Dancing Romeo

film no. 220

technical details:

Production 2861.

Release no. C-500.

Script completed September 2, 1943.

Filmed November 18 to 26, 1943, over six days of shooting.

Released April 29, 1944. It was the 221st film in the series to be released, and the last of the 1942/43 season.

Copyrighted May 3, 1944, by Loew's Incorporated. Registration no. LP178. Renewed May 6, 1971, with registration no. R505579. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2039.

All-talking one-reeler, lasting 10 minutes and 50 seconds.

Opening title: 'Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents Our Gang in "Dancing Romeo".'

the crew:

Produced by M-G-M
The film credit reads: Produced by Loew's Incorporated.
Directed by Cyril Endfield
This credit appears in the film.
Director of Photography: Charles Salerno, Jr.
This credit appears in the film.
Film Editor: Leon Bourgeau
This credit appears in the film.
Screenplay by Hal Law and Robert A. McGowan
This credit appears in the film, but without McGowan's middle initial.
Musical Score: Max Terr
This credit appears in the film.
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 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:

Billy "Froggy" Laughlin as "Froggy" aka "The Grate Froggy"
Lead role. He learns to dance to impress Marilyn. Gerald calls him "Mr. Smarty."
Valerie Lee as "Marilyn"
Supporting role. She doesn't have time for Froggy, since she's committed to dancing.
Bobby Browning as "Gerald Adams"
Supporting role. He's Marilyn's smug dance partner.
Bobby "Mickey" Blake
Supporting role. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He assists Froggy backstage.
Janet Burston
Supporting role. She introduces Froggy's performance.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat"
Supporting role. He works with Mickey backstage.
Dickie Hall
Small part. He figures Froggy must have been practicing for years.
Gene Collins
Small part. He can hardly wait to see Froggy dance. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Frank Lester Ward.
Vincent Graeff
Extra. He sits behind Gerald at Froggy's performance. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Billy Ray Smith.
Jerry Baker
Extra. He sits in front of Gene Collins.
other kids
Bit parts and extras. There are perhaps thirty-five additional kids at Froggy's recital. The kids at Marilyn's recital are probably half this number, but may very well include the same kids.

the animals:

Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.

the adults:

Small part. The only adult in this film is the woman that plays the piano as Marilyn and Gerald dance, and is presumably their dance instructor.

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 Sleeping Beauty: Valse" by Pyotr Il'vich Tchaikovsky
The waltz from the ballet, "The Sleeping Beauty" Op. 66, which debuted in 1890. Listed in the cutting continuity as "Sleeping Beauty Waltz" by Tschaikowsky. In this film, it's played during Marilyn and Gerald's dance recital.
"Froggie's Vision" by Max Terr
This is the incidental music played as Froggy sees Marilyn's and Gerald's faces everywhere.
"Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2" by Franz Liszt
Written after 1839. The Philadelphia Orchestra (conducted by Leopold Stokowski) had a number eight hit with this piece in 1921. The cutting continuity lists it as "Second Hungarian Rhapsody." In this film, it's played as Froggy dances.
"The Gang Goes Home" by David Snell
This is a shorter version of "Our Gang," including only "London Bridge."


The dance recital is at the Our Gang Barn.

The working title for this film was "Leaping Love."

See page 236 of Maltin & Bann's book for this film's expenses and profits. Of the 52 Metro-produced Our Gang shorts, this one had the lowest domestic gross film rental and lost the most money, partly because it was one of the most expensive to make.

© Robert Demoss.

My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Matthew Lydick (for providing the script date and working title)
bigshotjones (for solving the Vincent Graeff/Billy Ray Smith dilemma)

The Lucky Corner Homepage