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The Kids of Hollywood [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Waldo's Last Stand
The Our Gang kids offer to help their pal Waldo (Darwood Kaye) attract customers to his lemonade stand. Redecorating their clubhouse as a lavish nightclub, the kids stage an elaborate floor show, with Darla Hood as the star vocalist. Unfortunately, their efforts attract only one patron -- a surly, stone-faced little kid with a Popeye-the-Sailor voice (Billy "Froggy" Laughlin, making his first Our Gang appearance). Originally released on October 5, 1940, the one-reel Waldo's Last Stand has since lapsed into the public domain, and as a result is the most easily accessible of the MGM Our Gang films (though certainly not the best of the batch!) ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

School's Out
In this sequel to the 1930 "Our Gang" comedy "Teacher's Pet," the Gang members eagerly await each school day, so that they can bask in the beauty and charm of their new schoolteacher Miss Crabtree (June Marlowe). Little Jackie Cooper is so smitten by the teacher that he circulates a "perdition" to keep school open all year round. When Miss Crabtree's brother Jack (Creighton Hale) pays a visit to the schoolhouse in his sister's absence, the kids begin to worry that Jack is actually their teacher's fiancé. Remembering that marriage was "the way we lost Miss McGillicuddy" (their previous teacher), the youngsters hatch several schemes to get rid of Jack, culminating with the theft of his clothes. An amusing subplot involves a verbal general-knowledge quiz, in which the kids provide foolish answers gleaned from an old joke book. "School's Out" was originally released on November 22, 1930. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

War Babies
One of several shorts made early in Shirley Temple's career, War Babies is essentially a take-off on war movie conventions, performed by a cast of infants and very young children. Babies takes place at Buttermilk Pete's Café, where the dress code runs to diapers and rubber pants, with the occasional army helmet, tie or vest thrown in for good measure. A quartet plays some typical café music, and Shirley Temple dances out, clearly performing the role of a French dancer-cum-temptress. The piano player can't help but shift music to a vampy, come-hither mood, but is quickly told to straighten up. Shirley gets the big eye from one doughboy in particular, who orders his milk straight up (which he pays for with the coin of the realm -- a lollipop). Shirley's dance moves into high gear when the ice cream off one of the musician's cones drops down her back. The doughboy talks Shirley up, but so do several others, and it seems that Shirley is most interested in whoever can add to her own personal collection of lollipops. When a new boy arrives with a huge lollipop, it looks like the doughboy may lose Shirley, but he trickily gets possession of the larger candy stick himself and keeps Shirley as a result. Just then a messenger arrives, and all of the soldiers have to leave. Shirley tearfully bids the doughboy adieu, waving a handkerchief after him as he leaves, before blowing her nose with it. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Polly Tix in Washington
Kid 'n' Africa
Kid in Africa is a one-reeler that places young children in the roles usually played by adults in a typical jungle adventure. Shirley Temple plays Madame Cradlebait, a missionary determined to civilize the cannibals in the jungle. Her expedition, weary from travel, settles in a camp after a long journey. Unfortunately, cannibals immediately appear. Her party flees, and Cradlebait is captured and placed in a giant stew pot. As the cannibal chef prepares his tasty dish, her cries for help are heard far away by a jungle boy (played by Daniel Boone Jr.). He gives his famous yell several times, spraying his throat when necessary, and rides his trusty elephant to the rescue. Cradlebait enlists the jungle boy's help in civilizing the cannibals by building a city in the jungle, the straw buildings of which replicate a busy hotel, gas station (dispensing milk), etc. The jungle boy has also been civilized, now wearing middle class finery and apparently married to Cradlebait, who forbids him to golf as he wants, as he must go home and do the dishes. She takes the reins of the elephant from him and guides them home, where he is also called upon to take a diaper and attend to the cries of the little one in their tree house home. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Glad Rags to Riches
Merrily Yours
What's to Do?
Kid 'n' Hollywood
Bear Shooters
Popular child actor (and later radio and TV stalwart) Leon Janney made his one and only "Our Gang" appearance in "Bear Shooters." Ordered by his mother to look after his kid brother Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins, nine-year-old Spud (Janney) is worried that he won't be able to join his pals on a hunting trip --- while his pals know that if Spud doesn't go, Spud's mule Dinah can't go either. A compromise is reached whereby Wheezer tags along with the rest of the Gang as they seek out "big game" in a nearby woods. But instead of capturing a bear, as they had hoped, the kids are confronted by a gorilla --- actually a heavily costumed bootlegger (Charlie Hall) who wants to scare the youngsters away from his hideout. Unfortunately for the crook and his partner (Bob Kortman), the kids are a lot more resourceful than they appear. Originally released on May 17, 1930, "Bear Shooters" slipped into Public Domain in 1984, and as such is one of the most readily available "Our Gang" talkies. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Pardon My Pups
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