Baby Brother

film no. 61

technical details:

Production K-19.

Filmed February 16 to March 14, 1927. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted May 18, 1927, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU23973. Renewed January 10, 1955, with registration no. R142074. This copyright expired at the end of 2022, and the film is now in the public domain.

Released on June 26, 1927. If Maltin & Bann's release date for "The Glorious Fourth" is correct, then the two films were released on the same day, making them the 61st and 62nd in the series to be released. However, both July 30th and 31st have also been listed as release dates for that film.

Silent two-reeler.

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

Released into TV syndication as Mischief Makers episode no. 1025, "Rockaby Baby," copyrighted Sep. 1, 1960, with registration number LP17330.

the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Credited in the film as a presenter.
Supervised by F. Richard Jones
He wasn't credited anymore, but he still held the position of director-general until his resignation on March 9th.
Directed by Anthony Mack and Charles Oelze
This credit appears in the film. Mack's real name was Robert A. (for Anthony) McGowan. The 1927 studio datebook credits only Mack as director, identifying him as McGowan, Jr. His uncle, Robert F. McGowan, was on vacation during the filming of this short. The payroll summaries credit both Mack and Oelze as assistant directors, but indicate that Mack was promoted to directorial status the week ending Mar. 5th.
Photographed by Art Lloyd
This credit appears in the film.
Assistant Cameraman: W. V. Draper
This credit derives from Draper's payroll status as the Our Gang assistant cameraman during this period.
Edited by Richard Currier
This credit 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 appears in the film. The inter-titles have the burlap look in this film.
Props by Don Sandstrom, Timothy O'Donnell and Harry Black
This credit derives from their payroll status as Our Gang prop men during this period.
Animation by Roy Seawright
This credit derives from Seawright's payroll status as the studio animator beginning the week ending Apr. 2nd. This film features animated bubbles, as well as numbers animated above Farina's head.
Story by Hal E. Roach
This credit doesn't appear in the film.
Animal trainer: Tony Campanaro
He was Pal's trainer.
Hairdresser: Mrs. William Mathews
This credit derives from the payroll summaries, which indicate that she worked with the Our Gang unit during the week ending Feb. 26th.
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
optical effects supervisor - Roy Seawright
still photographer - Bud "Stax" Graves
transportation director - Bob Davis
possible uncredited involvement
writing - Robert F. McGowan, Robert A. McGowan, Hal Yates, Carl Harbaugh, Jean Yarbrough and Frank Butler may have been among the gag writers.

the kids:

the gang
Joe Cobb as "Joe" aka "Joseph"
Lead role. He's the star of the film, a rich kid that wants a baby brother, so he buys one.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins
Featured role. The nickname doesn't appear in this film. He's the one that finds a baby to sell to Joe.
Jay R. Smith
Supporting role. He gets a bit of dialogue, but mainly in relation to his brother Horatio.
Bobby "Bonedust" Young
Supporting role. The nickname doesn't appear in this film. Most of his activity is in relation to the twins.
Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He's mostly along for the ride in this film, but he has a couple of lines.
Elmer "Scooter" Lowry
Supporting role. He's given mostly ensemble work to do.
Jean Darling
Small part. She appears off and on, and isn't given much to do.
Jannie Hoskins
Small part. She appears off and on.
Davey Monahan
Bit part. He's the one additional boy in the gang during the baby assembly line sequence, but he's given very little to do.

the babies
Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins as "Horatio"
Supporting role. Maltin & Bann mistakenly give him the "Wheezer" moniker, while assigning the "Horatio" character to Donnie Smith, who isn't in the film. In any event, he's given more attention than virtually any of the other babies. This was Wheezer's debut in the series.
Mildred Kornman
Supporting role. She gets stuck on a rogue baby bouncer. There appears to be somebody doubling for her in this scene. She appears to be Jackie's younger sister.
Richard and Robert Smith as "Coolidge" and "Tunney"
Supporting roles. These two are Bonedust's little brothers, and can be told apart with a pickle. A later interview with the twins reveals that Richard played "Coolidge" and Robert played "Tunney," and that the pickle routine actually reflected reality.
other babies
Supporting roles, small parts and bit parts. One of the babies was the younger sister of the Smith twins.
(1.) "Nasturtium" aka "Joe, Jr." This is the black baby that Farina steals for Joe.
(2.) Farina's baby brother, whose diaper starts smoking while he's on the drying machine.
(3.) The first baby stolen by Farina, which Joe runs off with.
(4.) The baby with the big nose that Farina tries to acquire.
(5.) There are three additional babies in this film, one of which is Scooter's younger sibling, and another is Jean's younger sibling.

