I just read on another Web site that the lost 1928 Our Gang silent "School Begins" has been found, but the print is in poor condition and hasn't been copied or preserved. Who has this print and what are they waiting for? And has the recently discovered reel of the original "Our Gang" been released? Is there any way to get a copy of it?
I'm not sure what the plans are for School Begins, but 13 minutes of the first still-lost Our Gang film is being sold on eBay on DVD by a United Kingdom citizen. This is a mixture of the shortened 4 minute version, Donkey Delivery Co., which some of you have, and the rest are the bits that have been discovered. They've been professionally converted from 16mm and 9.5mm extracts and put the scenes together in the correct places.
I've had this version on VHS for a few years (but was under strict trading regulations due to its rare nature), so I suggest that the rest of you should keep an eye out on eBay for it.
Thanks for the info. I searched eBay but couldn't find the DVD you mentioned. Does the DVD have more than "Our Gang" in its title? I hope it's not in PAL format. I guess we'll just have to wait for "School Begins." I hope they preserve it before it deteriorates completely!
Just wanted to report that today I received the very first "Our Gang" short on DVD, shipped promptly and securely by the eBay seller "ogodcats." It is definitely worth recommending. The surviving footage is clean and very nicely woven together. Thanks for steering me in the right direction, Mark!
Hi Mark. Do you know if the "first" Our Gang short (or the one reel that was recently found) up for auction is actually the first Our Gang pilot, directed by Fred Newmeyer, or the re-shot pilot, directed by Bob McGowan? I believe Allen "Farina" Hoskins, Mickey Daniels, Jack Davis and (possibly) Mary Kornman all appeared in the second version of the pilot, but only Ernie Morrison, Jackie Condon and Peggy Cartwright definitely appeared in the original (perhaps alongside Monty O'Grady & the Doty twins, Winston and Weston).
This is the second version of the first film, and I don't think the first version exists at all.
Farina first appeared in the second episode, "Fire Fighters" and Mary Kornman, as well as Jackie Davis, first appeared in "Young Sherlocks." It says in the book that Mickey Daniels first appeared in "Young Sherlocks" but he is seen in this first episode that is made available from the seller.
When you see the film, don't get confused with that Mary and the Mary Kornman we all know. Look closely at her face and you'll know it's not Kornman.
Was she the same girl who appeared in the Fire Fighters short? I have looked for Mary Kornman in the early shorts but she is nowhere to be found. Obviously, the book erred in stating that Miss Korman joined with "Young Sherlocks."
I'm guessing that only Ernie Morrison, Peggy Cartwright and Jackie Condon are definitely known to have appeared in the original pilot. Perhaps Monty O'Grady and the Doty twins as well, since they were in "Fire Fighters."