Boxing Gloves

film no. 91

technical details:

Production G-25.

Filmed May 13 to 25, 1929. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Title sheet prepared by H. M. Walker on July 22, 1929.

Cutting continuity submitted August 5, 1929.

Released by the end of August 1929. It may have been released prior to "Lazy Days" (no. 92), but maybe not. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for an explanation.

Copyrighted September 9, 1929, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP666. Renewed September 13, 1956, with registration no. R176918. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2024.

All-talking two-reeler. (In actuality, there is a lot of silent footage in this film.)

Opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Boxing Gloves".'

King World Productions episode no. 11b, available in both colorized and original black-and-white versions.

the crew:

Produced by Robert F. McGowan for Hal Roach
The film credits Roach as a presenter, and designates it as "A Robert McGowan Production." Maltin & Bann list Roach only for this credit.
Supervised by Robert F. McGowan
This credit appears in the film, but without his middle initial. The specific credit in the film is for 'Supervising Director.'
Directed by Anthony Mack
This credit appears in the film. Mack was actually Robert A. (for Anthony) McGowan, the nephew of Robert F.
Photographed by Art Lloyd and F. E. Hershey
This credit appears in the film.
Edited by Richard Currier
This credit appears in the film.
Dialogue: H. M. Walker
This credit appears in the film. The press release for this film credits McGowan with the dialogue.
Recording Engineer: Elmer Raguse
This credit appears in the film.
Story by Hal E. Roach and Robert F. McGowan
This credit doesn't appear in the film. The press release credits only McGowan.
Animal Trainer: Harry Lucenay
He was Pete's owner and trainer.
Teacher: Fern Carter
As typically happened when a lot of kids were used in a film, additional teachers were hired to take the workload off of Mrs. Carter. These women turn up in the payroll ledger along with the day players, but are easily identified by making the atypical wage of $9 a day. Laura Barringer worked on both May 22nd and 23rd, while Veta Geddes, Carrie Stevenson and Mabel Senter worked only on the 23rd. Also working on the 23rd was Miss Oie Chan, who made $15 that day, but was probably the woman who taught the three Asian boys.
Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Indicated in the opening title card.
Passed by the National Board of Review
As indicated in the film.
A Victor Recording, Western Electric System
As indicated in the film.
studio personnel
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
possible uncredited involvement
assistant direction - Possibly Charles Oelze.
cutting - Possibly Lloyd Campbell.
writing - Robert A. McGowan, Jean Yarbrough, Charlie Hall, Harry Keaton and Carl Harbaugh may have been among the gag writers.
property department - Charles Oelze, Don Sandstrom, Thomas Benton Roberts and Bob Saunders were probably involved in this capacity.
animal training - Tony Campanaro may have been among the animal trainers.

the kids:

Joe Cobb as "Joe Cobb"
Featured role. He competes with Chubby for Jean's affection, which leads them to the boxing ring. Farina introduces him as 'The Wild Bull of the Pompadour, Joe Cobb.'
Norman "Chubby" Chaney as "Chubby Chaney"
Featured role. His role is parallel to Joe's. Chubby's last name is included on the sign outside the boxing match, as revealed in a publicity photo. According to the cutting continuity, Farina was supposed to introduce him as 'The Fightin' Wildcat Bone Crusher, Chubby,' but mistakenly says 'The Wild Fighting Cat Bone Crusher, Chubby.' The publicity photos by this time had begun to use his nickname.
Allen "Farina" Hoskins
Featured role. The nickname isn't used in this film. He organizes and referees the fight.
Mary Ann Jackson
Supporting role. She tries unsuccessfully to get into the fight, and eventually kidnaps Jackie Cooper to accomplish this.
Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins as "Wheezer" aka "Bobby"
Supporting role. He's featured in the earlier bout with Donnie, and then serves as the time keeper at the later one. Harry accidentally calls him "Bobby" early in the film. The cutting continuity spells this "Bobbie." Referred to as "Baby Wheezer" in the press release.
Harry Spear
Supporting role. He organizes the 'baby fight', and then serves as Joe's trainer.
Jean Darling as "Jean"
Supporting role. She figures into the earlier part of the film pretty strongly as Joe and Chubby fight over her.
Buddy McNeal
Supporting role. He bullies Joe into staying in the ring. The ticket taker calls him "Bozo."
Bobby Heck
Supporting role. He's the ticket taker who spends most of his time keeping Mary Ann out of the stands. He's listed in the cutting continuity as both the 'Cashier' and the 'Gate Keeper.'
Bobby Mallon as "'Announcer' Graham McCracker"
Supporting role. He's the radio announcer at the fight.
Jackie Cooper
Small part. He walks out on the 'baby fight,' and then serves as the reporter for the later one. This was his first appearance in the series. His full name is actually used in the cutting continuity, which is unusual for a kid who was still essentially in the periphery of the gang.
Donnie Smith as "Donnie"
Small part. He's identified as "Donnie" on the sign outside the boxing ring, as "Donny" in the cutting continuity, and as Donnie Smith in the publicity material. He appears at the beginning of the film boxing with Wheezer.
Andy Shuford
Small part. He serves as Chubby's trainer.
Billy O'Brien as "Billy"
Bit part. He's sitting next to Jackie Cooper at the beginning of the film, and can be spotted pretty easily in the stands because of his suspenders.
Ivan Randoll
Bit part. He's the teenager who throws the tomato at Farina at the end of the film.
Buddy Moore
Extra. He's sitting closest to the door that Farina emerges from.
Godfrey "Duffy" Craig
Extra. He's the boy sitting closest to Joe's corner of the ring.
Johnny Aber
Extra. He's sitting to the right of Ivan Randoll.
Orville Randoll
Extra. He's sitting behind Aber when the tomato is thrown.
Billy Schuler
Extra. He's sitting to the left of Joe's corner of the ring, and is usually out of camera range, but occasionally pops his head into view.
other kids
Supporting roles and extras.
(1.) The kid watching the 'baby fight' from the outside. This is most likely Wesley Giraud, who was present on May 15th and 16th, when the only other day players present were Cooper, O'Brien, Shuford, and Smith. He's also part of the large crowd watching the main fight.
(2.) The three Asian boys, one of whom throws the egg at Bobby Mallon. They're not shown in any of the longshots during the fight, but can be seen joining the line as the kids are walking in. I'm assuming, based on the names in the ledger, that they are Allan Chan, Arthur Shus and Frederick Ung.
(3.) The remaining boys watching the fight, which, based on the payroll ledger, number twenty-seven. According to the press release for this film, 100 extra boys were in the stands during the boxing match, but this is definitely not true. We can divide the boys into two main categories. In the first category are boys that worked more than one day, and are seen in the closer shots, mainly when we're looking at Joe's corner of the ring. In addition to the aforementioned Moore, Schuler and Craig, these are Ira Wiseman, Leslie Jones, Tony Williams, Dominick Williams and Clarence Kruger. These boys were joined on May 23rd by the much larger group that we see in the longshots, a few of whom are mentioned above. One of these boys is Bill Johnson, who is also credited with this film in a casting directory. The rest are Harry Teitelbaum, Byron Wells, Jack Lowe, Neal Jackson, Jack Ogden, Robert Ogden, Charlie Succop, Howard Succop, Danny MacGrant, Billy Wise, Bill Bassett, Warren Hutsing, Jack Dart, Wilbur Hartzell, Jack Vedar, Clarence McMillan, Buddy Smith, James Hollywood, Jack Hollywood, Harold Rigby and Vernon Wiseman.

the animals:

Pete (no. 1)
Supporting role. He accompanies Mary Ann throughout the film.
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Extras. Several chickens are in the coop where Joe and Chubby are first seen.
A moth flutters by in this same location.

the adults:

Charlie Hall as the sidewalk diner attendant
Small part. He sells the pop to Joe and Chubby. Oddly, his name doesn't turn up in the payroll ledger. Nevertheless, the guy looks just like Charlie Hall, so he must have been paid in cash that day.
other adults
Bit part. The only other adult in this film is the first customer at the sidewalk diner. I'm guessing that this is Charles Reynolds, the only name in the ledger for May 17th (other than Shuford's, but he was paid for the whole duration of the shoot).
in still images
On the front of the sidewalk diner is an ad showing a baseball player swinging a bat. The ad is actually for Lucky Strike cigarettes, though the brand name has been blocked out. The baseball player is Paul "Big Poison" Waner of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Waner had been the 1927 National League Most Valuable Player.