undetermined kids
A 1927 casting directory states that Johnny Aber appeared in this film, but he's clearly not in the available print, which is apparently complete.

the animals:

Small part. Not listed by Maltin & Bann. He provides motor power for the rocking machine.
dog 059
Small part. This is Joe's Pekingese.
cat 060
Bit part. This is the cat in the foreground licking up the melted ice cream. Previously seen in "Tired Business Men" (no. 60).
other animals
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) Six other cats follow the trail of melted ice cream, some of which may have been previously seen.
(2.) A chicken can just barely be made out behind Hardy.

the adults:

Anita Garvin as Joe's nursemaid
Supporting role. She introduces Joe to the poor kids.
Eulalie Jensen as Joe's mother
Supporting role. She hosts a bridge party, and is greatly embarassed when Joe asks for a baby brother.
Oliver Hardy as the iceman
Supporting role. Maltin & Bann identify him as the nursemaid's boyfriend. He becomes very embarassed when Joe asks the nursemaid for a baby brother.
Gustav Schaffrath as "Gus," one of Barr's midgets
Supporting role. He gets into a fight with Farina. The payroll ledger gives various spellings of his name. I'm going with the version at the Lord Heath website, where the census records were researched. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Harry Earles.
Irene Allen as Nasturtium's mother
Small part. She pays Farina to look after her baby, but has to chase Joe to get it back.
Ben Hall as the man in the glasses
Small part. He's the assistant to Joe's dad.
Silas D. Wilcox as one of the cops
Small part. This is the other cop standing behind Farina.
Lincoln Plumer as Joe's father
Supporting role. He's too preoccupied with business to have much time for his son.
Fred F. Guenste as the butler
Small part. This guy once again appears as a butler.
Lillianne Leighton as one of the mothers
Bit part. It appears that she's the mother of the first baby that's stolen.
Alice Belcher as one of the mothers
Bit part. She's the mother with the big nose.
Chet Brandenburg as the shoeshine worker
Bit part. Maltin & Bann identify him as Ed Brandenberg and list him as a cop.
Lyle Tayo as one of the party guests
Bit part. She's sitting across the table from Joe's mom, and later lingers at the door when Joe runs in with the black baby.
Symona Ferner Boniface as one of the party guests
Extra. I'm pretty sure she sits to the right of Lyle Tayo and to the left of Joe's mother.
other adults
Small parts, bit parts and extras. The 1927 directory lists an actor named Park Jones as appearing in this film, but I still need to familiarize myself with him.
(2.) The cop that apprehends Joe, until Farina coaxes him away.
(3.) At least eleven additional women at the bridge party.
(4.) Another domestic worker besides the butler.
(5.) The man standing in the background holding his coat in the early scenes at the house.
(6.) The guy walking by when we first see the midget.
(7.) The guy getting his shoes shined, whose face is never shown.

the music (sort of):

I'm Lonesome I Guess That's All
Or at least that's what the lyrics say on the player piano that Joe's crying over.

the locations:

Motor Avenue, Palms district, Los Angeles
The Arthur Boetsch Barber Shop is shown in this film, including the shoeshine stand out in front. This was located at 3347 Motor Avenue, on the west side of the street. Farina paints the baby with white shoe polish in the space between this building and the Palms Hardware Co. at 3351 Motor. Seen in the background is the house situated behind the barber shop. Later in the film, as Joe is chased carrying the baby, he runs down the sidewalk on the west side of the 3400 block. Anita Garvin joins the chase out in front of the houses just south of the vacant lot that's featured in many of the shorts.
vacant lot
In the shot where Anita Garvin and the baby's mother are running down the street, they are passing the vacant lot that would soon be featured in "Olympic Games" (no. 63).


23 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Two weeks after shooting had finished for "Tired Business Men" (no. 60), the 'start' date arrived for "Baby Brother" on Feb. 16th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of Mar. 14th. No shooting took place on Feb. 20th, Feb. 27th, Mar. 6th, or Mar. 13th, which were all Sundays. Robert A. McGowan (listed as McGowan, Jr.) is credited in the 1927 datebook with directing on most of the shooting dates. However, his uncle, Robert F. McGowan, is credited on Feb. 18th and Mar. 5th. No director is listed for Feb. 16th. After this, two weeks passed before the Our Gang unit began to film "Chicken Feed" (no. 62).

40 still images were printed into numerous press photos to promote this film.

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© 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)
Sue Larkin (for info regarding her dad, Dave Monahan)
Lynn Paden (for alerting me to Sue's website)
Paul Mular

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