Why Worry? is a 1923 American silent comedy film directed by Fred Newmeyer and Sam Taylor and starring Harold Lloyd. Harold Van Pelham is a young, wealthy American businessman who obsesses about his health, believing he is deathly sick while in reality he is fine. Determined to improve his physical condition with an extended rest in a "tropical" climate, Harold travels by passenger ship with his valet Mr. Pipps and personal nurse from California to "Paradiso", a small South American island off the coast of Chile. Once in Paradiso, Harold does not find the peace and seclusion he is seeking; the uprising is being organized and incited by Jim Blake, a greedy "renegade" from the United States, who wants to overthrow Paradiso's government "to further his own financial interests". After being separated from his valet and nurse, Harold wanders about the island's main town, oblivious at first to the fact that an armed revolt has occurred. Blake soon arranges to have the bewildered hypochondriac thrown into the local prison.
There Harold meets Colosso, a gigantic fellow prisoner, described by the warden as a "wild hermit" and "half crazy with a terrible toothache". The cellmates engineer an escape together, Harold subsequently helps Colosso by pulling out his painful tooth. Much relieved, the huge man vows to do Harold's will. Harold now insists that the military conflict and social unrest on the island are "bad for my heart" and must be stopped, so he and Colosso, along with Harold's nurse, manage by themselves to defeat Blake and his forces and quell the revolution; those actions convince Harold that he is quite fit and that he no longer needs to fret daily about his health or take his array of unneeded medications. With a renewed sense of vitality, he now leaves Paradiso with Colosso and his nurse, the trio board a ship bound for the United States reuniting on the vessel with Mr. Pipps. Upon their return and his nurse marry. Harold Lloyd as Harold Van Pelham Jobyna Ralston as Harold's Nurse John Aasen as Colosso Wallace Howe as Harold's Valet, Mr. Pipps James Mason as Jim Blake Leo White as The Mighty Herculeo Gaylord Lloyd as Man Mark Jones as Mounted Captain William Gillespie as Officer This was the last film made in Lloyd's partnership with Hal Roach.
The village set for the film was used in Roach's Our Gang short Dogs of War, filmed at the same time and featuring guest appearances by Lloyd and Jobyna Ralston. Lloyd and Roach parted on good terms, as each wanted to go in different directions and Harold Lloyd now had enough money to finance his films independently; this was Lloyd's first film to have Ralston as leading lady. She would go on to star in his next five films. In the film's original script, the main character was to go to Mexico instead of the fictitious island of Paradiso. Lloyd made the change in response to concerns that using Mexico as the setting perpetuated unfair stereotyping. George Auger known by his stage name "Cardiff Giant", was a Ringling Brothers circus giant, cast to play Colosso. Auger died the day before he was scheduled to travel to California to begin filming Why Worry? After a nationwide publicity campaign to find his replacement, Norwegian John Aasen from Minnesota was chosen for the role. Aasen was discovered as a result of a newspaper article about the enormous size of his shoes.
The film was distributed by Pathe Exchange with sales assistance from the distribution company Associated Exhibitors. Why Worry? was popular with audiences in 1923 and received widespread praise from contemporary reviewers. Variety, among the leading entertainment-industry publications of the period, complimented not only the film's level of humor but noted the consistent quality of Lloyd's work: He misses with his feature comedies and the latest is no exception, it is a production produces them. As with other Lloyd pictures it is full of genuine comedy ideas; the creative ability of the comedian asserts itself with credit due the author, who aided in the direction for some of the comedy ideas... Lloyd feature comedies are looked upon as box office winners; the latest will live up with ease to the reputation of its predecessors and may be relied upon to produce. The Film Daily, another notable trade publication in 1923 praised Why Worry?, although it did not think the production quite equaled Lloyd's comedy Safety Last!, released just five months earlier.
