Lazy Days

film no. 92

technical details:

Production G-26.

Filmed June 10 to 20, 1929. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Released August 24, 1929. This release date is according to the release charts in Motion Picture News, which is the only one of three choices that makes this the usual Saturday release on the MGM schedule. Maltin & Bann list it as Aug. 15, 1929, a Monday, while Richard Lewis Ward's A History Of The Hal Roach Studios lists it as Oct. 24, 1929, a Thursday. Even with an August release, it's possible that "Boxing Gloves" made it into theaters first, and that "Lazy Days" was the 92nd release. In fact, if "Boxing Gloves" was released on August 24th (a very real possibility), then "Lazy Days" may have been delayed for a month or so. It was definitely in theaters by October 2nd, though.

Copyrighted August 26, 1929, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP641. Renewed September 13, 1956, with registration no. R176911. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2024.

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

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

the crew:

Produced by Robert F. McGowan for Hal Roach
This is how Maltin & Bann put it. The film credits Roach as a presenter, and designates it as "A Robert McGowan Production."
Directed by Robert F. McGowan
This credit appears in the film, but without his middle initial.
Photographed by Art Lloyd and F. E. Hershey
This credit appears in the film.
Film Editor: Richard Currier
This credit appears in the film.
Story Editor: H. M. Walker
This credit appears in the film.
Recording engineer: Elmer Raguse
This credit appears in the film.
Animation by Roy Seawright
This credit derives from Seawright's payroll status as the studio animator during this period. This film features an animated bee sting.
Story by Robert F. McGowan
This credit doesn't appear in the film.
Animal Trainer: Harry Lucenay
He was Pete's owner and trainer.
Teacher: Fern Carter
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:

Allen "Farina" Hoskins as "Farina"
Lead role. He overcomes his laziness long enough to get his baby brother ready for a contest that never happens.
Jannie "Mango" Hoskins as "Trellis"
Supporting role. Farina repeatedly calls her "Honey." She waits on him both at the beginning and the end of the film.
James "Junior" Allen as "Thermos" aka "Junior"
Supporting role. Farina bathes him in preparation for the contest. Farina calls him "Junior" at one point, and seems to call him "Juney" right before that. He was 18 months old at this time. Junior worked on all ten shooting dates, but there was also somebody named Mrs. Clarice Allen who was paid to be present on the final three days (though she's listed as Mrs. A. Allen on the first of those days). Presumably this was Junior's mother and the studio was paying her to make her child available.
Joe Cobb as "Joe"
Supporting role. He's the one with the idea to enter the babies in the contest.
Mary Ann Jackson as "Mary"
Supporting role. She decides to dress Wheezer as a baby.
Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins as "Wheezer"
Supporting role. He resists Mary Ann's efforts to transform him into a baby.
Norman "Chubby" Chaney as "Chub"
Small part. Joe dresses him as a baby.
Harry Spear as "Harry"
Small part. He beats Mary Ann at checkers.
Jean Darling as "Jean"
Small part. She laments that she could have prayed for a goat instead of the baby she ended up with.
other kids
Small parts. There are two additional babies, one belonging to Jean (the cutest baby), and one belonging to Harry (the strongest baby). Maltin & Bann list Bobbie Burns among the kids in the film, and this name also appears in the payroll ledger (as Bobby Burns). The ledger lists four candidate names for these two babies. Mildred Withers worked only on June 15th and made a modest $5. Bobby Burns and Phillip Beauchamp both worked on June 18th, with Beauchamp returning on the 19th. Burns made a healthy $10, while Beauchamp made $7.50 a day. Alice Lorraine Sloane worked only on June 20th, and made a measly $2.50. But what do we see in the film? Well, when we see Jean's baby, she's shown by herself. We never get a glimpse of her in any of the longshots. Harry's baby is shown with the Our Gang kids, while Jean's baby carriage is either off to the side (in the yard scene) or occupied by a doll (in the scenes where they're walking). The fact that Harry's baby appears in two scenes suggests that perhaps he's Beauchamp, the only baby to work on more than one day - unless, of course, the two scenes were shot on the same day. Since Jean's baby worked separately from everybody else, it would seem likely that she's either Withers or Sloane, though the latter seems less likely since the low wage would have been more typical for somebody auditioning - see "Bring Home The Turkey" (no. 57) for an example of this. As far as Burns goes, perhaps this baby worked for one day (with Beauchamp present) and didn't work out, which meant missing the second day. Another possibility is that IMDb got it right and Bobby Burns was the adult actor, perhaps doing the voice of the organ grinder. Incidentally, studio publicity states that ten babies were used for the film, but this is not supported by the ledger.

