Election Day

film no. 81

technical details:

Production G-15.

Filmed July 19 to August 4, August 11, August 16, August 20, and August 22 to 24, 1928. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Title sheet prepared by H. M. Walker on August 28, 1928.

Cutting continuity submitted September 1, 1928.

Copyrighted December 10, 1928, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP25904. Renewed September 13, 1956, with registration no. R176881. This copyright expired at the end of 2023, and the film is now in the public domain.

Released January 12, 1929. It was the 81st film in the series to be released.

Silent two-reeler.

Probable opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Election Day".'

the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
The film only gives him credit as a presenter.
Supervised by Robert F. McGowan
This credit appears in the film, but without his middle initial.
Directed by Robert F. McGowan and Anthony Mack
Mack is the only one credited in the film. However, the 1928 studio datebook reveals that Robert F. McGowan was the initial director, with Mack (credited as McGowan, Jr.), taking over on July 23rd. Mack was actually Robert A. (for Anthony) McGowan, the nephew of Robert F.
Photographed by Art Lloyd
This credit appears in the film.
Edited by Richard Currier
This credit appears in the film.
Titles by H. M. Walker
This credit appears in the film.
Story by Anthony Mack
Real name: Robert A. McGowan. This credit doesn't appear in the film.
Animal Trainers: Harry Lucenay and Tony Campanaro
Lucenay was Pete's owner and trainer. Campanaro provided the monkey.
Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Indicated in the opening title card.
Passed by the National Board of Review
As indicated in the film.
studio personnel
director-general - Leo McCarey
general manager - Warren Doane
assistant general manager - L. A. French
secretary-treasurer - C. H. Roach
assistant secretary - Mat O'Brien
construction supervisor - C. E. Christensen
laboratory superintendent - Charles Levin
optical effects supervisor - Roy Seawright
still photographer - Bud "Stax" Graves
transportation director - Bob Davis
school teacher - Fern Carter was probably away from the studio while this film was being made. However, the payroll summaries reveal that she was receiving her salary during this period.
possible uncredited involvement
assistant direction - Probably Charles Oelze.
cutting - Possibly Lloyd Campbell.
writing - Robert F. McGowan, Jean Yarbrough and Charlie Hall may have been among the gag writers.
property department - Charles Oelze, Don Sandstrom and Thomas Benton Roberts were probably involved in this capacity.
animal training - Tony Campanaro may have been among the animal trainers.

the kids:

Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Lead role. He's supposed to deliver some laundry, but the other boys won't let him out of his yard.
Paralee Coleman as "Pleurisy"
Featured role. She accompanies Farina throughout the film, providing comic moments throughout. The cutting continuity reveals only her character name.
Joe Cobb as "Joe Cobb"
Supporting role. He's running against Jay R., and threatens to hit Farina if he leaves his yard.
Jay R. Smith as "Jay R."
Supporting role. He's running against Joe and makes the same threat to Farina.
Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins as "Wheezer"
Supporting role. He assists Joe by standing guard with a hammer.
Jackie Condon
Supporting role. He assists Jay. This was his last appearance in the series.
Harry Spear
Supporting role. He assists Joe, but isn't given much of anything specific to do.
Mary Ann Jackson
Supporting role. She assists Joe, but mostly just alerts him to Farina's escape attempts.
Donnie Smith
He put in four days' worth of work on this film, presumably as Wheezer's stand-in.
questionable listings
A 1927 casting directory credits Phyllis Hurst with appearing in this film, and the payroll ledger shows that she worked on July 24th and 25th. Her name is part of a clump of four names that also worked on July 23rd, except that Phyllis Crane is listed instead, making the same amount as Phyllis Hurst. Perhaps this was a clerical error, or perhaps I errored when copying down the information. Either way, neither Phyllis is in the available footage. This is also one of the shorts that Jean Darling missed out on, but she does appear in at least two publicity photos taken at the ranch during production. Of particular interest is the last three shooting dates, the first of which is the one day that Jackie Condon and Jay R. Smith were present. Why is this interesting? Because the six principal kids had already left for their personal appearance tour. Paralee Coleman wasn't one of the regulars, so she was available for these shooting dates, but a double would have been necessary for Farina. Farina appears with Jackie and Jay three times in the film, first with his back to the camera, the second time as he and Paralee are "spring dancers," and the third time as he's dressed as the scarecrow, all instances in which a double could have easily been used. On that one shooting date (Aug. 22nd), Buddy Moore and Andrew Manuel were also working. They were also around the following day, and these were the only dates on which Oscar Morgan was working, and he also interacts with the scarecrow. If Andrew Manuel is the same person Jesse Brisson found on FamilySearch, then he was a black boy born in 1921, so he's very likely to have doubled for Farina. On the final date of shooting, Aug. 24th, Johnny Aber and Jimsy Boudwin were involved, but I think they may have wound up on the cutting room floor. Aber also worked on July 30th.

the animals:

Pete (no. 1)
Supporting role. He's present in the scenes with Mary Ann, but doesn't do anything too specific.
monkey 004
Small part. Presumably the monkey seen previously. He climbs on the buildings and drops things onto the gangsters' heads. This was evidently Tony Campanaro's monkey, as he worked in this film on Aug. 20th.
dog 034
Bit part. He takes the sausages from Pleurisy.
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Small parts, bit parts and extras.
(1.) The cow that looks through the telescope.
(2.) The goat that drinks the liquor.
(3.) The white rat that goes up Farina's pantleg.
(4.) A black and white cat, possibly seen previously in "Baby Brother" (no. 61).
(5.) Various other barnyard animals, including turkeys, geese, chickens, additional cows, a pig, a little dog and a horse pulling a cart.
The ants sat on by Harry, Mary Ann and Wheezer.