"While'Why Worry?' may not be as continuously humorous or exciting as'Safety Last,'" observed The Film Daily, "it is still an A-1 comedy entertainment and can still be counted on to satisfy the star's many admirers and all those who enjoy a good laugh." The reviewer for The New-York Evening Post gave high marks as well to Why Worry?, yet chose to compare the film to another previous work by Lloyd: As long as Harold Lloyd continues to make films like "Why Worry?", he has no cause to worry. The picture is laughable and is produced in only the way Harold Lloyd can put comedy on the screen. "Why Worry?", however, is not as clever or as subtle as some of his earlier five-reel releases, "Grandma's Boy" still heads the list. Why Worry? on IMDb Synopsis at AllMovie Why Worry? at the TCM Movie Database
Robert F. McGowan
Robert Francis McGowan was an American film director and producer, best known as the senior director of the Our Gang short subjects film series from 1922 until 1933. Before moving to Los Angeles, McGowan was a firefighter in his native Denver. An on-the-job accident during a fire rescue mission left him with a permanent limp. McGowan moved to California in the 1910s and made the acquaintance of Hal Roach, an aspiring film producer who opened his own studio in 1914. By 1920, McGowan was a director at the Roach studio, in 1921 began work on the first entries in the Our Gang series; the Our Gang series was at its successful under McGowan's direction. McGowan was a natural with kids, knew how to explain scenes and comic business to his young charges to elicit convincing performances out of them, his favorite Our Gang kids were Allen "Farina" Hoskins, Mary Kornman, Matthew "Stymie" Beard, George "Spanky" McFarland, whom McGowan declared a "natural". McGowan's daughter Jerry was an dancer herself. McGowan left Our Gang in 1933 due to the strain of dealing with stage mothers and additional hassles involved with directing child stars.
He moved over to Paramount Pictures to helm features such as One Too Many, Frontier Justice, Too Many Parents. McGowan returned for one last Our Gang short in 1936, produced two Our Gang derived featurettes for Hal Roach and Who Killed Doc Robbin, in the 1940s after retiring from directing. McGowan died of cancer in Santa Monica, California on January 27, 1955 at the age of 72, his nephew, Robert A. McGowan, died five months later. Robert F. McGowan on IMDb
Mike Fright is a 1934 Our Gang short comedy film directed by Gus Meins. It was the 130th Our Gang short, released; when open auditions are announced for a radio variety program, the local station is besieged by aggressively over-coached "professional kids." Auditioning is the International Silver String Submarine Band—which turns out to be the gang, equipped with home-made instruments. They suffer through an endless parade of cute kiddie troupers, accidentally knock over the microphone several times, which inadvertently blows tubes and bulbs in the control room, causing the hat worn by the sound man, played by Bert Gordon, to be blown off his head, making his hair stand on end; the gang steal the show with a rendition of "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze." Musical numbers include Jimmy had a Nickel, My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, My Wild Irish Rose, cut short because the gang is distractingly eating lemons! Matthew Beard as Stymie Scotty Beckett as Scotty Tommy Bond as Tommy George McFarland as Spanky Alvin Buckelew as Alvin Jackie Wilson as Jackie Pete the Pup as Himself Leonard Kibrick as Leonard Jean Aulbach as Hula dancer Billy Lee as Tap dancer Leona McDowell as Darling Sister Joy Wurgaft as Hula dancer Sid Walker as Charlie, the Sound Man Charlie Hall as Elevator Operator Marvin Hatley as Piano Player William Irving as Announcer Frank LaRue as Mr. Barker, the Sponsor Isabel La Mal as Receptionist James C. Morton as Mr. Morton, Station Manager Fern Carter as Audience member Joe Young as Audience member Laura June Kenny as Undetermined role Gloria White as Undetermined role The Meglin Kiddies as Dancers Mike Fright was the first Our Gang short since Pups Is Pups to not contain the opening "Good Old Days" Our Gang theme song.
Instead, it was replaced with the Leroy Shield incidental tune "Little Dancing Girl", which appeared as background music in many of the films and would be the music used for the first 4 minutes of this episode. Because the nature of this film was a talent show with a variety of musical selections, additional background music was not used, nor was it needed. Our Gang filmography Mike Fright on IMDb Mike Fright at the TCM Movie Database
Our Gang is a series of American comedy short films about a group of poor neighborhood children and their adventures. Created by comedy producer Hal Roach, the series was produced from 1922 to 1944 and is noted for showing children behaving in a natural way. Roach and original director Robert F. McGowan worked to film the unaffected, raw nuances apparent in regular children rather than have them imitate adult acting styles; the series broke new ground by portraying white and black girls interacting as equals. The franchise began in 1922 as a series of silent short subjects produced by the Roach studio and released by Pathé Exchange. Roach changed distributors from Pathé to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1927, the series entered its most popular period after converting to sound in 1929. Production continued at the Roach studio until 1938, when the series was sold to MGM, which produced the comedies until 1944. In total, the Our Gang series includes 220 shorts and one feature film, General Spanky, featured over 41 child actors.
