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Firefighters

Roosie, Peggy, Richard, Mike (real character name Mabel), Kenneth, George, Elmo, Booker

Production Notes

Length: Two Reel
Producer: Hal Roach
Director: Robert F. McGowan, Tom McNamara, and Charles Parrot (supervisor)
Photography:
Editor: Thomas J. Crizer (presumed)
Titles: H.M. Walker and Tom McNamara (illustrator)
Writer: Hal Roach, Robert F. McGowan, Tom McNamara (presumed), Thomas J. Crizer (presumed), and Leo McCarey (presumed).
Released: October 8, 1922
Studio: Pathe Exchange

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

  • Charles Stevenson - Police Offcer
  • Joseph Morrison - Ernie's Father
  • George Rowe - Bootlegger

The Short

Plot: A flimsy shack holding a moonshine still collapses, and the gang uses the giant boiler tank to form their own fire department. Building a horse-drawn steam-engine truck, a hook-and-ladder truck and a dog-powered vehicle to carry Roosie as the chief, they set up base in an old barn with a lookout as the Goat Alley Fire Department. When the steam from a kettle on a stove looks like fire, they rush out to deal with it, spraying the strange-smelling moonshine on the "fire." A police officer investigates the occurrence just as a cat pulls Roosie's vehicle to meet up with the bootlegger for the officer to arrest. Meanwhile, the other animals having imbibed the funny liquor are running around drunk!
Quotes:

  • "Booker T. Bacon - Not the worst kid in town - But he's got the opposition scared." - Opening title card
  • "Roosevelt Pershing Smith. Only two things in the world he's afraid of - One is soap and the other is water." - Title card
  • "Whar yo' get the tin hat, Roosie?" - Booker T. Bacon
    • "M'uncle give it to me - For washin' m' face." - Roosie
  • "I know! This'll make a bully fire engin' - We'll agonize a fire department!" - Booker T. Bacon
    • "I wanna be Chief - or I won't play." - Roosie
  • "Aw, let the pony join. There's gonna be fire - We got the matches!" - Booker T. Bacon
  • "I'm a woman of few words, an' you're gonna hear 'em all!" - Mrs. Quack
  • "The Gang - Waiting for a chance to start something - a riot preferred." - Opening title card

Notes/Trivia:

  • This short was later remade as The Fourth Alarm and Hook And Ladder. In this film, Roosie (Jackie Condon) is the younger brother of Richard Billings. The gag in which Richard attempts to put Roosie's pants on was later repeated with Dickie Moore and Spanky McFarland in Hook And Ladder. The idea of the kids not knowing a water tank is actually full of liquor was later repeated in The Big Town.
  • Ernie Morrison was actually called "Booker T. Bacon" for this short, later being referred to as "Ernie" and occasionally "Sammy."
  • Director Robert F. McGowan actually used to work as a firefighter.
  • In the staged photo from the short, the young actress previously identified as Mary Kornman is actually Betsy Ann Hisle.
  • The names of the animals for this short includes Lily (donkey, portrayed by Dinah The Mule), Officer T. Towser Barkus (dog), J. Quincy Quack (gander), Henrietta Flapper (hen), Mrs. Quack (goose), Uncle Sam (goat) and Tom (cat). The remaining animals don't have names.
  • Hal Roach ran a preview for this short at Ocean Park in October 1922.
  • At a 2000 convention, Peggy Cartwright told an interveiwer that she remembered this film, but hadn't seen it since its initial release. In addition, she believed that the film was lost. Peggy was happy to learn that not only was she (and the audience) about to see a projected version of this film, but that she would also be given a VHS copy of this film made especially for her. This was her last public appeareance.

Sequence


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