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Butch Minds the Baby

Butch Minds the Baby(1942)

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Hollywood Reporter reported that Mayfair Productions purchased the film rights to two Damon Runyon stories-"Butch Minds the Baby" and "Tight Shoes"-in October 1940. Tight Shoes was produced in early 1941, but Butch Minds the Baby was delayed until early 1942, due to the production of another Mayfair film, Hellzapoppin' (see entries below). Actors Broderick Crawford, Richard Lane and Shemp Howard appeared together in both Tight Shoes and Butch Minds the Baby, and both pictures were directed by Albert S. Rogell. According to Hollywood Reporter, principal photography was completed on schedule on February 12, 1942, but additional scenes featuring thirteen-month-old Michael Barnitz in the role of "Michael Terence O'Neill" were later filmed, in order to build up the infant's part. Universal press materials state that over 100 children were tested for the role of Michael, and based on his performance in this film, Universal signed Barnitz to a term contract. Runyon's short story was made into a British film short in 1979 by Park Village Productions, a London commercial film company, under the direction of Peter Webb.