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The Little Rascals: Classic & Hidden Episodes [DVD]

Release Date:05/03/2011
This collection of six Little Rascals shorts includes Big Ears, Lazy Days, Free Eats, Fish Hooky, Mush and Milk, and The Fourth Alarm.

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    The Little Rascals: The Complete Collection [8 Discs] (DVD)  (English)  1929 - Larger Front

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    Special Features

    • Bonus, un-cut classic Rascals episode: The Fourth Alarm


    Free Eats
    To further her husband's political career, wealthy Mrs. Clark (Lillian Elliot) throws a lavish party in her home for the poor children of the community. Among the invitees are the Our Gang kids, including Matthew "Stymie" Beard, who of late has been getting into trouble because of his tall tales. Thus, no one believes Stymie when he claims that a pair of midgets, disguised as infants, have invaded the party for the purpose of stealing everybody's wallets and jewelry. As it turns out, however, Stymie is telling the truth for the first time in his life. Originally released on February 11, 1932, "Free Eats" benefits from a strong adult supporting cast, including Billy Gilbert and Paul Fix (the latter in female drag!) as a pair of crooks. The film is best remembered, however, as the "Our Gang" debut of 3-year-old George "Spanky" McFarland, who delivers a rambling, impromptu monologue about monkeys, swings, and airplanes --- hardly a high point in American comedy, but enchanting nonetheless. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Fish Hooky
    Four of the "Our Gang" kids fabricate elaborate excuses to get out of school so they can go fishing. Unfortunately, the boys have picked the very day that their teacher is taking the whole class for a free excursion to the Seaside Amusement Park. The rest of the picture finds the would-be fishermen trying to sneak into the park without attracting the attention of the eagle-eyed truant officer. Originally released on January 28, 1933, Fish Hookey is a watershed "Our Gang" film: in addition to featuring the current crop of "Gang" members, the film also accommodates guest-star appearances by four former members from the silent era: Mary Kornman as the teacher, Mickey Daniels as the fun-loving truant officer, and Joe Cobb and Allen "Farina" Hoskins. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    The Fourth Alarm
    While the Our Gang kids are beating the summer heat with their own elaborate version of a "slip-n-slide," a fire alarm rings, and the men from the nearby firehouse race to the conflagration. Tagging along, the youngsters manage, through a series of incredible coincidences, to put the fire out themselves. Impressed, the fire chief deputizes the kids and helps them organize their own fire brigade. As usual, the gang takes its new responsibilities with the seriousness of any adult: They even build their own fire engine, which though unwieldy is certainly fast and efficient. But will the gang be able to extinguish a fire in a chemist's lab and escape being blown to bits by a hidden reserve of dynamite? Largely filmed on the familiar Hal Roach Studios back lot (sharp-eyed comedy fans can spot such "landmarks" as the A to Z Pawnshop and the Pink Pup Café), The Fourth Alarm was originally released on September 12, 1926. The film was meticulously remade in 1932 as Hook and Ladder. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Big Ears
    An angry divorce is the curious source of humor in the offbeat "Our Gang" comedy "Big Ears." Though little Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins loves both his father and mother (Creighton Hale and Ann Christy), he wishes that they would stop quarrelling. Overhearing their plans to split up, Wheezer is at first delighted, assuming that a divorce is some sort of present. Learning the truth, he begs his pal Matthew "Stymie" Beard for advice. Stymie suggests that, if Wheezer were to get a bellyache, his folks would forget their differences. Acting upon this, Wheezer consumes vast quantities of lard and soap, then samples the entire contents of the family's medicine chest! Fortuately, he survives, whereupon his parents promise to stop fighting --- at least for now. Originally released on August 29, 1931, "Big Ears" is absent from the "Little Rascals" TV package, but is, however, available on home video. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Mush and Milk
    This time around, the Our Gang Kids are residents (or rather, inmates) of the Bleak Hill Boarding School, where the crabby old lady in charge forces them to do all the chores and feeds them a strict diet of mush. Fortunately, the kids have a strong ally in the form of lovable old Cap (Gus Leonard), the school's combination handyman and teacher. Cap promises the youngsters that he'll rescue them from Bleak Hill once his back pension comes in -- and, by golly, he does! Highlights include Spanky McFarland's garbled telephone conversation with perennial Laurel and Hardy foil James Finlayson, and 6-year-old Tommy Bond's stirring rendition of the very adult torch song "Friends, Lovers No More". Our Gang: Mush and Milk was originally released on May 27, 1933. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Lazy Days
    Lazy Days is built entirely around the fact that the Gang members in general and Allen "Farina" Hoskins in particular are too lazy to perform their chores or even indulge in horseplay. The pace picks up a bit when the kids decide to enter a "beautiful baby" contest in hopes of winning a $50 prize. When fat Joe Cobb tries to pass off his equally porcine pal Norman "Chubby" Chaney as an infant, it is clear that youngsters' chances of winning are slim indeed (and, as it turns out, were nonexistent in the first place!) Described by one observer as a "loud, long, yawn," Lazy Days was originally released on August 15, 1929. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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