Three Men In A Tub

film no. 165

technical details:

Production K-18.

Release no. C-736.

Filmed February 9 to 18, 1938. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Cutting continuity submitted March 7, 1938.

Title sheet prepared by Elmer Raguse on March 8, 1938.

Music cue sheet prepared March 8, 1938.

Released March 26, 1938. It was the 165th film in the series to be released. Early in the film season, Fred Quimby of MGM set a projected release date for this production of January 29, 1938.

Copyrighted April 1, 1938, by Loew's Incorporated. Registration no. LP7963. Renewed June 16, 1965, with registration no. R362814. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2033.

All-talking one-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Three Men In A Tub".'

King World Productions episode no. 50a, 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 Nate Watt
This credit appears in the film.
Assistant Director: Lawrence Tarver
This credit derives from studio documentation.
Photography: Art Lloyd, A. S. C., Roy Seawright and Young
Lloyd received sole credit. The daily film reports indicate that Seawright was co-photographer on Feb. 16th, and that Young, whose first name isn't revealed, was co-photographer on the 17th and 18th.
Film Editor: William Ziegler
This credit appears in the film.
Sound: Oscar Lagerstrom
This credit appears in the film.
Written by Norman Blackburn and Nate Watt
A press release states that Blackburn wrote the original story. The scripts both have the initials NB and NW.
Script Clerk: Ellen Hansen
This credit derives from the daily film reports. Hansen was later known as Ellen Corby.
School Teacher - Fern Carter
This credit derives from the call sheets.
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. 4087.
studio personnel
vice president in charge of production - S. S. Van Keuren
secretary-treasurer - Mat O'Brien
Roach's assistant on production activities - Lawrence Tarver
assistant secretary-treasurer, comptroller - Hugh Huber
film editor and sound department - Elmer Raguse
story department - Jack Jevne
property department - W. L. Stevens
process department - Roy Seawright
still photographer - Bud "Stax" Graves
musical director - Marvin Hatley
men's wardrobe - Harry Black
paymaster - Mrs. Grace Cash
transportation director - Bob Davis
possible uncredited involvement
writing - James Parrott, Hal Law, Felix Adler and Gordon Douglas may have been among the gag writers.
property department - The press release for this film specifically mentions Charles Oelze and Bob Saunders working in the property department.
animal training - Tony Campanaro may have been among the animal trainers.

the kids:

Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa"
Lead role. He races Waldo around Toluca Lake to win back Darla.
Darla Hood as "Darla"
Featured role. She leaves Alfalfa for the more refined Waldo.
Darwood Kaye as "Waldo"
Featured role. He accepts Alfalfa's challenge and ultimately loses.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas as "Buckwheat" aka "Buck"
Supporting role. He's the 'injineer' on Alfalfa's boat.
Eugene "Porky" Lee as "Porky"
Supporting role. He's also part of Alfalfa's crew.
George "Spanky" McFarland
Supporting role. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He has the idea to build the boat and serves as 'race maneger.'
John Collum
Small part. He starts the race. This was his final appearance in the series.
Gary Jasgur
Small part. He's the 'starter' at the race, but the job is actually handled by John Collum. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Gary Jasgar. They also indicate that the "Junior" moniker was used, but it wasn't.
Harold Switzer
Bit part. He's the one that Spanky pushes into the water.
Tommy McFarland
Extra. He's the blonde boy in the front row.
girl 160
Extra. She sits to the left of Tommy McFarland.
girl 159
Extra. She's at the far right of the front row of spectators.
Jerry Tucker
Extra. He's at the far right in the back row. This was his final appearance in the series.
Sheila Brown
Extra. It appears that she's sitting behind girl 160.
Audrey Carol
Extra. It appears that she's the one sitting next to Jerry Tucker.
Baby Patsy May
She's not in the film itself, but her photo is shown during the opening titles.
other kids
Extras. Looking at the film, there appear to be six additional spectators at the race, but the daily film report suggests that one additional kid was present.

the animals:

horse 165 as "Bessie"
Small part. Buckwheat and Porky ride this horse on their visit to Darla and Waldo.
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.
Pete the Pup IV
He's not actually in the film, but his photo is shown during the opening titles.
other animals
Bit parts. Three geese provide the power for Alfalfa's boat. There's also a duck in the background during the unveiling.

the adults:

There are no adults in this film.

the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A17.) This is played over the opening titles and as we first see Alfalfa pacing. The end part is played as Alfalfa saves Darla and the end title appears.

the locations:

Hal E. Roach Studios
Most of the studio footage was shot on Stage 4, including footage shot on the 'green' set, which is made to look like the area near the lake. The process shots, however, were shot on Stage 1.
Malibu Lake
Specifically, the Lake Malibu Club. Identified as Toluca Lake in the film, but not actually shot there. Malibu Lake is in the Santa Monica Mountains near the Paramount Ranch, and was used for all of the authentic location shots.


