Release no. C-591.
Filmed June 22 to 30, 1937. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.
Negative shipped on July 17, 1937.
Music cue sheet prepared July 18, 1937.
Released July 24, 1937. It was the 157th film in the series to be released. Early in the film season, Fred Quimby of MGM set a projected release date for this production of June 19, 1937.
Copyrighted August 18, 1937, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP7355. Renewed May 12, 1965, with registration no. R361169. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2032.
Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Night 'N' Gales".'
King World Productions episode no. 47a, available in both colorized and original black-and-white versions. This version is listed as "Night N' Gales."
At least seven shooting dates went into the making of this film. Here's a breakdown of the activity, as derived
from the call sheets, daily film reports and various memos:
June 14 - A Raguse memo to Van Keuren from this date relays Douglas's request on the availability and cost of three numbers he was considering for use in this film: "Till We Meet Again," "A Thousand Goodnights" and "Silver Threads Among The Gold." Local information had classified all three as 'pay' usages and they were being cleared through Mr. Decker in New York.
June 16 - A Carr memo to Van Keuren from this date requests visual, vocal and instrumental clearance of "Home, Sweet Home." This was followed by a Van Keuren memo to Raguse requesting the same. This was followed by a Raguse memo to Van Keuren indicating that the number was being cleared through Mr. Decker in New York, and that clearance of the previous three songs was being cancelled.
June 17 - A Raguse memo to Van Keuren from this date relays a wire from Mr. Decker stating that "Home, Sweet Home" was in the public domain provided that a new arrangement was used. A Carr memo to Van Keuren mentions the desire to transpose the line 'Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home' from the verse to the chorus, reading 'Home, home sweet, sweet home, be it ever so humble there's no place like home.' A Van Keuren memo to Carr states that this is perfectly permissible.
June 19 - Film costs for the previous week were $1941.81.
June 21 - A musical rehearsal took place on Stage 4 on this date for the song "Home Sweet Home." In attendance were the five main kids, Gary Jasgur, Marvin Hatley at the piano, and assistant director Carr. A document from this date lists the sets to be used over the following week's shooting schedule.
June 22 - This was the first day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids, Johnny Arthur, Elaine Sheppard, Gary Jasquer (sic), Marvin Hatley at the sideline piano, and Roy Seawright for visionary effects. Special effects for rain and an extra camera and crew would be needed. Shooting was to take place on the interior living room and hall sets on Stage 1, covering the kids' song up until they go to bed, as well as the father falling asleep and being bothered by the visionary imps. After this, shooting was to take place at the exterior front door set. Finally, shooting was to take place on the interior upper hall set, covering shots of the mother forcing the father back into the bedroom and the father with the bear rug. The film at this point was being referred to as "Untitled 'Our Gang'." Comparing the daily film report to the finished film, it's apparent that footage from the opening of the film, as well as Johnny Arthur's scene while sleeping on the couch, was started on this date, but not finished. The living room and hall sets were the only sets used. A surviving script derives from this date. A Collum memo from this date to Van Keuren, O'Brien, Huber and Cash, indicates that the five main kids and Shepard 'started' as of this date.
June 23 - This was the second day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids, Johnny Arthur, Elaine Shepard, and Gary Jasquer (sic). Footage was to be shot on the interior upper hallway set on Stage 2, showing Darla giving the boys nightgowns to wear, and cuts of mother and daughter shown later in the film. Footage was also to be shot on the interior father's bedroom set on Stage 2, showing the routines that take place prior to the boys leaving for the kitchen. A later addition to the call sheet was some added cuts to be shot on the interior living room set on Stage 2 (though this contradicts the previous day's call sheet, in which this set is said to be on Stage 1). Comparing the daily film report to the finished film, it appears that the opening scene in the living room was essentially finished, and that the scene showing Darla handing nightgowns to the boys was also shot, though this latter footage was ultimately cut from the film. There was also some additional footage shot of Johnny Arthur sleeping on the couch, as well as a bit of footage showing him arriving at the bedroom wearing the bear rug. The film at this point was still referred to as "Untitled 'Our Gang'." A Carr memo from this date to Van Keuren, Huber and Collum, states that Arthur had started on a daily basis the previous day, but was converted to a weekly salary as of this date. A Collum memo to Van Keuren, O'Brien, Huber and Cash, relates a similar message.
