The First Round-Up

film no. 128

technical details:

Production G-21.

Release no. C-825.

Filmed Mar. 19 to 24, 1934. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Title sheet prepared by William Terhune on April 11, 1934.

Dialogue cutting continuity submitted April 18, 1934.

Copyrighted May 1, 1934, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP4680. Renewed August 29, 1961, with registration no. R281002. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2029.

Released May 5, 1934. It was the 128th film in the series to be released.

All-talking two-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "The First Round-Up".'

King World Productions episode no. 42b, available in both colorized and original black-and-white versions. This version is listed without the hyphen.

the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Credited in the film as a presenter.
Directed by Gus Meins
This credit appears in the film.
Photography: Francis Corby
This credit appears in the film.
Film Editor: Ray Snyder
This credit appears in the film.
Recording Engineer: Harry Baker
This credit appears in the film.
Animation by Roy Seawright
Maltin & Bann specifically credit him with animating the shadow on the wall.
Animal trainer: Tony Campanaro
He trained the current Pete.
Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Indicated in the opening title card.
Passed by the National Board of Review
As indicated in the film.
Western Electric System
As indicated in the film.
The National Recovery Administration emblem is shown in both the opening and end titles.
studio personnel
general manager - Henry Ginsberg
assistant general manager - L. A. French
secretary-treasurer - C. H. Roach
assistant secretary - Mat O'Brien
film editor and sound department - Elmer Raguse
construction supervisor - C. E. Christensen
laboratory superintendent - Charles Levin
process department - Roy Seawright
still photographer - Bud "Stax" Graves
transportation director - Bob Davis
school teacher - Fern Carter
possible uncredited involvement
assistant direction - Probably Gordon Douglas.
writing - Hal Yates, Carl Harbaugh, Frank Terry, Billy Gilbert, James Parrott, Charlie Hall, Robert McKenzie, Frank Tashlin and Gordon Douglas 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.
titles - Louis McManus probably designed the main titles.

the kids:

George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spank"
Featured role. He's able to outsmart the older boys, but is repeatedly the victim of Scotty's mistakes. The cutting continuity refers to him as "Spanky."
Scotty Beckett as "Scotty"
Featured role. He accompanies Spanky throughout the film, as the two provide almost all of the humor.
Wally Albright as "Wally"
Featured role. He's the leader of the gang and the main decision-maker.
Matthew "Stymie" Beard as "Stymie"
Featured role. He's essentially second-in-command, and has the additional problem of his little sister tagging along.
Willie Mae Walton as "Buckwheat"
Supporting role. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Willie Mae Taylor. She stows away in Stymie's pack and eats all of his food.
Tommy Bond
Supporting role. His name doesn't turn up in the dialogue, but is indicated in the cutting continuity. He's given a fair amount of dialogue, but is mostly an ensemble player.
Cullen Johnson
Supporting role. He's the brown-haired boy, and has a few lines of dialogue along the way, but is mostly just one of the group.
Philbrook Lyons
Supporting role. He has a little bit of dialogue, but is mostly just part of the ensemble.
Billy Lee Wolfstone
Supporting role. Aside from the backpack gag at the beginning of the film, he isn't given much of anything specific to do. Maltin & Bann misidentified him as Marvin "Bubbles" Trin in the 1977 edition of their book, and failed to remove that name from the 1992 edition, which also lists Billy Wolfstone. The person who prepared the cutting continuity referred to this character as "Marvin."
Jackie Lynn Taylor
Small part. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Jacqueline Taylor. She's Wally's sister, and nags him about remembering to take everything. The cutting continuity refers to her simply as 'girl.'
Billie Thomas
Bit part. He's seen emptying the gang's canteens early in the film.

the animals:

Pete the Pup IV as "Pete"
Supporting role. He accompanies the little kids, and brings fleas to the campsite with him.
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
other animals
Bit parts.
(1.) The toad on Wally's pillow.
(2.) The skunk that Pete encounters.
(3.) The tortoise that carries away Spanky and Scotty's lantern.

the adults:

Billy Bletcher as "Billy," Wally's father
Small part. He's not worried at all about his boy going camping, and expects him back that night.
Zoila Conan as Wally's mother
Small part. She has misgivings about Wally going camping.

the music:

"Good Old Days" by LeRoy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A14.) This is played during the opening titles. A portion of it is played again over the end titles.
"Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!" by George F. Root
Originally a civil war song, this was featured in the musical "Naughty Marietta" and was a number one hit for Byron Harlan & Frank Stanley in 1910. It was later given new lyrics and retitled "Jesus Loves The Little Children." The instrumental version heard in this film is played as the boys hike up the hill.


Six shooting dates went into the making of this film. About two weeks had passed since shooting finished for "For Pete's Sake!" (no. 127). Shooting for "The First Round-Up" started on Mar. 19th and continued until Mar. 24th. After this, over a week would pass before the Our Gang unit began filming "Honky-Donkey" (no. 129).

During the making of this film, the kids posed for publicity photos in which they campaigned for independent candidate Mabel B. Roach for Culver City Council. She was the wife of studio secretary/treasurer C. H. Roach, and the two of them were Hal Roach's parents, often referred to as Dad Roach and Mother Roach.

The working title for this film was "Night Howls."

The reels change during the jelly sequence.

The opening shot shows a page from the Los Angeles Tribune of Monday, February 23, 1934. This is almost certainly a mockup, since the 23rd was actually a Friday.

A story version of this film appeared in the book Our Gang in 1934.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B416.

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© Robert Demoss.

My thanks to the following people for assisting with this page:
Rob Stone (for providing the production number)
Joe Moore (for providing the copyright information)
Elliot Unkefer (for pointing out the 'A14' arrangement of "Good Old Days")
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)

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