the music:

"I Wonder What's Become Of Sally" by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen
Published in 1924. Al Jolson had a number one hit with this song. Bobby Mallon sings it briefly in this film.

music in alternate prints
"That Old Gang Of Mine" by Ray Henderson
Written in 1923 with lyrics by Billy Rose and Mort Dixon. This version is an instrumental. It appears during the opening titles, but only in the Cabin Fever version, suggesting that it was probably not an original part of the film.
"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
This appears during the opening and ending titles of the Blackhawk print, and was almost certainly not part of the original film. This is the version heard at the opening of "Teacher's Pet" (no. 101).

the locations:

Hal Roach Ranch
Otherwise known as the Arnaz Ranch. This is where the boxing ring was set up. The portable sound equipment was mounted on a truck close to the scene.
Motor Avenue and Woodbine Street, Palms district, Los Angeles
The northeast corner of this intersection is where Joe and Chubby drop their pop bottles. The brick building is the People's Water Company at 3392 Motor Avenue. Farina and Harry are standing at the corner of the building further down Woodbine. Seen in one shot is the park bench on the northwest corner previously seen in "The Love Bug" (no. 37). Seen twice is the Masonic Hall on the southeast corner (at 3402 Motor), with both instances being the side of the building facing Woodbine. The sidewalk diner where the boys buy their pop is right next to the building, and Joe is sitting on the curb next to it when Mary Ann musses up his hair. Presumably, the chicken coop is located at the usual location near the southwest corner.


12 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Two and a half weeks after shooting finished for "Railroadin'" (no. 90), the 'start' date for "Boxing Gloves" arrived on May 13th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of May 25th. No shooting took place on May 12th and 19th, which were both Sundays. Anthony Mack directed on each of the shooting dates. After this, two weeks passed before the Our Gang unit began filming "Lazy Days" (no. 92).

Maltin & Bann give the release date of September 9th for this film, and this date has been repeated in several other sources. The fact that this was not a Saturday makes it unlikely to be the actual date, and the fact that it's also the copyright date strongly suggests that the authors used it as a default release date after ruling out the 'official' release date. And what is this 'official' date? Motion Picture News published a weekly release chart, and the July 6th issue adds "Boxing Gloves" to the list for a July 13th release. This is not only a Saturday, but fits the film perfectly into the cycle of Roach talkies being released at the time. However, the date on the title sheet (July 22nd) reveals that the film's release was delayed at least until late July. The earliest reference I've seen of this short playing in a theater is from August 31st. In this case, the film program had reached its final day, so "Boxing Gloves" had probably been showing there for at least a week.

Even with a delayed release, I'm pretty sure MGM still considered this film to be a 1928/29 release. At the beginning of the season, they had announced a schedule of ten shorts apiece for each of the Roach comedy series. By the spring of 1929, this schedule had been amended to accomodate three talkies from each of the four series. If "Boxing Gloves" is considered a 1929/30 release, then the Our Gang talkie allotment for the previous season comes up short. Also, the evenness of the 1929/30 release schedule actually gets disrupted if we try to include "Boxing Gloves."

Publicity photos reveal some deleted footage involving Chubby as he works out prior to the match. Andy Shuford was included in this footage.

Another publicity photo reveals a deleted scene where Mary Ann has blackened her face to get past the ticket taker.

Another publicity photo shows Joe and Chubby with the broken bottles, but they're at a different corner than the one used in the film.

From the press release: 'The shrill voices of the children blew out six fuses in the recording apparatus before the Victor engineers could adjust the delicate mechanism to take care of the high-pitched volume of sound. The youngsters became so excited in the thrill of the ring battle of the Gang's two fatties, Joe Cobb and Chubby Chaney, that they forgot to lower their voices as directed by the recording engineer, Elmer Raguse.'

Publicity materials referred to the kids as The Roach Rascals.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B359.

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© Robert Demoss.

My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Rob Stone (for providing the production number and shooting dates)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)
Steven Wright (for pointing out the Paul Waner ad)
Jim Tinder (for providing evidence of the film's release date)

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