Alfalfa's Aunt

film no. 176

technical details:

Production 2600. The script is numbered B948.

Release no. C-935.

Filmed November 14 to 17, 1938. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Copyrighted December 31, 1938, by Loew's Incorporated. Registration no. LP8629. Renewed January 5, 1966, with registration no. R377076. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2033.

Released January 7, 1939. It was the 176th film in the series to be released.

Cutting continuity submitted February 1, 1939.

All-talking one-reeler, lasting 10 minutes and 37 seconds.

Opening title: 'Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Our Gang in "Alfalfa's Aunt".'

the crew:

Produced by Jack Chertok for M-G-M
The film credit reads: Produced by Loew's Incorporated.
Directed by George Sidney
This credit appears in the film.
Photographed by Jackson Rose, A. S. C.
This credit appears in the film.
Screen Play by Hal Law and Robert A. McGowan
This credit appears in the film, but without McGowan's middle initial.
Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Indicated in the opening title card.
Western Electric Sound System
As indicated in the film.
Approved by the Motion Picture Producers & Distributors of America
Certificate no. 4885.
Passed by the National Board of Review
As indicated in the film.
Teacher: Fern Carter

the kids:

Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa" aka "Alf" aka "Alfie"
Lead role. He's vice president of the club, and thinks his aunt is trying to kill him.
George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
Supporting role. Or more specifically, "Presidint Spanky." He organizes the gang's efforts to purge the house of all possible murder weapons.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat"
Supporting role. He disposes of all the cutlery.
Eugene "Porky" Lee as "Porky"
Supporting role. He disposes of the medicine bottles.
Leonard Landy
Supporting role. He and Gary are initiated into the club and join them at Alfalfa's house. The scripts and the cutting continuity refer to him as "Leonard."
Gary "Slapsie" Jasgur
Supporting role. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Gary Jasgar. He accompanies Leonard throughout the film. The scripts and the cutting continuity refer to him as "Slapsie."

the animals:

Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Bit part. The only other animal in the film is the goat used in the initiation.

the adults:

Marie Blake as "Aunt Penelope"
Lead role. Her latest passion is writing murder mysteries, but she foolishly uses her family's names in her writings.
William Newell as "John," Alfalfa's dad
Supporting role. He's skeptical of his sister-in-law's abilities.
Barbara Bedford as "Mrs. Martha Switzer," Alfalfa's mom
Supporting role. She's a bit more supportive of her sister.

the music:

"Our Gang" by David Snell
This is played over the opening titles. This is a medley of three songs:
(1.) "London Bridge" - The earliest reference to this nursery rhyme is in a play from 1659, and it was associated with children by 1720. It may derive from a part of the "Heimskringla" by Snorri Sturluson, which was composed around 1225.
(2.) "Mulberry Bush" - Also known as "So Early In The Morning" and "This Is The Way." It was probably originally called "Here We Go Round The Bramble Tree" in the mid 18th century, with the type of tree changed by inmates of Wakefield Prison, who exercised around a mulberry bush.
(3.) "The Farmer In The Dell" - This nursery rhyme is of uncertain origins.
"The Gang Goes Home" by David Snell
This is a shorter version of "Our Gang," including only "London Bridge."


Four shooting dates went into the making of this film, from November 14 to 17, 1938. Here's a breakdown of the script activity:
Oct. 26 - A McGowan and Law treatment from this date carries the working title of "Alfalfa's Aunt," which went on to become the official title.
Nov. 5 - An updated McGowan and Law script derives from this date.
Nov. 8 - A McGowan and Law script from this date reveals Alfalfa's address to be 1657 Hoagland Avenue, Greenfield, California. Alfalfa's parents are named John and Martha in this version. A dialogue continuity from this date includes the character name 'Aunt Penelope.'

Aunt Penelope lives in San Sebastion, California, while Alfalfa and his parents live on Hoagland Avenue in Blainville, California.

The gang's club is called the All For One Club.

The comic section Alfalfa reads includes a strip called Rufhouse Jack. It appears that the newspaper is the Los Angeles Call.

See page 235 of Maltin & Bann's book for this film's expenses and profits.

© Robert Demoss.

My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Eric Feick (for information about "Our Gang's Favorite - Alfalfa")
Debby Mendelsohn (for verifying the spelling of Gary Jasgur's last name)
bigshotjones (for researching Gary Jasgur and getting discussion started on this matter)

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