At least six days of shooting went into the making of this film, though process shots were achieved on additional dates. Here's a breakdown of the activity, deriving from call sheets, daily film reports, location work sheets, and various memos:
Jan. 18 - A surviving script carries this date. Already included is Waldo's lengthy speech, though minor changes were made prior to filming. Gary Jasgur is referred to as "Gary," even in the dialogue. At one point, Spanky hands him a rope, which jerks Gary into the air. The kids take a sheet and use it as a firemen's net. Spanky then says "Okay, Gary," to which Gary replies "Here I come!" before dropping into the net. Gary also is the one who yells "Go!" at the start of the race.
Jan. 24 - A script survives from this date entitled "Her Hero." Waldo's speech is identical to the earlier version. Buckwheat is consistently referred to as "Buck," and Gary Jasgur is "Gary." John Collum is referred to as the "Judge."
Feb. 5 - Film costs for the previous week were $408.80.
Feb. 7 - A crew production sheet was prepared for this day, indicating that some sort of activity had started.
Feb. 9 - This was the first day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids and Darwood Kaye. Shooting was to take place on the 'green' set on Stage 4. A swayback horse would be needed. The footage to be shot included the opening scenes of the boys in the tree setting, and the scene in which Buckwheat and Porky visit Waldo and Darla. Also to be shot were various shots that ended up being achieved at the Lake Malibu location on a later date. The film at this point was called "Her Hero." The daily film report states that Spanky did not work on this date, so the meeting with Waldo was shot. In addition to the four remaining kids, the swayback horse and an 'animal man' attended. A Tarver memo from this date to Van Keuren, Huber and Collum, stated that the five main kids and Darwood Kaye started as of this date, though it also mentions Spanky's illness. A Collum memo from this date to O'Brien, Van Keuren, Huber and Cash, requests that Alfalfa, Porky, Darla and Buckwheat be 'started' as of this date, as well as Darwood Kaye, who would work with a one-week guarantee.
Feb. 10 - This was the second day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids and Darwood. Next to Spanky's name on the call sheet are the words 'if not ill.' There's another note on the sheet which reads 'If Spanky is ill we will not work tomorrow.' Shooting was to take place on the 'green' set on Stage 4, the object being to achieve the shooting that had been delayed the previous day. The title at this point was "Her Hero." The daily film report reveals that Spanky did indeed attend on this day. The opening footage of the boys in the tree location was finished, but none of the various lakeside shots from the race sequence. These latter shots ended up being filmed at the actual location. It also appears that some final shooting of the meeting with Waldo took place as well.
Feb. 11 - This was the third day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids, Darwood, Gary Jasgur, the teacher Mrs. Carter, 15 extra kids (9 boys and 6 girls between the ages of 6 and 10), and Cy Slocum, who served as a standby swimmer. A note on the call sheet states that a process crew would also be needed to get the remainder of the plates. Shooting was to take place at Lake Malibu Club, the object being to achieve all of the location shots, including those used as background in the process shots. The location work sheet states that 100 people were to attend, including the director, location man, assistant director, cameraman, second cameraman, 2 assistant cameramen, 2 prop men, 3 grips, a script clerk, 4 sound technicians, 6 electricians, 4 members of the process crew, 1 wardrobe matron, 1 hairdresser, 4 whistlemen, 1 stillman, 1 mechanic, 15 drivers, the five main kids plus guardians, another person accompanying Spanky, another person accompanying Alfalfa, Darwood and a guardian, Gary and a guardian, 3 teachers, 15 extra kids and their mothers, and a swimmer. There would also be officers. Transporting all of these people would be 5 to 7 passenger automobiles, 5 trucks, 1 sound truck, 1 generator truck, 1 bus with 43 passengers, and 1 bus with 20 passengers. One hundred lunches would be needed. The call sheet also carries the instruction 'cover set - stage 4 int. barn,' which meant that footage of the construction of the boat would take place if the location shooting couldn't be achieved on this day. This is exactly what happened. For whatever reason, probably inclement weather, the cast and crew put off the location shooting until Feb. 17th (though some of the process backgrounds were shot on other dates), and stayed at the studio to film the barn scene. The title, incidentally, was now "Three Men In A Tub." A Raguse memo, probably from this date, and copied to Van Keuren, Burch, O'Brien, Watt, Hansen, Tarver, Terhune, Ziegler and Seawright, states that this title was being registered and cleared.
