Came The Brawn

film no. 166


technical details:

Production K-19.

Release no. C-737.

Filmed February 21 to 25, 1938. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Cutting continuity submitted March 19, 1938.

Title sheet prepared by Elmer Raguse on March 21, 1938.

Music cue sheet prepared March 21, 1938.

Copyrighted April 12, 1938, by Loew's Incorporated. Registration no. LP7962. Renewed June 16, 1965, with registration no. R362813. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2033.

Released April 16, 1938. It was the 166th 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 February 26, 1938.

All-talking one-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Came The Brawn".'

The soundtrack for this film was used for A Little Rascals Color Special made by King-World Productions and presented by Charles King. The resultant film, using puppet animation, was one of five episodes refashioned this way, which were intended to be marketed as a television series that never came to be.

King World Productions episode no. 54a, 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 Gordon Douglas
This credit appears in the film.
Assistant Director: Lawrence Tarver
This credit derives from studio documentation.
Photography: Art Lloyd, A. S. C.
This credit appears in the film.
Film Editor: William Ziegler
This credit appears in the film.
Story by Hal E. Roach
This credit doesn't appear in the film.
Sound: Oscar Lagerstrom
This credit appears in the film.
Script Clerk: Ellen Hansen
This credit derives from the daily film reports. Hansen was later known as Ellen Corby.
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. 4136.
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
school teacher - Fern Carter
possible uncredited involvement
writing - James Parrott, Hal Law, Felix Adler and Gordon Douglas may have been among the gag writers.
property department - Charles Oelze was probably involved in this capacity.

the kids:

main players
Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa" aka "Wild-Cat Alfalfa"
Lead role. Darla calls him "Tarzan" at one point. He becomes a wrestling champ by beating The Masked Marvel.
Tommy Bond as "Butch"
Featured role. He takes Waldo's place behind the mask.
George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
Supporting role. He's Alfalfa's trainer and the referee in the wrestling match.
Darwood Kaye as "Waldo"
Supporting role. Butch derisively calls him "Shakespeare." He's The Masked Marvel until Butch takes his place.
Darla Hood as "Darla"
Supporting role. She's the incentive behind both Alfalfa's and Butch's efforts.
Sidney Kibrick
Supporting role. He clearly plays "Woim," but the name isn't used in the film. It's his idea that Butch take Waldo's place.
Eugene "Porky" Lee as "Porky"
Supporting role. He beats Alfalfa in the practice round. He's also the '1st comitee' at the wrestling match and ends up with Butch's outfit.
Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas
Supporting role. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He's the '2nd comitee,' and accompanies Porky throughout the film.

other notable kids
Billy Mindy
Small part. Also known as Billy Minderhout. Alfalfa doesn't like the looks of his eyes. He's also in the back row during the match.
Ernie "Stinky" Weckbaugh
Small part. Alfalfa doesn't want to wrestle him because he's got too much muscle.
Roger Terry
Small part. Alfalfa accuses him of being 'one of those wise fellas.'
Henry Lee
Bit part. He's the ticket taker. He's listed in the 1977 edition of Maltin & Bann's book, and in Maltin's earlier The Great Movie Shorts, as Alvin Buckelew.
Harold Switzer
Double and extra. He sits closest to the Masked Marvel's dressing room. He was also a double in this film, presumably for Tommy Bond in the footage in which Butch holds and throws Alfalfa.
Betsy Gay as "Effie"
Extra. She sits directly behind Darla. Originally, she hooked up with Alfalfa at the end of the film, but this scene was replaced by the one in which Alfalfa speaks to the theater audience.

