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Fast Company

Farina, Jackie Condon, "Little Rondamere," Jack Davis, Ernie, Mickey, Joe

Production Notes

Length: Two Reel
Producer: Hal Roach
Director: Robert F. McGowan and Charley Chase
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Richard Currier
Titles: H. M. Walker
Writer: Hal Roach
Released: November 16, 1924
Studio: Pathe Exchange

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

  • Charles A. Bachman - Cop
  • Charley Young - Man falling out of window
  • Hal Roach Jr. - Kid at the hose
  • Helen Gilmore - Woman from Traveler's Aid Society
  • Margaret Roach (according to Maltin and Bann)
  • Lassie Lou Ahern - Mary's little sister
  • Lyle Tayo - Woman with torpedo in her hat

The Short

Plot: The gang plans to go swimming, but Mickey can't join them since he has to make some deliveries using his goat-powered vehicle. When he goes inside a building to make one delivery, a visiting rich kid sees the goat, and wants to ride it. He offers to trade places with Mickey, who gladly accepts since he's never seen the inside of a hotel. The gang then runs into the rich kid, called Little Rondamere, riding Mickey's goat, and when they find out the story, they change their plans and want to see the Hotel St. Swagger, where Mickey is now staying in a room.
The gang, now with Rondamere, enters through the main door and quickly causes a lot of mayhem. The goat and a wealthy lady's monkey get into a chase which involves the gang, and the monkey ends up throwing explosive smoke bombs all over the lobby. The gang is kicked out, but only turns a corner to wind up under Mickey's window. Ernie pulls the fire escape ladder down, and they all climb up and go through Mickey's window, even the goat. They meet Mary and Lassie Lou, but then a nearby police officer is told by a woman standing by that a lot of boys climbed through the window. When the cop climbs up, the gang bolts the room, creating more mayhem as they run around the hotel.
The gang takes refuge in the Cocoanut Grove, a room made up as a jungle but is closed for repairs. At this point the girls disappear, and the boys, except for Joe, are now dressed as cannibals in long grass skirts and face and body paint. They goof around, with Mickey, Jackie, and Farina trying to play various musical instruments, and Ernie, Jack, and Rondamere, circling Joe who is sitting in a pot as if waiting to be cooked. Then Joe gets out of the pot to smash coconuts with a hammer, and Farina takes his place. Joe then mistakes Ernie's head for a coconut, and there is about to be a big fight when Mickey shows them a pipe that they take as a peace pipe. They all smoke the pipe as if to make a truce.
Next, a worker finds the gang and chases them out of the jungle room. More chaos ensues, most notably with Ernie hiding in a laundry sack and then scaring a maid after she puts some laundry in the sack and ties the end closed, only to see the sack jump around, and Farina standing in a bathtub and pushing back a shower curtain as a female hotel guest is getting ready to take a bath or shower. The gang is soon caught, and suffering from nausea from the peace pipe they smoked. They stagger to a bench, when two men smoking cigars come and sit on the ends of the bench. The gang can't stand any more smoke and stagger away.
Quotes:

  • "The Cocoanut Grove had been undergoing extensive repairs - it will need more." - Title Card

Notes/Trivia:

  • This film is said to be lost by some sources. However, it has actually been available long before any sources began claiming this, and was released on home video as early as the early 1990s. According to T. C. Kennedy of Motion Picture News: "Fast Company starts out with the gang starting out on a swimming expedition. Mickey meets a poor little rich boy on his way to a hotel, where he is to await his mother. The swap hats and coats and Mickey heads on to the hotel. The rest of the gang also gain entrance, bringing a goat which vies with a monkey to bring bang-up laughs when the kids themselves are not doing that very thing. Farina has some corking scenes at a hose nozzle at which he desires a most desired drink, and Mickey does some fine work in his dressed up masquerade as the rich boy."
  • Director Robert F. McGowan was unable to work on this short after falling from a camera platform, and Charley Chase was brought into replace him. However, Chase was called away on studio business and the footage already shot was tucked away for about a year before McGowan finished it, using the kids in larger versions of the original costumes they had already out-grown.
  • McGowan shot some incidental scenes for the short at Hal Roach's Berkley Square residence, using Hal's own son, Hal, and daughter, Margaret, in bit parts.
  • Production began in 1923. But due to McGowan's accident and Chase's absent from the studio, the film was shelved. For unknown reasons, production did not continue until the following year (in between the production of Every Man For Himself and The Mysterious Mystery!). By then, both Ernie Morrison and Jack Davis had departed from the gang. In order to finish the film, both were called back to the studio.

Sequence


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