As MGM retained the rights to the Our Gang trademark following their purchase of the production rights, the 80 Roach-produced "talkies" were syndicated for television under the title The Little Rascals beginning in 1955. Roach's The Little Rascals package and MGM's Our Gang package have since remained in syndication. New productions based on the shorts have been made over the years, including a 1994 feature film, Little Rascals, released by Universal Pictures. Unlike many motion pictures featuring children and based in fantasy, producer/creator Hal Roach rooted Our Gang in real life: most of the children were poor, the gang was at odds with snobbish "rich kids," officious adults and other such adversaries. Senior director Robert F. McGowan helmed most of the Our Gang shorts until 1933, assisted by his nephew Anthony Mack. McGowan worked to develop a style that allowed the children to be as natural as possible, downplaying the importance of the filmmaking equipment. Scripts were written for the shorts by the Hal Roach comedy writing staff, which included at various times Leo McCarey, Frank Capra, Walter Lantz and Frank Tashlin, among others.
The children, some too young to read saw the scripts. When sound came in at the end of the 1920s, McGowan modified his approach but scripts were not adhered to until McGowan left the series. Our Gang directors, such as Gus Meins and Gordon Douglas, streamlined the approach to McGowan's methods to meet the demands of the sophisticated movie industry of the mid-to-late 1930s. Douglas in particular had to streamline his films, as he directed Our Gang after Roach halved the running times of the shorts from two reels to one reel; as children became too old for the series, they were replaced by new children from the Los Angeles area. Our Gang talent scouting employed large-scale national contests in which thousands of children tried out for an open role. Norman "Chubby" Chaney, Matthew "Stymie" Beard and Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas all won contests to become members of the gang; when there was no talent search, the studio was bombarded by requests from parents who were sure their children were perfect for the series.
Among them were the future child stars Mickey Rooney and Shirley Temple, neither of whom made it past the audition. The Our Gang series is notable for being one of the first in cinema history in which African-Americans and White Americans were portrayed as equals; the four African-American child actors who held main roles in the series were Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison, Allen "Farina" Hoskins, Matthew "Stymie" Beard and Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas. Ernie Morrison was, in fact, the first African-American actor signed to a long-term contract in Hollywood history and the first major African-American star in Hollywood history. Although the African-American characters have since been criticized as racial stereotypes, in their adult years, actors Morrison and Thomas defended the series, maintaining that its integrated cast and innocent story lines were not racist, they argued that the white characters in the series were stereotyped: the "freckle-faced kid", the "fat kid", the "neighborhood bully", the "pretty blond girl", the "mischievous toddler".
"We were just a group of kids who were having fun", Beard recalled. Morrison stated, "When it came to race, Hal Roach was color-blind." Other minorities, including Asian Americans Sing Joy, Allen Tong, Edward Soo Hoo. According to Roach, the idea for Our Gang came to him in 1921, when he was auditioning a child actress to appear in a film; the girl was, in his opinion, overly made up and overly rehearsed, Roach waited for the audition to be over. After the girl and her mother left the office, Roach looked out of his window to a lumberyard across the street, where he saw some children having an argument; the children had all taken sticks from the lumberyard to play with, but the smallest child had the biggest stick, the others were trying to force him to give it to the biggest child. After realizing that he had been watching the children bicker for 15 minutes, Roach thought a short film series about children just being themselves mig
Teacher's Beau is a 1935 Our Gang short comedy film directed by Gus Meins. It was the 136th Our Gang short, released. On the last day of school, the gang learns that their beloved teacher Miss Jones is getting married and that they'll have a new teacher in September, Mrs. Wilson. Miss Jones's fiancé Ralph playfully paints a frightening picture of Mrs. Wilson as "a dried-up, mean old woman," neglecting to inform the kids that his last name is Wilson and that Miss Jones will continue to be their teacher under her married name. Thanks to Ralph's ill-timed joshing, the youngsters convince themselves that the only way to retain their favorite teacher is to break up the wedding, starting with the prenuptial reception, where the kids surreptitiously spike the food by emptying the salt and pepper shakers into it and full bottles of tabasco sauce and horseradish. After they do this, they discover that "Mrs. Wilson" is Miss Jones, that she got special permission to keep her job, that Ralph, whose surname is Wilson, will allow her to teach them as long as she likes.
