Hal Roach, famous for his association with Harold Lloyd and Laurel &
Hardy, was also famous for the Our Gang (a.k.a. Roach's Rascals or The
He had operated as an independent since 1918 with a Pathé distribution deal.
In the 1930s, as his short subjects kingdom was threatened by double features
and block booking, he sold his backlog of
independently-produced shorts to his distributor MGM in order to convert to
feature filmmaking with films like the Topper trilogy. In 1938 Roach
moved his production company to United Artists, and produced Of Mice and Men
(1939) and One Million B.C. (1940).