June 24 - This was the third day of shooting. Originally, footage shot on the kitchen set and on the bedroom set were scheduled, but by the time the call sheet was prepared, the kitchen footage had been put off for a later date. Scheduled were the five main kids, Johnny Arthur, Elaine Shepard, and Gary Jasquer (sic). According to the call sheet, shooting was to take place on the interior lower floor set on Stage 2, involving the point at which the rain starts. Shooting on the interior bedroom set on Stage 2 was to continue, as well as a couple of shots using the interior upper hallway set on Stage 2. The daily film report reveals that the exterior front door shot as the rain begins was accomplished, as was the shot of Johnny saying goodnight as he carries Gary up the stairs, and the footage of Elaine calling the boys' mothers. The beginning bedroom footage was also shot, but there was still plenty of that left to shoot on subsequent dates. There was also upper hallway footage of Elaine forcing Johnny into the bedroom with the boys, making it clear that some footage was deleted that shows how reluctant he was to sleep in the same bed with them. A Raguse memo from this date states that the title of the film was "Night 'N' Gales," though the call sheets would continue to call it "Untitled (Our Gang)" until the end of the week.
June 25 - This was the fourth day of shooting, and was originally slated to involve all of the bedroom footage from the water bottle gag to end of the film. When it was decided that the kitchen footage of the 24th was to be postponed, it was then scheduled for the 25th, but by the time the call sheet was prepared, the kitchen footage was saved for the 26th, and the bedroom scene became the sole goal for the 25th. Scheduled were the five main kids, Johnny Arthur, Elaine Shepard, and Gary Jasguer (sic). All activity took place on the interior bedroom set and the interior upper hall set, both on Stage 2. The main titles for this film were finalized on this date.
June 26 - This was the fifth day of shooting, and was originally supposed to be the final day, with only special effects and pickup shots involved. However, delays on June 24th necessitated the addition of bedroom footage to the schedule. Ultimately, though, the bedroom footage was taken care of on the 25th, which meant that the kitchen footage was saved for the 26th, with the special effects also included in the scheduling in a vain attempt to finish on time. By the time the call sheet was prepared, it was clear that some bedroom footage would have to be finished up, in addition to the kitchen footage and a shot of the kids coming down the stairs. The special effects were postponed until Monday the 28th. Scheduled were the five main kids, Johnny, Elaine and Gary. According to the daily film report, most of the footage was indeed finished on this day, but the very end of the film had still not been shot. Film costs for the previous week were $3892.89, bringing the total to $5834.70 so far.
June 27 - This was a Sunday. No shooting took place.
June 28 - This was the sixth day of shooting. It was on the 26th that special effects footage was delayed until the 28th. However, further delays meant that the final bedroom footage would also be shot on this date, which meant that the five main kids, Johnny, Elaine and Gary, were all scheduled. However, according to the daily film report, Gary did not attend. The bedroom footage on Stage 2 was essentially finished, and the black velvet footage of the 'visionary imps' was achieved by Roy Seawright on Stage 4. The production was considered 'finished' at this point. A Carr memo to Van Keuren, Huber and Collum states that the five main kids, Johnny Arthur and Elaine Shepard all 'closed' as of this date. A Collum memo to Van Keuren, O'Brien, Huber and Cash, states the same.
June 30 - This was the final day of shooting. One shot was taken, which was the closeup of the water bottle springing a leak. None of the cast attended. It's possible, however, that added footage was shot on some later date, as the film has a higher number of shots than the daily film reports indicate. It appears that the footage involving Gary getting into the icebox and being discovered by Johnny was this later footage.
July 3 - Film costs for the previous week were $1321.68, bringing the total to $7156.38 so far. However, this seems to contradict the total picture cost of $26,818.64, which is given this same date, and is the amount listed in Maltin & Bann's book.
July 10 - Film costs for the previous week were $553.75, bringing the total to $7710.13 so far.
July 17 - A Raguse memo from this date indicates that the domestic negative and domestic negative soundtrack were shipped to the MGM lab, and that the domestic positive Movietone print was shipped to W. D. Kelly in New York on this date. Film costs for the previous week were $948.23, bringing the total to $8658.36 so far.
Aug. 2 - A Raguse memo from this date indicates that the Canadian negative and Canadian negative soundtrack were shipped. A pressbook was sent to Van Keuren on this date.
According to the pressbook for this film, Alfalfa had just finished shooting "Wild And Woolly."
The pressbook also states that this was the first film for Hal Roach, Jr., as an assistant director, and that he had been the original inspiration for the series.
On July 17th (about midway between this film and the next one), Spanky took part in a baseball game between film comedians and leading men at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. The comedians won the game 7 to 6. Spanky got a hit, but Vince Barnett wheeled him around to second base in a perambulator. A protesting Spanky insisted on running the rest of the way himself.
The boys call themselves The Four Nitengales.
There's some sort of Mickey Mouse doll on the table next to the bed.
This film was 979 feet in length.
© Robert Demoss.