Bubbling Troubles

film no. 188

technical details:

Production 2668.

Release no. C-138.

Filmed November 8 to 17, 1939.

Previewed as "In Love Again."

Released May 25, 1940. It was the 191st film in the series to be released, and the last of the 1939/40 season.

Copyrighted May 29, 1940, by Loew's Incorporated. Registration no. LP9702. Renewed June 1, 1967, with registration no. R411333. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2035.

All-talking one-reeler, lasting 10 minutes and 44 seconds.

Opening title: 'Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Our Gang in "Bubbling Troubles".'

the crew:

Produced by Jack Chertok and Richard Goldstone for M-G-M
The film credit reads: Produced by Loew's Incorporated.
Directed by Edward Cahn
This credit appears in the film.
Director of Photography: Clyde DeVinna, A. S. C.
This credit appears in the film.
Film Editor: Ralph E. Goldstein
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.
Art Director: Elmer Sheeley
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 Production Code Adminstration of the Motion Picture Producers & Distributors of America
Passed by the National Board of Review
As indicated in the film.
Teacher: Fern Carter

the kids:

Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa" aka "Alf"
Lead role. He seems to have ingested dynamite, since his belly swells up.
George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
Supporting role. He's the one with the ideas.
Darla Hood as "Darla"
Supporting role. She brings the gang along to Butch's house.
Mickey Gubitosi as "Mickey"
Supporting role. He accompanies Alfalfa to Butch's garage, but is mostly part of the ensemble.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat"
Supporting role. He mostly does ensemble acting.
Leonard Landy
Supporting role. He's almost purely an ensemble player.
Tommy Bond as "Butch" aka "Butchy"
Small part. He makes the gang think he can make dynamite. This was his final appearance in the series.
Rollie and Bobby Jones as "Tisket" and "Tasket"
Small parts. These are the twin boys playing Alfalfa's little brothers. They're both seen in the establishing shot at the kitchen table in the opening scene. When we get a closeup of them, it's actually just one of the boys shown in a split-screen mirror image.
other kids
Bit part. The only remaining kid in this film is the little girl who gives the penny to the monkey.

the animals:

Elmer the Monkey
Small part. Not listed by Maltin & Bann, and possibly some other monkey. He bangs his cup on Alfalfa's fat belly.
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Bit parts. There are two birds in a cage at Alfalfa's house.

the adults:

William Newell as Alfalfa's dad
Small part. He gives Alfalfa something to calm his stomach, both at the beginning and at the end of the film.
Hank Mann as Butch's dad
Small part. He's trying to fix his car, which explodes when Spanky throws the test tube under it.
Barbara Bedford as Alfalfa's mom
Small part. She's barely seen in the early part of the film, but is more visible at the end.
Harry Strang as the explosives worker
Bit part. He's the worker with the dialogue.
Claire McDowell
Bit part. A newspaper article indicates that she's in this film, and the grandmother of the girl with the penny seems to be a reasonable fit.
other adults
Small parts and bit parts.
(1.) The organ grinder.
(2.) The other explosives worker.

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.
"Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay" by Angelo A. Asher and Richard Morton
Len Spencer had a number one hit with this song in 1892. More recently, in 1939, Gene Krupa & His Orchestra reached number fifteen with an instrumental version. In this film, the organ grinder is playing it.
"The Gang Goes Home" by David Snell
This is a shorter version of "Our Gang," including only "London Bridge."


Eight shooting dates went into the making of this film, from November 8 to 17, 1939. It's likely that no shooting took place on Sunday the 12th, nor on Friday the 10th, which was Armistice Day.

The opening scene with the alphabet soup, the twins, and Alfalfa's father giving him something to 'pep him up' derives from the August 10, 1938, script for "Football Romeo" (no. 174). By August 31st of that year, the scene was no longer part of that film.

On February 23, 1940, the Kenosha Evening News (WI) reported the following: "With the casting of three stars of the silents in the latest Our Gang picture, 'In Love Again,' audiences will be given the chance to see their old-time favorites on the screen. In the one-reeler are Hank Mann, original member of the Keystone Cops, Claire MacDowell, Biograph star, and Barbara Bedford. Edward Cahn directs the comedy. Jack Chertok and Richard Goldstone produce."

The club motto is 'One for all and all for one.'

See page 236 of Maltin & Bann's book for this film's expenses and profits.

© Robert Demoss.

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