. He arrests the head outlaw, then goes to fetch him out of the well.
Chris Lynton and Charles Meakin as the novelty salesmen
Bit parts. They discover that the kids have gone through their Indian novelties. Lynton is the white-haired gentleman, and listed by Maltin & Bann as Allen Cavan.
Ham Kinsey as one of the conductors
Bit part. He's the one that announces that the train has arrived in Red Dog.
Sammy Brooks as one of the men of Red Dog
Extra. He's the short guy in town.
other adults
Small parts, bit parts and extras.
(1.) One father and three mothers of the kids.
(2.) The two Indians that carry Farina away, and about five additional Indians at the reservation.
(3.) Two lawmen in addition to the sheriff, and three or four more that get in on the gunfight.
(4.) Six or seven additional passengers on the train.
(5.) Several additional men in Red Dog.

the locations:

Chatsworth
According to Rob Stone's list, footage was shot at this location August 4th. However, the 1926 studio datebook reveals that the Our Gang unit traveled to Chatsworth on this date, and presumably shot footage there over the next few days.
Inglewood
According to Rob Stone's list, footage was shot at this location August 9th.
Santa Fe Railroad
According to Rob Stone's list, footage was shot at this location August 9th.
Arnaz Ranch
According to Rob Stone's list, footage was shot at this location August 10th through 12th.
Newhall
According to Rob Stone's list, footage was shot at this location August 13th through 21st. However, according to the 1926 studio datebook, the 21st was a non-working Sunday. It's possible that the unit was returning from this location on that date.

miscellaneous:

20 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Over seven weeks had passed since shooting finished for "The Fourth Alarm!" (no. 53). The studio was closed during four of these weeks. However, during this period, the overseas footage for "Seeing The World" (no. 55) was shot. Two days later, on Aug. 4th, the Our Gang unit traveled to Chatsworth for location shooting, which began on the 'start' date of Aug. 5th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of Aug. 25th. During this time, footage was shot in Inglewood and at the Santa Fe Railroad Station on Aug. 9th, at the Arnaz Ranch from the 10th to the 12th, and in Newhall from the 13th to the 21st. No shooting took place on Aug. 8th, 15th and 22nd, which were all Sundays, nor on Aug. 6th and 21st. All of the shooting so far was directed by Robert A. McGowan. A week after the finish date, added scenes were shot from Sep. 1st through 4th, which were directed by Robert F. McGowan. Nearly a week later, shooting began for "Telling Whoppers" (no. 56).

The case full of Indian novelties says Far West Mfg. Co. Indian Novelties on the front. There are also a couple of swastikas on there.

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


availability:

Our Gang Silent Comedies Vol. 2 (VHS) from HenryButch
This copy has mostly original inter-titles, but the opening title card is generic, and the film looks a lot better than Video Classics' copy. However, there's some footage missing that appears in the other copy. The print totals 17:50, with 17:47 of it original footage. Probably over three quarters of the original film is included.
Our Gang Silent Comedies Volume 3 (VHS) from Video Classics and
Our Gang Comedies III (VHS) from The Picture Palace
This copy is a home movie print made by Exclusive Movie Studios, Inc., in Chicago. The picture quality is very poor, and there is footage missing. The print totals 18:54, with 18:46 of it original footage.
A Festival Of Silent Comedy (DVD) from Reelclassicdvd.com
This print is essentially the same as the HenryButch version, but has a brand new opening title, deriving from the one used for "Derby Day" (no. 21). The footage totals 18:08.
The Our Gang Collection - Volume 1 (DVD) from Reelclassicdvd.com
Released Feb. 2007. Previously released on "A Festival Of Silent Comedy."
Jackie Remembers Our Gang - The Silent Era (VHS/DVD) from Jackie Taylor
A clip is shown on this tape lasting 5:26 and taken from an Exclusive Movie Studios home movie called "Way Out West." Jackie Taylor and Johnny Downs do commentary over the footage. Another clip lasting 0:13 is included, taken from two different parts of the film, with narration added.

© 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)
Lynn Paden (for alerting me to the reelclassicdvd release)


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