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The Big Town

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Thebigtown

Mary, Jackie, Farina, Pineapple, Joe and Mickey

Production Notes

Length: Two Reel
Producer: Hal Roach
Director: Robert F. McGowan
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: T. J. Krizer
Titles: H. M. Walker
Writer: Hal Roach
Released: January 11, 1925
Studio: Pathe Exchange

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

The Short

Plot: The gang have got a postcard from their friend, "Skinny," vacationing in New York City, and the gang soon daydreams of an adventure in the big city. They are shooed out of an old barn by the owner who accidentally burns it down with its bootleg liquor inside by a stray cigarette. The gang's effort to douse the flames with the liquor, which is hidden in a fire extinguisher, has explosive effects. They run and hide in an empty train car at the trainyard, and the door closes on them for an unexpected trip to New York City. They cross Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan, and Mickey commandeers a double-decker bus to drive down Fifth Avenue. Meanwhile, an alert back home for the missing kids has the police searching for them. The NYPD find the kids on the bus and send them home by train. On the way home, they get into mischief by letting loose the live insect specimens of a traveling entomologist. The following morning, their inability to comprehend the menu on the train grants them a breakfast of spaghetti, oysters on the half-shell and an artichoke which Mickey unwraps to find nothing inside it. Back home, four angry mothers await the kids to welcome them home safely with a round of spankings. The angry barn owner is there to welcome them as well and to cheer the spankings, just before Farina whacks him with a board with two nails in it.
Quotes:

  • "There are two types of boys that want to travel and see the world. Those under 12, and those over 12." - Opening Narration
  • "He's crazy! Them apples might 'a' been buggy - but they wasn't wormy!" - Mickey
  • "Lissen, woman - Never talk to a man when he's shavin'." - Jackie

Notes/Trivia:

  • The biggest "blooper" for this episode is the fact that in the majority of the 221 shorts, the Rascal's home town is most of the time located in the area of Los Angeles, California. References to it being in the state of New York are not nearly as common as it being in California. It is not until the M-G-M years and the short, Doin' Their Bit, that the Rascals hometown was definitely named as Greenpoint. In The Fourth Alarm!, even Kansas is named as the home state for the Rascals, but this is largely attributed to the number of writers in the series and a lack of concern over continuity.
  • It's unknown as to who "Skinny" is, possibly it's an unused nickname for Jack Davis who had left the series after Derby Day.
  • The police telegram over the six missing children is signed "C. H. Roach, Chief of Police, Elmira, New York." This was an homage to to Hal Roach's father, C. H. Roach, and his hometown of Elmira, New York.
  • The police telegram also lists the six mixing children as ranging from the ages of "3 to 7". In reality, Mickey Daniels was nine years old, Marry Kornman was eight years old, Joseph Cobb and Eugene Jackson were both seven years old, Jackie Condon was six years old, and Allen Hoskins was four years old.
  • The locations of New York City are actually reused stock footage.
  • The longshots of the Rascals roaming through New York City were actually performed by stand-ins, while the close-ups of the Rascals reacting to New York sights were filmed back in California. The stand-ins for both Joseph Cobb and Mary Kornman had curlier hair styles, while the stand-in for Eugene Jackson had tamer hair. As a result, all three kids' hairstyles are made to match the stand-ins'.
  • The working title for this short was "In New York."
  • The four mothers are Farina and Pineapple's mother, Mary and Jackie's mother, Joe's mother and Mickey's mother.
  • In this short, Mary and Jackie are siblings.

Sequence


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