Thundering Fleas
Series: Our Gang Distribution: Pathé  Director: Robert F. McGowan Cinematography: Art Lloyd 
Production: K-9 Type: Silent short Producer: Robert F. McGowan, Hal Roach Editor: Richard C. Currier
Released: 04 July 1926 Length: 2-reels Titles: H.M. Walker


It's June, the month of weddings and another is about to take place, that of Mary's sister. Mary (Kornman) has the idea of copying her by wanting to get hitched up with Joe. Bonedust (Clifton Young) makes the announcment via his 'wurlitzer' and the ceremony is under way, conducted by Jackie (Condon) acting as the minister. Joe gives his bride a ring which is actually an old hook screw. The rest of the gang turn up late, having stopped off to watch a dog fight.  The groom is told he can kiss his bride but he refuses to do so for fear of the others seeing him.
Unfortunately the other kids do see him and throw a show at Joe's face.  The imprint of the heel is revealed on Joe's face as a noticeable black mark. An enraged Joe confronts the boys, who claim it was thrown by the smallest member, Farina.  Farina gets his dog, Magnolia, and runs and is pursued by Joe. Meanwhile back at the ceremony, the rest of the boys and the bride marvel in the wedding presents which have been donated.
Farina stumbles upon Professor Clements and his flea circus by the side of the street and stops by to take a look at Garfield the flea, riding on a bicycle.  The animated flea jumps down onto Farina's dog's nose. Farina backs away as the dog scratches madly at the flea he has inherited.
A new family are moving into town, with their worldly belongings on the back of a very unsteady cart. New boy Skooter (Lowry) is pulling a baby in a cart along the street when he meets up with Farina.

Favourite bit

Production K-9 - Our Gang series.
May 26, 1926.
Also listed for July 28, 1926.

Filming dates
March 8-25, 1926. 16 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Four and a half weeks after shooting had finished for "Uncle Tom's Uncle" (no. 50), the 'start' date arrived for "Thundering Fleas" on Mar. 8th. Shooting continued until Mar. 25th, when it was considered 'finished.' No shooting took place on Mar. 7th, 14th, and 21st, which were all Sundays. There was, however, information written in for the 14th which was crossed out. This probably indicates that the person entering the information absent-mindedly forgot to skip the page for Sunday. After shooting finished, two weeks passed before the Our Gang unit began to shoot "Shivering Spooks" (no. 52).

The scene with Garfield the flea was animated by E.H. Young.
This was the first of three shorts that Oliver Hardy appeared in with the Our Gang team. The other two were "Baby Brother" and "Barnum & Ringling, Inc."
There were 40 copies of this film printed for its initial release.
When Mary kisses Joe during the ceremony, there is a lovely little smile on his face afterwards.
When Joe chases Farina, they run past a store advertising ice cold Coca Cola.
When the flea jumps down onto the dog's nose, the dog is shown as a still photo with the animated flea on top.
There are two signs on the back of the cart which is transferring the belongings to the new home: "It is better to give than to receive" and "Ours is a happy home".

What the experts say

  Lassie Lou Ahern
Flower girl at the adult wedding
  Harry Bowen
Watcher of the flea circus
Chris Lynton
Father of Mary, Johnny and the bride
Charley Chase
Wedding guest with moustache
Joe Cobb
Jackie Condon
Mickey Daniels
  Johnny Downs
Robert Finlayson
Fiddle player
Alex Finlayson
James Finlayson
Justice of the Peace
Evelyn Burns
Mother of Mary, Johnny and the bride
George B. French
Professor Clements
Charlie Hall
Oliver Hardy
Allen 'Farina' Hoskins
Jannie Hoskins
Farina's sister
  Ham Kinsey
Wedding guest
Mary Kornman
  Mildred Kornman
Scooter Lowry
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - Sam Lufkin
Wedding guest
Jerry Mandy
Sheldon, the groom
Martha Sleeper
  Jay R. Smith
(unknown role)
  Lyle Tayo
Pedestrian without fleas
  Charley Young
Watcher of the flea circus
Clifton Young
Clara Guiol
Vera White
Guest with flea on her nose

Jesse Brisson (identification of Vera White and Chris Lynton)
Tommie Hicks (identification of Robert Finlayson)

This page was last updated on: 07 August 2020