extra kids
Joe "Corky" Geil
Extra. He sits in the second row slightly to the left of Darla.
Drew Roddy
Extra. This is the boy sitting to the left of Joe Geil.
Voight "Sonny Boy" Williams
Extra. He sits two kids to the right of Betsy Gay.
Tommy McFarland
Extra. He sits next to Harold.
Patsy Currier
Extra. She sits behind Joe Geil and Betsy Gay.
boy 166
Extra. He's the blonde boy behind Paul Hilton and in front of Harold Switzer.
Paul Hilton
Extra. He's sitting at the far left of the front row, usually out of camera range. Studio documentation indicates that he was considered for the scene in which Alfalfa inspects the weaklings.
Louise Williams
Extra. This is the blonde girl seen behind Joe Geil and Drew Roddy.
Charles Flickinger
Extra. He's essentially invisible in the film itself, but a publicity still shows that he's sitting to the right of Paul Hilton.
Dickie DeNeut
Extra. His inclusion is indicated by the call sheets. A publicity still shows a kid who looks like him to the left of Paul Hilton.
Dorothy Heinrichs
Extra. A publicity still reveals that she's sitting to the right of Voight Williams.
David Wilmot
Extra. His inclusion is indicated by the call sheets. I don't yet know which kid he is.
Cheryl Hopper
Extra. Her inclusion is indicated by the call sheets. I don't yet know which kid she is.
Gary Jasgur
He doesn't appear in the film, but worked on one of the shooting dates.
Baby Patsy May
She's not in the film itself, but her photo is shown during the opening titles. Her contract was terminated on Feb. 26th.
other kids
Extras. According to the daily film reports, there were a total of 26 extra kids at the wrestling match. The call sheets, however, detail 16 boys and 9 girls. The aforementioned publicity photo shows 18 extra kids, 12 of whom are listed above, while in the film itself, the rear shots of the crowd reveal that at least 9 more kids are present. A 1938 casting directory states that Raymond Rayhill Powell and Spencer Quinn both appeared in this film, but I haven't been able to spot them.

the animals:

Leo
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.

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. A bit more of it is played than usual. The end part is played as Alfalfa says good night and the end title appears.

the locations:

Hal E. Roach Studios
Almost the entire film was shot on Stage 4. The one exception is the process shot, which was shot on Stage 2.

miscellaneous:

Five days of shooting went into the making of this film. Some of the names as listed below are misspelled, but appear that way on the original documents. Here's a breakdown of the activity, deriving from the call sheets, daily film reports, and various memos:
Feb. 1 - A rough synopsis from this date by Hal Law was given the production number K-19, but it was actually an early version of "The Awful Tooth" (no. 168), which ended up with the production number K-21.
Feb. 12, 14 and 15 - The script for this film was written on these three dates. Alfalfa is repeatedly referred to as "Alf" in this script, and Sid Kibrick is called "The Woim." The end of the film is different in the script then it is in the finished film. There's no "goodnight, folks" from Alfalfa. Instead, the other boys think that Alfalfa has learned his lesson, but soon find him flirting with Effie, a girl played in the film by Betsy Gay. This version of the ending was actually filmed, but replaced.
Feb. 19 - Film costs for the previous week were $1035.22.
Feb. 21 - This was the first day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys, Darwood Kaye, and four extra boys: Roger Terry, Ernest Wetmore (sic), Paul Hilton, and Billy Minderhout. Shooting was to take place on the Athletic Club set (that is, the backyard set) on Stage 4. The film was untitled at this point. The daily film report reveals that virtually all of the scheduled shots were achieved, though the film itself reveals that Paul Hilton was left out of these. He would be among the spectators at the wrestling match on later dates, however. It also mentions that Darla did not work. A Collum memo from this date to O'Brien, Van Keuren, Huber and Cash, requests that the four main boys be 'started' as of this date, and that Darwood Kaye be started with a one week guarantee.
Feb. 22 - This was the second day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids, Darwood Kaye, Gary Jasgur, Tommy Bond, Sid Kibrick, and Henry Lee. Shooting was to take place on the exterior Darla's yard and alley sets, and the interior Waldo's room set, both on Stage 4. The film was referred to as "Untitled" at this point. The daily film report reveals that Buckwheat and Porky did not work. Three extra boys were used: Tommy McFarland, Harold Switzer and Henry Lee. All of the footage at Darla's house was shot, as well as much of the footage showing Butch and Woim arriving at the wrestling match. The footage inside Waldo's dressing room was not shot on this date. A Collum memo from this date to O'Brien, Van Keuren, Huber and Cash, requests that Sid Kibrick be 'started' as of this date.
Feb. 23 - This was the third day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids, Darwood Kaye, Tommy Bond, Sid Kibrick, and 16 boys and 9 girls, all between the ages of 6 and 10. These would include Corky Guile (sic), Tommy McFarland, Harold Switzer, Paul Hilton, Dickie De Nuet, Betsy Gay (in pigtails, etc.) and the Williams' Boy (Voight Williams). There's also a note on the call sheet requesting that Henry Lee's salary be raised for Feb. 21st, though this was probably meant for Feb. 22nd, and would have been a result of his special role as the ticket taker. Also written into the call sheet were Beverly Baldy (whose name was crossed out), Drue Roddy, David Wilmott, and Cheryl Hopper. Shooting was to take place on the athletic club and ring set (that is, the backyard set) on stage 4. The film was still referred to on the call sheet as "Untitled." The daily film report reveals that a total of 26 extra kids worked on this day. A Raguse memo from this date copying in Van Keuren, Bren, Ross, O'Brien, Douglas and Burch, stated that the title "Came The Brawn" was being registered and cleared.
Feb. 24 - This was the fourth day of shooting. Scheduled were the five main kids, Darwood Kaye, Tommy Bond, Sid Kibrick, and 25 extras. Shooting was to take place on the athletic club and ring set on Stage 4. The daily film report reveals that Spanky was absent due to illness, and that there were actually 26 extra kids. In addition to footage shot on the backyard set, the scene using the interior dressing room set on stage 4 was also shot on this date.
Feb. 25 - This was the final day of shooting. Scheduled were the four main boys, Darwood Kaye, Tommy Bond, and Sid Kibrick. The call sheet states that Darla was unscheduled and was finished with this production, as were all of the extras. It also gives an instruction to adjust Betsy Gay's salary in light of her additional activity on the previous shooting dates. Shooting was to take place on the athletic club and ring set on Stage 4, the object being to finish the film. The daily film report reveals that not only Darla, but Darwood and Sid, were finished and did not work. Harold Switzer worked on this date as a double, presumably filling in for Tommy Bond in the shots in which he's holding and throwing Alfalfa. Tommy McFarland also worked as an extra, a fact that seems to indicate that shots in which Harold and Tommy are the only extras shown were probably shot on this date. In addition to the backyard/ring set, the exterior 'under ring' set on stage 4 was also used. There was also one process shot taken on Stage 2. A Collum memo from this date to O'Brien, Van Keuren, Huber and Cash, requests that the four main boys be 'closed' as of this date and that Darla be 'closed' as of Feb. 24th. Another Collum memo to the same four people requests that Sid and Darwood be 'closed' as of Feb. 24th.
Mar. 18 - A Raguse memo from this date states 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 Jan. 28th, with the negative cut on Feb. 9th and shipped to MGM on Feb. 12th, and the film released on Feb. 26th.

In Tommy Bond's book Darn Right It's Butch, he explains that in the scene where Buckwheat and Porky remove his masked marvel costume, they actually wound up with his pants as well. When director Douglas yelled "Cut!" and told Tommy he could come out from under the canvas, he refused to budge.

The script submitted to MGM was given the catalog number B368.

Baby Patsy May's contract was terminated on Feb. 26th.

On March 1st, Spanky's contract with the Roach studio expired and he officially retired from the Our Gang series. He then embarked on a 10 week personal appearance tour, visiting Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh, among other cities. His departure from the series drew press attention across the country. His readmittance into the gang in mid-July received noticeably less coverage.

The title of this film is a spoof on the 1928 feature "Came The Dawn." A Players casting directory refers to this film as "After The Brawn," which may have been a working title.

The gang's organization is called the Ajax Athletic Club.

This film was 980 feet in length.


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)
Drina Mohacsi (for IDing Voight Williams and Charles Flickinger)
Kay Becker (for providing the correct spelling of Ernie Weckbaugh's last name)
Matthew Lydick (for the correct spelling of Dickie DeNeut's last name)
Paul Mular (for providing info on the Cabin Fever laserdiscs)


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