Dog Daze

film no. 182

technical details:

Production 2631. The script is numbered B973.

Release no. C-941.

Filmed May 1 to 5, 1939.

Released July 1, 1939. It was the 182nd film in the series to be released.

Copyrighted July 13, 1939, by Loew's Incorporated. Registration no. LP9095. Renewed July 13, 1966, with registration no. R389305. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2034.

All-talking one-reeler, lasting 10 minutes and 34 seconds.

Opening title: 'Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Our Gang in "Dog Daze".'

the crew:

Produced by M-G-M
The film credit reads: Produced by Loew's Incorporated. For some reason, Jack Chertok is not credited by Maltin & Bann, though he was still running the short subject department.
Directed by George Sidney
This credit appears in the film.
Photographed by Harold Marzorati, A. S. C.
This credit appears in the film.
Film Editor: Tom Biggart
This credit appears in the film.
Original Story and Screen Play by Alfred Giebler
This credit appears in the film.
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. 5362.
Passed by the National Board of Review
As indicated in the film.
Teacher: Fern Carter

the kids:

Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer
Featured role. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He has the idea of gathering up all the dogs in the neighborhood.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat"
Featured role. He joins Alfalfa as they run from the angry dog owners.
Eugene "Porky" Lee as "Porky"
Supporting role. He leads the penguin away from the clubhouse with the dogs following.
George "Spanky" McFarland
Supporting role. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He has the idea to have Porky lead the dogs out of the clubhouse.
Scotty Beckett as "Wilbur"
Supporting role. Maltin & Bann indicate that his character name is "Cousin Wilbur," but the 'cousin' part never turns up in the dialogue. He explains penguins and dog behavior to the gang, and then explains the gang to the cops.
Darla Hood
Supporting role. She has some dialogue, but is mostly along for the ride.
Tommy Bond as "Butch" aka "Honest Butch"
Small part. He's a loan shark, and the gang owes him money.
Sidney Kibrick as "Woim"
Small part. He assists Butch.
other kids
Bit part. The only remaining kid in the film is the one that gets butted by the goat.

the animals:

Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Small parts, supporting roles, bit parts and extras.
(1.) The dog that plays "Duke," who the gang nurses back to health.
(2.) The penguin named "Jo Jo."
(3.) The goat named "Alexander."
(4.) The kidnapped dogs, numbering at least fifteen. One unspecified dog is named "Cleopatra."

the adults:

Wade Boteler as "Riley," the precinct officer
Supporting role. He's the kind cop that rewards the gang for taking care of Duke. The name "Riley" doesn't show up in the dialogue.
John Power as "Captain Pindle"
Supporting role. He's the owner of the penguin.
Lee Phelps as "Sweeney," the other officer
Small part. He accompanies Riley throughout the film.
woman 182 as one of the dog owners
Small part. She's the white-haired old woman who seems to be in the foreground of most of the shots of the dog owners, and has a lot of the dialogue.
other adults
Small parts, bit parts and extras.
(1.) The remaining dog owners, all women, and numbering thirteen. One of them looks like woman 087.
(2.) The two cops sitting in the car outside the clubhouse.
(3.) Two construction workers in the background as Wilbur stops to rest.

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."


Five shooting dates went into the making of this film, from May 1 to 5, 1939. Here's a breakdown of the script activity:
June 8, 1938 - A script by Al Giebler entitled "Finders Losers" derives from this date, nearly a year before shooting began. Spanky was not part of the gang during this period, so he doesn't appear in this early version. The kids run the Vinegar Hill Athletic Club. Butch is a member, as well as a new kid named "Cookie." The gang's dog is named "Duke." He's getting very thin, but he disappears out the door with whatever food they give him. Mr. Jackson's dog is missing and is lame in the hind legs. It turns out that Duke has been feeding it. The Animal Bureau puts up a notice that they will confiscate all stray dogs, so the gang hides both dogs. When Mr. Jackson's chauffeur finds the lame dog with the kids, he gives them a dollar reward, which gives them the idea of gathering up all the stray dogs in town for reward money.
June 14, 1938 - A treatment by Giebler entitled "Dog-Gone" derives from this date, but also includes the date of Sep. 1, 1939. The only dog in the script is "Ponto," who belongs to a rich man. This also marks the first appearance of "Jo Jo" the penguin.
June 22, 1938 - A new version by Giebler entitled "Lost Dog" derives from this date. The club is called "The Secret Four" and Butch is still a member, the other three being Alfalfa, Buckwheat and Porky. The rich dog is trapped in this version.
June 30, 1938 - A new version by Giebler entitled "Finders - Losers" derives from this date. Duke is the injured and lost dog, but is still retrived by the chauffeur, who works for "Mrs. Jackson," the richest woman in town. The kids form the Harmony Hill Lost Dog Finders, with Waldo as a member. In this version, Butch is more of an adversary, and Darla mostly sticks around with him. "JoJo" the penguin is owned by a man named "Pete." There is also a chihuahua named "Geraldine" owned by "Mrs. Jones."
July 6, 1938 - A new version by Giebler entitled "Finders - Losers" derives from this date. Alfalfa is referred to as "Alfalfa Grassbender" in this version.
July 7, 1938 - An update of the previous day's version derives from this date, also by Giebler and called "Finders - Losers." At this point, the club is called "The Secret Three," and Alfalfa still has the last name of "Grassbender." Waldo is not one of the three but is included in the story. Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Jackson are still present, but "Jo-Jo" is now owned by "Captain Smutz." Dog names in this version include "Fifi," "Fido," "Rover" and "Clarence."
July 12 to 13, 1938 - More work by Giebler was done on "Finders - Losers" on these two dates. The Secret Three, Alfalfa Grassbender, Waldo, Mrs. Jones, and Mrs. Jackson were all still present, but "Jojo" was now owned by "Captain Emil Smutz."
July 16, 1938 - More work by Giebler was done on "Finders - Losers" on this date. Alfalfa still had the same last name and was still part of The Secret Three. The rich dog is now named "Rex," but the gang calls him "Duke." Mrs. Jones' chihuahua was now called "Josephine."
Aug. 6, 1938 - A new version by Giebler called "The Abyssinian Duck" derives from this date. Woim is introduced into the story. Alfalfa owes him money, having needed it to fix Duke's legs. The chauffeur still refers to the dog as "Rex." "Mrs. Horace Jackson" is the commissioner's wife in this version. There is also a cop named "Corrigan." Mrs. Jones and Josephine are also present. "Jojo the Educated Penguin" is now owned by "Mr. Schmutz" the butcher. The gang's reward at the end of the story is a racer. Waldo is no longer part of the story, and Spanky is still absent as well.
Aug. 24, 1938 - An update of "The Abyssinian Duck" derives from this date, again by Giebler.
Apr. 28, 1939 - A Giebler script entitled "Pups And Penguins" derives from this date, fully eight months after the previous version. This version was okayed by Jack Chertok. By this time, Spanky had been added to the story, which is very similar to the finished film. Butch now owns a goat named "Alexander." The cops are "Riley" and "Sweeney." The penguin is "Jojo," and he's owned by "Captain Pindle." There is also a dialogue continuity deriving from this date with the same title. At this point, Wilbur was not yet part of the story.
May 2, 1939 - Another Giebler script entitled "Pups & Penguins" derives from this date, and was also okayed by Chertok. In this version, Sweeney is the cop who asks "Where does that Our Gang bunch hang out?" The dogs in this version include "Cleopatra," "Fifi" and "Pinky."

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

© Robert Demoss.

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