Divot Diggers

film no. 142


technical details:

Production G-35.

Release no. C-215.

Filmed Nov. 18 to 25, 1935. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Title sheet prepared on January 24, 1936. Actually, the year is given as 1935, but this is a common type of error in the month of January.

Cutting continuity submitted January 22, 1936.

Copyrighted February 6, 1936, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP6138. Renewed June 21, 1963, with registration no. R317578. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2031.

Released February 8, 1936. It was the 142nd film in the series to be released.

All-talking two-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Divot Diggers".'

King World Productions episode no. 41a, available in both colorized and original black-and-white versions.


the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Credited in the film as a presenter.
Directed by Robert F. McGowan
This credit appears in the film, but without his middle initial.
Photography: Francis Corby, A. S. C.
This credit appears in the film.
Film Editor: Louis McManus
This credit appears in the film.
Sound: W. B. Delaplain
This credit appears in the film.
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.
Approved by the Motion Picture Producers & Distributors of America
Certificate no. 1803.
studio personnel
general manager - Henry Ginsberg was replaced in Jan. 1936 by David Loew
assistant general manager - L. A. French until early 1936
secretary-treasurer - C. H. Roach
assistant secretary - Mat O'Brien
film editor and sound department - Elmer Raguse
story department - Jack Jevne
publicity and advertising - Fred Purner
construction supervisor - C. E. Christensen
property department - W. L. Stevens
laboratory superintendent - Charles Levin
process department - Roy Seawright
still photographer - Bud "Stax" Graves
musical director - Marvin Hatley
makeup department - Jack Casey
hairdressing - Peggy Zardo
transportation director - Bob Davis
school teacher - Fern Carter
possible uncredited involvement
assistant direction - Probably Gordon Douglas.
writing - Hal Yates, Carl Harbaugh, James Parrott, Charlie Hall, Hal Law, Harry Langdon, John Guedel, Frank Tashlin and Gordon Douglas may have been among the gag writers.
property department - Charles Oelze was probably involved in this capacity.
titles - Louis McManus probably designed the main titles.
animation - Probably the work of Roy Seawright.

the kids:

George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
Featured role. He gets the most attention among the kids, and seems to be their leader.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat"
Supporting role. He caddies for Alfalfa and provides several gags along the way.
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa"
Supporting role. He sings while he golfs and shoots pool on the green.
Eugene "Porky" Lee
Supporting role. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He caddies for Alfalfa and uses his pea-shooter to assist him.
Darla Hood
Supporting role. She's mostly part of the ensemble in this film. This was the first Our Gang film in which she's blonde.
Baby Patsy May
Supporting role. She isn't given much to do other than breaking a balloon. She had previously appeared in "Little Papa" (no. 139) as Patsy Dittemore, and had taken the last name of May after being adopted by her maternal grandparents.
Harold Switzer
Supporting role. He's purely part of the ensemble in this film.
Leonard Kibrick
Bit part. He's one of the caddies that walk out on Mr. Hatfield. This was his final appearance in the series.
other kids
The sounds of kids yelling near the end of this short derive from the soundtrack for "Washee Ironee," and presumably include, in addition to Spanky McFarland and Leonard Kibrick, Matthew "Stymie" Beard, Scotty Beckett, Tommy Bond, Jerry Tucker, Alvin Buckelew and Harry Lowe, Jr..

the animals:

Jiggs the Chimpanzee
Featured role. The cutting continuity refers to him as "Jiggs." He speaks gibberish and drives a tractor.
Pete the Pup IV as "Pete"
Supporting role. He can't resist chasing the ball.
Leo
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film (but is cut from the Cabin Fever print).
other animals
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) The toad that deflects Dugan's ball.
(2.) Several chickens disrupted by the gang crashing through their coop.
(3.) At least one bird that flies by and occasional flying insects.

the adults:

Tom Dugan as the fourth golfer to tee off
Featured role. Spanky serves as his caddy and Pete chews up his ball.
Thomas Pogue as "Mr. Jackson," the first golfer to tee off
Featured role. The chimp breaks his clubs.
Jack Hatfield as "Mr. Hatfield," the caddy master
Supporting role. He recruits the gang as caddies.
Billy Bletcher as "Bill," the third golfer to tee off
Supporting role. The chimp takes his ball, so he takes another one out of his pocket.
David Thursby as "John," the second golfer to tee off
Supporting role. He's the least-noticeable of the four golfers.
Russ Powell as the voice of Jiggs
Voice-over. He provides the gibberish that comes out of Jiggs' mouth.
Hubert Diltz as the tractor driver
Small part. According to Maltin & Bann. I'm assuming that they mean that Diltz is driving the tractor in place of the chimp, since this is the only tractor seen in the film. His face isn't shown, so there must be some additional evidence out there.
other adults
Bit parts and extras.
(1.) The eleven remaining caddies that walk out, one of whom is Matty Roubert, according to Maltin & Bann.
(2.) Several golfers shown in the background and bowled over by the gang as they slide down the hill on a piece of the fence. According to Maltin & Bann, one of these is Jack Hill.

the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A15.) This is played over the opening titles and as we're introduced to Darla and Buckwheat. The last half-verse is played over the end title.
"Beyond The Rainbow" by Leroy Shield
Most of this piece is played as Spanky golfs.
"She'll Be Comin' Round The Mountain"
Originally a negro spiritual entitled "When The Chariot Comes." The retitled version was a popular Appalachian song in the 19th century, and also sung by railroad workers in the latter part of that century. In this film, it's sung by Alfalfa as he golfs. Marvin Hatley received an arrangement credit for this version, which was copyrighted on Mar. 8, 1935.
"Crow-Hop" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Feb. 19, 1936. This is played as Alfalfa shoots pool and Mr. Hatfield looks for caddies.
"Streamline Susie" by Leroy Shield
This is played as Mr. Jackson tries to tee off.
"Just A Melody Sweet" by Leroy Shield
This is played as the next two golfers tee off.
"Up In Room 14" by Leroy Shield
This is played as the final golfer tees off and Alfalfa and Porky ride their cart down the hill.
"Standin' On The Corner" by Leroy Shield
This is played as Dugan gets commentary from the chimp and advice from Spanky.
"If It Were Only True" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931. Part of this is played as Dugan's ball gets deflected by the toad.
"Go Get Him" by Leroy Shield
This is played as the chimp drives the tractor. The original issue of the Beau Hunks "On To The Show!" CD identified this piece as "Instrumental (Hurry)." The recent reissue revises this.
"Quickie" by Leroy Shield
Also known as "Fastie #2." This is played as the kids slide down the hill.
special note
Maltin & Bann list several pieces of music, seemingly implying that they were used in this film, but they may have been attributing them to various films from this period. In any event, the titles don't jibe whatsoever with other information about the music in this film. The titles are "Cuckoo Waltz" by Nathaniel Shilkret, "Buckwheat's March" and "Alfalfa's March", both by Marvin Hatley, and "Colonel Buckshot," "Miss Crabtree," "Sliding," "Slouching," "Dash And Dot," "Gangway Charley," "Riding Along," "On A Sunny Afternoon," "We're Out For Fun" and "Fliver Flops," all by Leroy Shield.

miscellaneous:

Seven shooting dates went into the making of this film. Over a month and a half had passed since shooting finished for "Our Gang Follies Of 1936" (no. 141). In between, Spanky had worked in "The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine" and Darla had worked in "The Bohemian Girl." For the week ending Nov. 9th, Alfalfa's salary was charged to a Roach feature called "Three On A Bench." For the week ending Nov. 16th, all of the Our Gang kids, including Paul Dominick, and excluding Darla, worked in this film, which was then left unfinished. Shooting for "Divot Diggers" started on Nov. 18th and continued until Nov. 25th. There was no shooting on Nov. 24th, which was a Sunday. After this, over two weeks would pass before the Our Gang unit began filming "The Pinch Singer" (no. 143).

The chaotic yelling we hear as the kids are sliding down the hill on the broken piece of fence derive from the soundtrack for "Washee Ironee" (no. 131)

In the Jerry Lewis film "Who's Minding The Store?" (premiered Nov. 27, 1963), we get a look at a selection of televisions in a large department store. One of these is showing "Divot Diggers."

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B392.


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


© 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)
Matthew Lydick (for information on "Three Men On A Bench")
Piet Schreuders (for identifying "Go Get Him")
Elliot Unkefer (for identifying "Just A Melody Sweet" and "Quickie")
Steven Wright (for pointing out the scene in "Who's Minding The Store?")
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs, as well as the laserdisc of "Hollywood's Children")


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