The gang must force themselves into eating the ultra-spicy spaghetti to save face. They all rush to the water spigot as soon. Matthew Beard as Stymie Scotty Beckett as Scotty George McFarland as Spanky Carl Switzer as Alfalfa Billie Thomas as Buckwheat Alvin Buckelew as Alvin Jerry Tucker as Jerry Rex Downing as Our Gang member Pete The Pup as Himself Harold Switzer as Harold The Cabin Kids as Themselves Dorothy Dandridge as Cabin Kid Jannie Hoskins as Cabin Kid Billy Bletcher as Chairman Of The Board Arletta Duncan as Miss Jones Gus Leonard as Old man Robert McKenzie as Laughing guest Edward Norris as Ralph Wilson Barry Downing as Classroom extra Marianne Edwards as Classroom extra Dorian Johnston as Classroom extra Margaret Kerry as Classroom extra Tommy McFarland as Classroom extra Donald Proffitt as Classroom extra Jackie White as Classroom extra Ernie Alexander as Guest Bobby Burns as Guest Charlie Hall as Guest Fred Holmes as Guest Lon Poff as Guest Beverley Baldey as Undetermined role Jamie Kauffman as Undetermined role Snooky Valentine as Undermined role Teacher's Beau marks the final appearance of series stalwart Matthew "Stymie" Beard and Jannie Hoskins.
At one time the star of the series, Beard was reduced to a single line of dialogue in Teacher's Beau. Jannie was in Our Gang since the Silent Era. Dorothy Dandridge appears in this film; the version included in the "Little Rascals" TV package had been edited back in 1971 for various reasons. It continued airing on AMC unlike other episodes. A complete and uncut version was available on VHS home video in the 1990s. Like the other 79 talking Hal Roach-produced Our Gang episodes, this one was released on DVD as of October 28, 2008; the rendition of Old MacDonald Had a Farm. When they return to their seats, two members of the quintet were replaced by stand-ins, Dorothy Dandridge and Jannie Hoskins, a little sister of Allen Hoskins, who played Farina from 1922 to 1931; the song Alfalfa sings, with his brother Harold accompanying on mandolin, is Ticklish Reuben. Our Gang filmography Teacher's Beau on IMDb
John Michael Condon was an American child actor, a regular in the Our Gang short series from 1922 until 1929, during the Pathé silent era. Condon was born in March 1918 in California. In 1919, he began his acting career by appearing in the film Jinx. By 1922, he appeared in many silent films and starred in the Our Gang comedies as "Jackie"; when he joined the gang in 1921, he was the little tag-along toddler of the gang, put off by the older children but anxious to be part of the action that the older members take place in. As he grew older, his character developed into the all-American member of cast, he left the series in 1928. Condon was part of the first original gang, well known to audiences that watched "Our Gang", he appeared in all of the sixty-six Pathé silent comedies and twelve of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer silent comedies before leaving the series. By the time of his departure, Condon had appeared in seventy-eight of the shorts over a seven-year term. After he left Our Gang, Condon went back to public school and graduated from Hollywood High School in Los Angeles, California in 1936.
