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Railroadin'

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Railroadin

Chubby, Farina, Joe, Harry

Production Notes

Length: Two Reel
Producer: Robert F. McGowan
Director: Robert F. McGowan
Photography: Art Lloyd and F. E. Hershey
Editor: Richard Currier
Titles: None
Writer: Robert F. McGowan (script), H. M. Walker (dialogue)
Released: June 15, 1929
Studio: M-G-M

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

  • Dorothy Hamilton Darling - Passenger
  • Ed Brandenburg - Brakeman
  • Jack Hill - Truck Driver
  • Otto Fries - Joe's father
  • Robert F. McGowan - Stumbling Passenger

The Short

Plot: The gang is hanging out at the railroad yards where Joe and Chubby's dad works as an engineer on a train. Farina and Harry admire the engines from a turntable while Jean, Mary Ann and Wheezer play in the gondola car. After Joe's father takes his lunch, he warns Chubby about the dangers of the railroad yard as the scene fades.

A crazy vagrant jumps aboard, releases the brake and starts the engine in reverse before jumping back off with Joe and Harry stuck trying to operate the locomotive, as Farina chasing them from the front. Joe, not knowing what to do, manages to reverse direction, but Farina gets his foot caught in a switch directly on the tracks as the train rolls toward Farina, who saves himself by lying back low, letting the train pass over him. Joe and Harry manage to reverse directions several times, repeatedly running over poor Farina each time, and just missing crashing into the gondola car. Eventually, they do manage to latch onto to the gondola car with Jean, Mary Ann, and Wheezer in it. Farina finally frees himself just in time to climb up the cowcatcher, and into the engine with Joe and Harry. Chubby pulls another switch, and soon everyone is careening through town out of control, smashing through a stalled grocery truck. Wheezer, having the time of his life, hopes they hit an ice cream truck next. Farina, when he isn't pulling the whistle, is busy praying that he survives! Up ahead, another train is coming right at them on the same track; luckily, it backs up onto a side track just as the gang's runaway charges past them. Joe finally finds the switch to slow the train to a stop, and a conductor and trainman rush up to check the runaway locomotive. The kids hurriedly tell about the crazy man who set the train off and ask about a reward for stopping it. An egg on the train, left over from the grocery truck, rolls off and splatters messily on Farina's head.


The scene fades out, and then it is revealed that Joe's father has been telling a story to all of the kids all along since his lunch break, but Mary Ann points out that Farina slept through the story. A chicken lays an egg on tthe roof, which rolls off, and splatters on Farina's head, waking him up, like in Joe's father's story.


Quotes:

  • "Some reward!" - Farina grumbles after getting egg on his face.
  • "Some reward?! Some reward is right!" - Farina whining after getting egg on his face a second time!


Notes/Trivia:

  • This is the first appearance of Chubby Chaney.
  • Both Jean Darling's and Norman Chaney's mothers appear as passengers in the short.
  • Like many very early talkies, this film had its soundtrack recorded and released on a separate disc. Beginning in the 1940's, the soundtrack was reported to be lost. As a result, this short was excluded from the package of commercially available 16mm Rascals shorts, as well as the syndicated TV series. In 1982, Blackhawk films begin preparing a silent version (with title cards) of this short, more than likely with the aid of the film's cutting continuity. However, Blackhawk discovered the soundtrack stored away in MGM vaults, and had it released to home video. The film still has not been shown on TV.
  • Jean Darling kept her hair the same way she had it in the previous short, in order to keep her 'vagabond look'.
  • This short was filmed on location behind the Samuel Goldwyn studio near Santa Monica Boulevard.
  • The theme of Farina being run over by a train several times was also used in The Sun Down Limited.
  • The number of the runaway train is 1373, and the number of the train it nearly crashes into is 1272.

Sequence


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