the animals:

Pete (no. 1) as "Petey"
Supporting role. He's seen frequently during Farina's footage, but doesn't do too much other than rock the cradle.
monkey 004
Bit part. Listed as Elmer the Monkey by Maltin & Bann, but he looks a lot more like the earlier monkeys.
cat 080
Bit part. This is the tabby with the chicks on and around it.
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film (but cut from the Cabin Fever print).
other animals
Small parts, bit parts and extras.
(1.) The goat Farina refers to as "Samson."
(2.) The toad that squirts water, which is probably fake in the squirting shots.
(3.) The mule, which Maltin & Bann list as Dinah the Mule, but which may be the one from "Uncle Tom's Uncle" (no. 50).
(4.) The rooster that Farina is four times bigger than.
(5.) The three puppies seen early in the film.
(6.) The two kittens drinking milk, which are later used in the cradle-rocking scene.
(7.) The three chicks on and around the tabby cat.
(8.) The numerous ducks and ducklings walking into the pond.
(9.) Various chickens in the yard.
The bee that repeatedly pesters Farina is a real one in the closeup shot, but a fake one otherwise. There are also several flies buzzing around.

the adults:

Bit parts.
(1.) The voice of the organ grinder.
(2.) The woman crossing the tracks and almost messing up the shot.

the music:

"Turkey In The Straw" by John Renfro Davis
This was originally an fiddle instrumental called "Natchez Under The Hill". It was published with lyrics in 1834 as "Old Zip Coon." In this film, it's played on Jannie's music box.
other music
The only remaining music in this film is the sound made by the accordion while it's attached to the cradle-rocking contraption.

music from alternate prints
"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
This is played during both the opening and closing of the film, and in both prints. However, judging by the use of music in other films from this period, this piece was almost certainly added at a later date, and was probably taken from the opening of "Teacher's Pet" (no. 101).

the locations:

Media Park, Palms district, Los Angeles
Located as a triangle of land between Venice Boulevard, South Canfield Avenue and Putnam Avenue (now part of Culver Boulevard) in the part of Los Angeles bordering Culver City. As Chris Bungo pointed out on his terrific YouTube channel, we can see Venice Boulevard in the background of many of these shots, with the streetcar tracks running along it. While Farina is struggling with the baby carriage, he's located on South Canfield right next to the park. In one of the shots, we can see a block down Venice to where Bagley Avenue meets it. On the west corner is 9401 Venice, a building also seen in "The Smile Wins" (no. 66) and "Honky-Donkey" (no. 129), and on the east corner is 9345 (and 9343 Venice to the right of it), which can be seen to good effect in the Laurel & Hardy short "Bacon Grabbers." Another angle shows 9301 Venice on the northwest corner of Venice and South Canfield. At the end of the film, Farina is lazing against a tree in Media Park at about the point where Culver and Venice meet, and 9201 Venice can be seen in the background.
Hal E. Roach Ranch
As revealed in a publicity photo, the opening sequence was shot in an area just to the right of the schoolhouse building, first introduced as such in "Teacher's Pet" (no. 101). The pond with the ducks in it would have been more or less behind the building. At this time, the back of the structure and the left side of the roof were missing, revealing nothing but support beams on the inside, and daylight beyond. The side facing the camera looks like it could use a paint job. Presumably, the building had been acquired fairly recently, and had yet to be dressed up by the Roach carpentry department.


10 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Two weeks after shooting finished for "Boxing Gloves" (no. 91), the 'start' date arrived for "Lazy Days" on June 10th. Shooting continued until the 'finish' date of June 20th. No shooting took place on June 9th and 16th, which were both Sundays. Robert F. McGowan directed on each of the shooting dates. After this, two weeks passed before the Our Gang unit began filming "Bouncing Babies" (no. 93).

From The Indianapolis Star of July 14, 1929: "Five babies add their bit to the fun of 'Lazy Days,' the newest 'Our Gang' picture, now in production under the direction of Robert McGowan, who wrote both story and dialogue for the photoplay, which is the 'Gang's' fourth talking picture for Metro." It's possible that five babies were used for this film, if we take stand-ins into account, but perhaps they're counting Wheezer and Chubby.

The notice for the baby contest announces that "The Hon. Benjamin Shipman has consented to act as chief judge." He was currently the business manager at the Roach studio.

The press release for this film mentions The Hal Roach Studio Cafeteria, otherwise known as the Hal Roach Cafe. Surely, this is the place that later became known as the Our Gang Cafe.

This film was removed from King World's TV package in the early 70s.

In the category of unseen characters: Jannie's little sister is named "Linoleum."

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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)

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