Feb. 12 - The daily film report for Feb. 16th refers to background plates from Feb. 12th, suggesting that the crew went to the Lake Malibu Club for this purpose. However, no production crew sheet was prepared. Film costs for the previous week were $2744.43, bringing the total to $3153.23 so far.
Feb. 13 - This was a Sunday. No shooting took place.
Feb. 14 - This was the fourth day of shooting. Present were Alfalfa, Porky, Buckwheat, Darla and Darwood. Spanky did not work. Process shooting took place on the exterior lake set on Stage 1. It appears that very little footage was finished on this day, however, since most of the process shots were achieved on Feb. 18th.
Feb. 15 - For some reason, no shooting took place on this date, even though a production crew sheet was filled out. A Raguse memo from this date to Van Keuren relayed a wire from Mr. Orr of MGM in New York, which stated that the title "Three Men In A Tub" was cleared.
Feb. 16 - Shooting took place on this date, but the daily film reports don't refer to it as a 'day of shooting' since only process shots were achieved. Present were Alfalfa, Porky and Buckwheat. Not working on this day were Spanky, Darla, and Darwood. Background plates were shot at Malibu Lake, which probably indicates that shots of the three boys in the boat were filmed, only to later be projected on a screen behind Waldo and Darla in their boat. There's also a note on the daily film report which reads: 'The added 625' camera footage was used for background plates on 2/12/38.'
Feb. 17 - This was officially the fifth day of shooting. Present were the five main kids, Darwood Kaye, Gary Jasque (sic), and 15 extra children. The daily film report also mentions that a pay adjustment was made for Harold Switzer, no doubt because he was willing to be pushed into the lake. Shooting took place at Malibu Lake, six days after it was originally to have happened. No location work sheet survives, but it can be assumed that most, if not all, of the people scheduled for that earlier date showed up on this date. All of the authentic location shots were achieved on this date, not counting those used in process shooting.
Feb. 18 - This was the final day of shooting. Present were Alfalfa, Porky, Buckwheat, Darla, Darwood, and 1 'animal man.' Spanky did not work. Process shooting took place on the exterior lake set on Stage 1.
Feb. 19 - Film costs for the previous week were $3467.16, bringing the total to $6620.39 so far.
Feb. 21 - A Collum memo from this date to O'Brien, Van Keuren, Huber and Cash, requested that the five main kids and Darwood Kaye be 'closed' as of Feb. 18th.
Mar. 5 - A Raguse memo from this date indicates that the domestic negative and domestic negative soundtrack were delivered to the MGM lab, and that the domestic positive Movietone print was shipped to W. D. Kelly in New York.
Apr. 4 - A Raguse memo from this date copying Huber, Van Keuren, O'Brien and Burch, states that the Canadian dupe negative composites for productions K-18 and K-19 were both delivered.

A document prepared at the beginning of the film season gave projected dates for all of the one-reelers to be released. Editing on this film was to begin on Dec. 30th, with the negative cut on Jan. 12th and shipped to MGM on Jan. 15th, and the film released on Jan. 29th.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B642.

On the afternoon of Sunday, February 6th, the members of Our Gang were guests on the George Jessel program "Thirty Minutes In Hollywood."

An article in the Feb. 10th Oakland Tribune states that Spanky was on a vaudeville tour of the east in an act in which he heckles Jack Pepper from a stage box. Clearly, this act couldn't have been going on at this time, but since Spanky's impending retirement from the series had already been announced, it's conceivable that his vaudeville tour of the early spring was already in the planning stages, and that the newspaper reporter misunderstood the details. An article in the Feb. 18th Lowell Sun also states that Spanky was currently touring, but filming for "Came The Brawn" (no. 166) was only three days later.

Alfalfa's boat is called 'Darla the 4th.'

This film is 962 feet in length.

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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)
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)
Debby Mendelsohn (for verifying the spelling of Gary Jasgur's last name)
bigshotjones (for researching Gary Jasgur and getting discussion started on this matter)

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