Good Bad Boys

film no. 193

technical details:

Production 2684.

Release no. C-291.

Filmed April 1 to 4, 1940.

Copyrighted August 28, 1940, by Loew's Incorporated. Registration no. LP10018. Renewed August 31, 1967, with registration no. R416924. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2035.

Released September 7, 1940. It was the 192nd film in the series to be released, and the first of the 1940/41 season.

All-talking one-reeler, lasting 10 minutes and 53 seconds.

Opening title: 'Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Our Gang in "Good Bad Boys".'

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. This was the last film in which the direction credit was shown on the same title card with the other crew credits.
Director of Photography: Jackson Rose, A. S. C.
This credit appears in the film.
Film Editor: Leon Bourgeau
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: Richard Duce
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
Passed by the National Board of Review
As indicated in the film.
Teacher: Fern Carter

the kids:

Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa Switzer"
Lead role. He's the president of the club and has always been known as "Honest Alfalfa." Since his dad punishes him for a crime he didn't commit, he turns to a life of crime. Spanky addresses him as "Chief."
George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky McFarland"
Featured role. Mrs. Wilson has asked him to clear some junk out of her house, so he makes the gang think they're stealing it.
Mickey Gubitosi as "Mickey Gubitosi"
Featured role. He has plenty of the dialogue, and gives a little speech to the judge.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat"
Supporting role. He serves as the lookout, and carries a tambourine as the boys make their getaway.
Leonard Landy as "Leonard"
Supporting role. He's almost entirely an ensemble player.
Freddie Walburn as "Slicker"
Small part. He steals an apple, but places it in Alfalfa's hands before running off. Later, the judge sentences him to reform school.
other kids
Bit part. The only remaining kid is the boy riding the tricycle.

the animals:

Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Bit parts.
(1.) The skunk in the barn.
(2.) The police dog.

the adults:

George Lessey as "Judge Kincaid"
Small part. He's given onscreen credit. Also known as "Mr. Judge." He lectures both the boys and their parents at the end of the film.
William Newell as "Mr. Switzer," Alfalfa's dad
Small part. He doesn't give Alfalfa a chance to explain, and is later lectured by the judge.
Leila McIntyre as "Mrs. Wilson"
Small part. She asks Spanky to take away some junk, and later appears in court to help explain things. The kids call her "Miss Wilson."
Al Hill as the burglar
Small part. He hides out in the gang's barn, but is compelled to surrender when the skunk arrives.
Byron Foulger as "Mr. Stephens," the store proprietor
Small part. He catches Alfalfa with the orange in his hand.
Barbara Bedford as Alfalfa's mom
Small part. She accompanies her husband as they leave the house with Alfalfa, and in the courtroom.
Emmett Vogan as one of the cops
Bit part. He's the cop that the gang confesses to.
Hugh Beaumont as the judge's aid
Bit part. He brings Spanky and Mrs. Wilson into the courtroom. Identified in the scripts as the "Investigator."
Margaret Bert as Slicker's mom
Bit part. She cries after her son is sentenced.
Joe Young as the court official
Bit part. He appears to be the attorney representing the boys.
Harry Strang
Bit part. Maltin & Bann credit him as the banker, but the security guard that shoots the robber looks more like him to me. In any event, I'm not absolutely sure.
other adults
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) The banker that the security guard hands the money to. It sounds like his name might be "Mr. Higgins."
(2.) Slicker's dad.
(3.) The court stenographer.
(4.) The attorney representing Slicker.
(5.) The six parents of Buckwheat, Mickey and Leonard.
(6.) Four more cops arresting the bank robber.
(7.) The customer at the fruit market.
(8.) The woman in the portrait at Mrs. Wilson's house.
(9.) The robber driving the getaway car.
(10.) Various bank customers and pedestrians outside the bank.

the music:

"Our Gang" by David Snell
This is played over the opening titles. This is the earlier recording, used prior to "The Big Premiere" (no. 189). 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."


According to Maltin & Bann, five shooting dates went into the making of this film, even though it was shot between April 1 and 4, 1940. Here's a breakdown of the script activity:
Feb. 19 - The earliest available script derives from this date, though it indicates that changes were made at this time. The basic story is the same as in the film. The title at this point was "Crime Don't Pay." One character name that was already in place was "Mrs. Wilson."
Feb. 20, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29 and Mar. 1 - More changes were made to the script on these dates.
Mar. 4 - More changes were made on this date, through the script was untitled at this point. The "Investigator" was part of the story by this time.
Mar. 5 - A McGowan & Law script entitled "Good Bad Boys" derives from this date. Both "Slicker" and "Mr. Stevens" were part of the story by this time.
Mar. 6 - More changes were made on this date. This version includes a conversation between the kids and the bandit after it's too late.
Mar. 7 - More changes were made on this date.
Mar. 14 - More changes were made on this date, specifically for the courtroom scene.
Mar. 15 - More changes were made on this date, specifically for the robbery scene.
Mar. 16 and 20 - More changes were made on these dates.

Alfalfa reads to the gang from Jesse James And His Outlaws or Robbing The Missouri Express.

The bank is the Greenpoint National Bank.

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

© Robert Demoss.

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