He tried to return to acting during the 1950s, without much success. He worked at Rockwell International with fellow Our Gang alumni and co-star Joe Cobb. In 1977, Condon died at age 59 from cancer, he was cremated, his ashes were scattered. Jinx - uncredited Little Lord Fauntleroy - boy at opening scene with hat Dr. Jack - neighborhood kid One Terrible Day - Jackie The Champeen - Jackie Tire Trouble - Jackie The Big Town - Jackie Good Cheer - Jackie Bring Home the Turkey - Jackie Barnum & Ringling, Inc. - Jackie Election Day - Jackie Holmstrom, John. The Moving Picture Boy: An International Encyclopaedia from 1895 to 1995, Michael Russell, 1996, p. 86. Dye, David. Child and Youth Actors: Filmography of Their Entire Careers, 1914-1985. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co. 1988, pp. 35–36. Jackie Condon on IMDb Jackie Condon at AllMovie Jackie Condon at Find a Grave
Hi'-Neighbor! is a 1934 Our Gang short comedy film directed by Gus Meins. Produced by Hal Roach and released to theaters by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, it was the 126th Our Gang short to be released and Meins' first series entry as director. While sailing their toy tugboat in a puddle outside their house and Spanky notice a moving van with a riding toy fire engine passing through the neighborhood, they round up the rest of the gang and follow the moving van to its destination. The owner of the fire truck, a snobbish rich kid named Jerry, comes out to find a dozen strange children playing with his fire engine and shoos them all away, refusing to trade any sorts of collateral for so little as a ride. Enter Wally's girlfriend Jane, to whom Jerry, however, is quick to offer a ride. Wally tries to dissuade Jane from riding with Jerry by telling her that the gang has a fire engine of its own, big enough for all the gang's members to ride in. Jane accepts Wally's invitation to ride in his fire engine after she returns from her ride with Jerry.
Wally and the gang begin building a makeshift fire engine of their own. As the older kids work on the fire engine, little Spanky and Scotty find themselves forced out of the proceedings, sit on the sidelines giving commentary among themselves on the gang's progress. Unbeknownst to the gang, Jerry sneaks over to the gang's barn with Jane in tow, hoping to prove that the gang does not have a fire engine, he flees in embarrassment, when a drill from the other side of the barn door strips him of his pants. The unwieldy results of their labor fail to impress Jane, whom Jerry coaxes into another ride with him. Undaunted, the gang follows them, Jerry challenges them to a race to the bottom of a long, steep hill. Not long after the start of the race, the gang's fire engine loses its brake, Jerry fears that the gang might well run him over. Halfway down the hill, Jerry bails out of his fire engine into a lawn, leaving Jane alone to crash in the next lot over. While the gang cheers in victory, their fire engine veers onto the sidewalk, where they knock over several pedestrians and ride straight through a hedge, which tears their clothes and causes them to emerge from the other side in their underwear.
Wally Albright as Wally Matthew Beard as Stymie Scotty Beckett as Scotty Tommy Bond as Tommy George McFarland as Spanky Marvin Trin as Bubbles Tommy Bupp as Our Gang member Donald Proffitt as Our Gang member Pete The Pup as Himself Jackie Lynn Taylor as Jane Jerry Tucker as Jerry, the rich kid Jean Aulbach as Donald's little sister Bobbie Beard as Cotton Harry Bernard as Moonshiner filling crock Charlie Hall as Window-washer Tiny Sandford as First mover Jack Ward as Jack, second mover Tony Kales as Undetermined role Hi-Neighbor! was the first Our Gang film produced after the series' four-month hiatus, necessitated by George "Spanky" McFarland's unavailability. While on loan to Paramount to appear in Miss Fane's Baby Is Stolen, McFarland caught whooping cough, but his parents allowed him to work while sick; as a result, McFarland gave the disease to his juvenile co-star Baby LeRoy, forcing a shutdown in production. As punishment to McFarland's parents, the Los Angeles Board of Education suspended George McFarland's work permit for ninety days, resulting in a four-month gap between the production of Wild Poses in August 1933 and Hi'-Neighbor! in January 1934.
Between Wild Poses and Hi'-Neighbor, several changes were made to the Our Gang company. Producer-director Robert F. McGowan, with the series from its beginnings in 1921, was worn out from the strain of working with child actors and left Hal Roach Studios to direct features at Paramount, he was replaced by Gus Meins, a veteran director who had worked on another series of shorts starring children, the Buster Brown films, during the silent era. Meins' approach would be different from McGowan's, as his films adhered closer to a prepared script with less room for improvisation or unrelated gags. Joining Our Gang at this time were several new child actors, in particular Wally Albright, Scotty Beckett, Jackie Lynn Taylor. Albright a veteran actor at age eight, had appeared in the Our Gang short Choo-Choo! in 1932. He would appear in four more Our Gang shorts as the kids' leader in 1934. Four-year-old Beckett made his film debut in Hi'-Neighbor!, was cast as Spanky's sidekick, a role he would continue in until mid-1935.
Taylor appeared in five Our Gang shorts in 1934. Our Gang filmography Hi'-Neighbor! on IMDb