the adults:

Louise Beavers as Farina's mom
Supporting role. She orders Farina to take the laundry, and then spanks her two kids at the end of the film.
Oscar Morgan as Farina's dad
Small part. He drinks alcohol while working in the fields and gets spooked by the scarecrow. Maltin & credit this part to Clarence Muse.
Robert Page
Small part. He's the gangster holding the whistle as he instructs Leo Sulky. He later takes a pie to the face.
Leo Sulky
Small part. He's listening to Page, then instructs another gangster to grab the ballot boxes when the time is right.
Harry Tenbrook
Small part. He's with Page as the two of them are taking ballots out of the box.
Harry Arras as one of the cops
Small part. He's seen in a closeup blowing his whistle, and Farina later hands the ballots over to him. Maltin & Bann credit this part to Gene Morgan.
Harry Semels
Bit part. He's the guy that gets his hat shot off.
Jack Hill
Bit part. He's given a closeup firing his gun towards the camera, directly before the shot of the cop blowing his whistle.
Chet Brandenburg
Bit part. He's shown slipping on a banana peel. He also worked a second clump of days, and judging by the ledger, seems to have probably stunt-doubled for Louise Beavers. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Ed Brandenberg.
Roy Saegar as the shoeshine customer
Bit part. Pleurisy hits him on the head with a cane.
Clarence Morehouse
Bit part. He's just to the right of Sulky as he's giving instructions about the ballot boxes.
Ham Kinsey
Bit part. He's shown firing his gun directly after the guy with the umbrella gets drenched with milk. Maltin & Bann list him as a "man about town."
Jack O'Brien
Bit part. He's the shoeshine worker. It appears that he's also one of the gangsters
other adults
Small parts and bit parts. On the days when Phyllis Crane and Phyllis Hurst were working, so were Rita Gianelli and Al Minew, both of whom seem to have wound up on the cutting room floor. On the days when the street scenes were shot, the following people all worked: John Millerta, Pern Brower, Harry Bernard, Al Martin, Rus Custer, Robert Miniford, Robert Erickson, Harry Wilde, Jack O'Brien, Jim Kilganon, Jack Green, Jack Norbeck, Louis Bogardus, Art Munn, Silver Harr and Jerry Meachin. From Aug. 2nd to 4th, Eva Downs put in three days' of work, but seems to have been left out of the finished product. Wayne Parsons worked on the 11th, but I don't know what he looks like. The aforementioned Harry Semels worked only on the 16th, as did the following people, who presumably also were part of the street scenes: Ed Borman, Ernie Adams, Skeet Noyes, John Northpole, George Byron, Richard Bellfield, William Terry, Bert Wilson, Max Tyron and Rhea Mayberry. Working only on Aug. 25th was Harry Miller, another name I'm not familiar with.
(1.) Several additional gangsters, two of whom are listed by Maltin & Bann as Baldwin Cooke and Dick Gilbert, but they're not listed in the ledger.
(2.) At least two additional cops.
(3.) Various pedestrians. One of these is the guy carrying the sausages. Maltin & Bann list Retta Palmer, who isn't listed in the ledger.

the locations:

Hal Roach Ranch
The rural portion of this film was shot, at least in part, at the Roach Ranch. The access road seen in many of the Roach films was used in the shot where Farina's parents run down the road in a cloud of dust. On the other side of the eucalyptus trees that lined this road were rows of crops, which appear to be the same ones shown in the footage of Farina's dad.
Hal Roach Studios, Culver City
The New York exterior set was used for the last part of the film.


As many as 22 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Five days after shooting finished for "The Spanking Age" (no. 80), the 'start' date arrived for "Election Day" on July 19th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of Aug. 4th. No shooting took place on July 22nd or 29th, which were both Sundays. Initially, Robert F. McGowan directed, but Anthony Mack (listed in the 1928 studio datebook as McGowan Jr.) took over on July 23rd. After the finish date, the Gang performed at the Orpheum in Los Angeles for one week. Some more shooting took place on Aug. 11th and 16th, though the 1928 datebook indicates that this latter date involved retakes for "The Ol' Gray Hoss" (no. 78). The presence of Harry Semels, though, points to "Election Day," which is indicated in the payroll ledger. Footage involving the monkey was shot on Aug. 20th, and then some more footage was shot from Aug. 22nd to 24th, with maybe a bit more on Aug. 25th. By the time this last clump of dates came along, the Our Gang kids were on a personal appearance tour for the Publix Circuit back east. It would be over nine weeks before filming began for "Noisy Noises" (no. 82).

The trick of showing people running into the distance in a cloud of dust is explained in the book in the entry for this film. Maltin & Bann imply that it wasn't used again until the Laurel & Hardy film "Way Out West," but there are other examples within the Our Gang series, including "It's A Bear" (no. 27).

The opening title for this film, missing from the available version is: "The trouble started when Farina threatened to vote eight times against each candidate."

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B402.

See anything that needs changing? Contact me at BtheW@aol.com.

© Robert Demoss.

My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Henry Sorenson (for providing info about the European video release of this film)
Rob Stone (for providing the production number and shooting dates)
Matthew Lydick (for passing on the photo with Jean Darling in it)
Jesse Brisson (for sharing the FamilySearch info about Andrew Manuel, and for noticing the use of a stunt double)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)

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