Moan & Groan, Inc.

film no. 94

technical details:

Production G-28.

Filmed September 3 to 14, 1929. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted December 2, 1929, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP880. Renewed December 19, 1956, with registration no. R182603. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2024.

Released December 7, 1929. It was the 94th film in the series to be released.

All-talking two-reeler, sound on film and disc. (In actuality, there is a little bit of silent footage in this film.) Also released separately as a silent film.

Opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Moan & Groan, Inc.".'

the crew:

Produced by Robert F. McGowan for Hal Roach
This is the way Maltin & Bann put it. The film credits Roach as a presenter, with a separate credit reading "A Robert McGowan Production."
Directed by Robert F. McGowan
This credit appears in the film, but without his middle initial.
Assistant Director: Don Sandstrom
This credit derives from studio documentation.
Photographed by Art Lloyd and F. E. Hershey
This credit appears in the film.
Film Editor: Richard Currier
This credit appears in the film.
Story Editor: H. M. Walker
This credit appears in the film. The press release credits him with dialogue.
Recording Engineer: Elmer Raguse
This credit appears in the film.
Story by Robert F. McGowan
This credit doesn't appear in the film.
Animal Trainer: Harry Lucenay
He was Pete's owner and trainer.
Teacher: Fern Carter
Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Indicated in the opening title card.
Passed by the National Board of Review
As indicated in the film.
A Victor Recording, Western Electric System
As indicated in the film.
studio personnel
general manager - Warren Doane
assistant general manager - L. A. French
secretary-treasurer - C. H. Roach
assistant secretary - Mat O'Brien
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
cutting - Possibly Lloyd Campbell.
writing - Robert A. McGowan, Jean Yarbrough, Charlie Hall, Harry Keaton and Carl Harbaugh may have been among the gag writers.
property department - Charles Oelze, Don Sandstrom, Thomas Benton Roberts and Bob Saunders were probably involved in this capacity.
animal training - Tony Campanaro may have been among the animal trainers.

the kids:

Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Featured role. He's given more attention than any of the other kids, particularly in his dinner scene with Davidson.
Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins as "Wheezer"
Supporting role. He's given a fair amount of the dialogue among the kids and shakes hands with Davidson.
Mary Ann Jackson as "Mary"
Supporting role. She's also given a fair amount of the dialogue.
Norman "Chubby" Chaney as "Chubby" aka "Chub"
Supporting role. He also has a fair amount of the dialogue, particularly with Farina. The publicity photos list his full name without the nickname.
Betty Jane Beard
Supporting role. She plays Farina's baby brother, and is cared for by Kennedy in this film. There's a temptation to identify her character as "Trellis," much like Jannie Hoskins' character in "Lazy Days," but it sounds like Officer Kennedy is actually saying "tell us." This is what the captions in the ClassicFlix release say, in any event.
Jackie Cooper as "Jack"
Supporting role. He's mostly an ensemble player in this film, but has a few lines along the way. His full name is used in the publicity photos. His character name doesn't turn up in the dialogue, but it's written on the fence, along with several other kids' names, in the opening shot.
Bobby Mallon
Supporting role. He's also an ensemble player, but has a little bit of dialogue.
Jay R. Smith
Small part. He's the one that provides the sergeant with the Japanese handcuffs. He's identified in the cutting continuity as "Junior." This was his final appearance in the series.

the animals:

Pete the Pup (no. 1) as "Petie" aka "Pete"
Supporting role. He's present through the whole film, and is featured in the dinner scene. If the press releases for the films are any indication, this was the point when 'the Pup' became part of his name. To be specific, he was listed as 'Pete the pup' at this point. It was also common to see a comma as part of his name for the first year or so. In the dialogue, he's called "Petie," but on the fence in the opening shot, he's called "Pete."
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Bit part. A white mouse crawls up Kennedy's pantsleg.

the adults:

Edgar Kennedy as "Mr. Kennedy" aka "Kennedy the Cop" aka "Officer Kennedy"
Featured role. He enters the house to rescue the kids, but is spooked by the lunatic.
Max Davidson as the nut
Featured role. He inhabits the house and gives the kids a good scare.
Westcott Clarke as the police sergeant
Supporting role. He admonishes Kennedy and then has to walk down the sidewalk in Japanese handcuffs.
Gertrude Howard as Farina's mother
Small part. She has a short scene speaking with Kennedy.
other adults
Small parts and extras.
(1.) Three men and one woman walk down the sidewalk past the sergeant, who's trying to free himself from the Japanese handcuffs. The payroll ledger reveals that several extras worked on Sep. 11th, the same day as Clarke, with most winding up on the cutting room floor. One of these was Sammy Brooks, who's definitely not one of the men we see in the film. The others were Martha Gilbert, Edith Scott, Georgia Summers, Pete Gordon, Robert Burge, Richard Johnstone, Roy Nye, Al Olds, Ralph Peterson and H. M. Whinney.
(2.) The payroll ledger reveals some additional people who worked in the film, but didn't wind up in the finished product. On Sep. 13th, the studio spent $40 on the extras for this production, but it isn't clear which of these worked in the Our Gang film as opposed to the current Laurel & Hardy production, which was "The Hoose-Gow." Two of these were Charlie Hall and Ham Kinsey, who each made $20. However, two more players made $10 each, these being Dan Peterson and Sam Lufkin. Hall, Kinsey and Lufkin all appeared in the Laurel & Hardy short, but obviously not all on this date. I'm not sure about Peterson. It's clear that either Hall or Kinsey or both appeared in the Our Gang film, and if only one of them did, then so did Peterson and Lufkin. To make things even more complicated, somebody worked in the Our Gang film on Sep. 18th (after filming had apparently wrapped) for $10. It appears that this was probably Chet Brandenburg, who's listed in the ledger as Chet Brandy, but there were plenty of others making that amount that day.

the music:

"Runnin' Wild" by A. Harrington Gibbs
Published in 1922 with lyrics by Joe Grey and Leo Woods. Ted Lewis and His Band had a number 9 hit with an instrumental version in 1923. An instrumental version is played over the opening titles of this film.
"Turkey In The Straw" by John Renfro Davis
This was originally a fiddle instrumental called "Natchez Under The Hill". It was published with lyrics in 1834 as "Old Zip Coon." In this film, it's sung by Kennedy as he stands on his head.
"The Wearing Of The Green"
This song was written during the Irish Rebellion of 1798, and is often attributed to Dion Boucicault, who was born several years later and published the song during the 19th century. In this film, Kennedy sings and hums this song as he changes the baby's diaper.

the locations:

Arnaz Ranch House
This is the "powder house" that Kennedy warns the kids about, as revealed in Chris Bungo's YouTube video. We see a long shot of it up a dirt road off of Robertson Boulevard. The house and its acreage, which were on the tract of land adjacent to the northern boundary of the Roach Ranch, have been replaced by a residential neighborhood. There is a slight discrepancy about which modern home sits on the site of the old mansion, with Chris placing it approximately at 1929 South Crest Drive and the Cheviot Hills History website putting it at 1924 South Crest. As I eyeball the aerial photo on the website and compare it to the Google Maps aerial view, it looks to me like it was closer to 1912 South Crest.
Carson and Hubbard Streets, Culver City
These are parallel streets that both dead-end at the Roach studio property. Thanks to Chris Bungo's video, we now know where Edgar Kennedy and Gertrude Howard interact early in the film. Kennedy changes the baby's diaper in front of 8857 Carson. Nearby, Howard watches him with amusement, and beyond her are some houses situated on Hubbard, including 8909 Hubbard.
Hal E. Roach Studios
The scenes of Kennedy entertaining the baby and interacting with Clarke, and Clarke's walk down the sidewalk all appear to have been shot on the exterior New York set at the Roach studio.


11 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Seven weeks passed between the final day of shooting for "Bouncing Babies" (no. 93) and the 'start' date for "Moan & Groan, Inc." on Sep. 3rd. The studio had been closed for over four of those weeks. Filming began the day after Labor Day and continued until the 'finish' date of Sep. 14th. No shooting took place on Sep. 8th, which was a Sunday. Robert F. McGowan directed on each of the shooting dates. After this, two weeks passed before the Our Gang unit began filming "Shivering Shakespeare" (no. 95).

In the opening scene, there are caricatures of the kids on the fence with their names included. Most of the names are illegible, but Farina and Chubby can both be made out, as well as a mystery kid named Ernie.

Studio documentation indicates that the running time is 20 minutes 7 seconds, and that the film was 2000 feet.

A publicity photo reveals a possible deleted scene in which Kennedy and Davidson end up in a puddle outside the house.

This film was removed from King World's TV package in the early 70s.


The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 20 (VHS) from Cabin Fever and
The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Volume Four (3 LD set) from Cabin Fever
Released 1995. This is a complete print with very good picture quality. The footage totals 20:36. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.
The Little Rascals Book XII (VHS) from Blackhawk Video
This is a home movie print from Blackhawk entitled "Moan And Groan." The opening titles and crew credits are remade, and the end credits appear to derive from another source. The picture quality is good. The original footage totals 20:07, although the original soundtrack lasts an additional 0:17.
The Little Rascals - The Complete Collection (8 DVD set) from Genius Products
Released Oct. 28, 2008. This is the Blackhawk print.

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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)
Matthew Lydick (for clarifying the "Trellis/tell us" situation)
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)
J. D. Hogge (for pointing out that the Blackhawk print was used in the Genius set)

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