Haunted House? (First Division, 1925?)

Haunted House screenshotHaunted House? (First Division, 1925?)
Directed by Mark Goldaine?
Starring Cliff Daniels, Gene Buckel, and Jeff Jenkins

In the middle 1920s, toy projects began being sold commercially. Most ran standard 35mm film on 25, 50, 75, 100, or occasionally 200 foot reels (if you don’t know how long those run, one foot of 35mm equals around one second of screen time). Some film was specially printed for toy projector use, but usually you’ll find it’s just a random clip taken from whatever they had lying around. There are a lot of brief fragments of otherwise lost films that survive on toy projector reels.

This clip is titled Haunted House and says it stars the “Komedy Gang”. What the original title of the film it was taken from is, I have no idea, but I can tell you it’s from the Hey Fellas! series and was made around 1925.

In the wake of Our Gang’s success, a huge number of Rascals rip-offs hit the screen, some more original than others. Hey Fellas! was pretty much identical to Our Gang. It was so similar that when Our Gang ran on TV in the 1960s, they created several new episodes by splicing together Our Gang and Hey Fellas! footage. (About a third of Our Gang’s Operation Tonsils, for example, was taken from Hey Fellas!’s Rival Clinic).

It’s a dark and stormy night and the kids are in a barn. They think it’s haunted and are quite frightened by a cow mooing and the sudden appearance of a goat. Two mice climb into a pair of discarded shoes and somehow make it look like an invisible person is walking in them (neat effect – nice puppeteering).

That’s it. It’s only a 50 foot clip. Hardly enough to base any kind of review on, but it looks like it might have been fun.

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Posted on April 5, 2014, in Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I have found among some old films a small reel 3-4″ inches. Without a projector I used a light and Microscope to view title. It says “The Komedy Gang” ” In Putting on a Show” then by itself “Rehearsal” it is definitly kids and a dog. I am interested in selling it, as I have put our other family films onto DVD`s. I have not been able to find it any where on the net! Please contact my e-mail.
    Thanks ,Jeff

    • Are you asking where to get it transferred to video, what movie it’s a clip from, or where you can sell it?

      The last question is the easiest: eBay. List it in the “Film Stock” subcategory of “DVDs & Movies”. You could also do “Cameras & Photo > Vintage Movie & Photography > Vintage Film”, but that’s a much less popular category and fewer people are watching it — you won’t get as many bidders.

      As for where to get it transferred to video, I know Colorlab does 35mm telecine for both safety and nitrate film. It’ll certainly cost you, and I’m sure it can be done cheaper elsewhere, but as far as commercial labs go, they’re the only one I can personally vouch for.

      What it’s a clip from, now that’s a question. From a title alone, who can say? Even once you’ve seen the film, it’s going to take some work. Look through the Hey Fellas! filmography for likely titles (I’d start with “Ringling’s Rivals” (1925)), then search http://lantern.mediahist.org/ for a plot synopsis. Keep doing that until you find one that matches what you see in your clip.

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