The Little Rascals: In Color, Vol. 2 [2 Discs] [DVD]

This collection of ten colorized Our Gang shorts includes Rushin' Ballet, Glove Taps, For Pete's Sake, and Pups Is Pups.
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The Little Rascals: The Complete Collection [8 Discs] (DVD)  (English)  1929 - Larger Front

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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars.
4.5
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (2 out of 2)

Special Features

  • Our Gang Follies of '38
  • High Society
  • Be Honest
  • Dogs of War

Synopsis

Bear Facts
Upon learning that Darla Hood's father (Jack Pepper) owns a circus, Our Gang members Spanky McFarland and Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer try their best to impress Darla, hoping to land circus jobs. Never letting the facts get in the way of a good story, Alfalfa claims that he is an expert bear tamer, who uses his "magnetic personality" to hypnotize wild bears into submission. Overhearing this, Darla's dad decides to teach Alfie and Spanky a lesson, and to that end he disguises himself as a bear. Best line: "Alfalfa never turns back!" The one-reel "Our Gang" comedy Bear Facts was originally released on March 5, 1938. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Sprucin' Up
Hoping to get on the good side of the new truant officer (Dick Elliot), the Our Gang kids go out of their way to impress the man's cute little daughter Marianne (Marianne Edwards), even unto making such sacrifices as taking baths, combing hair, shining shoes, and washing behind the ears. Both George "Spanky" McFarland and Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer pay a social call on Marianne, and before long, the two lifelong pals have become romantic rivals. Ultimately, Spanky and Alfalfa stage an athletic competition to determine who is the better man, an undertaking with (literally) prickly results. Originally previewed under the title Good Night Ladies, Sprucin' Up was officially released on June 1, 1935. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Our Gang Follies of 1938
Briefly digressing from "Our Gang"'s new one-reel format, the series' December 18, 1937 release, Our Gang Follies of 1938, was expanded to two reels -- and the result is often considered to be the best "Gang" comedy of all. Another musical short in the tradition of Our Gang Follies of 1936 and Reunion in Rhythm, this one begins in the basement "theater" of Spanky McFarland, who serves as emcee of a lavish kiddie revue, built primarily around the talents of Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, "King of the Crooners." Alas, Alfalfa has decided to forego swing music in favor of grand opera, and to that end he walks out of the show and heads to the Cosmopolitan Opera House, where Mr. Barnaby (Henry Brandon), the troupe's bemused manager, jokingly signs Alfalfa to a contract -- effective twenty years later. Falling asleep, Alfalfa begins dreaming of his future, envisioning his name in lights all over Broadway. Alfie's dream turns into a nightmare when he loses his "gift" on the eve of his operatic debut, whereupon the now aged and wizened Barnaby forces the hapless crooner to sing in the streets. Our hero is rescued when he ventures into fashionable Club Spanky, where lead singer Darla Hood and orchestra leader Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas are now making "hundreds of thousands of dollars." Though at first insisting that he's a "slave to his art," Alfie finally breaks down and agrees to return to crooning -- but his dream, and the film, aren't quite over yet. Seldom has the imagination of a child been so vividly conveyed as in Our Gang Follies of 1938, wherein the standard "show-biz movie" cliches are played out and exaggerated for all they're worth. As a bonus, the film scores as both an uproarious comedy and a legitimately entertaining musical. Highlights include Alfalfa's unforgettable renditions of "I'm the Barber of Seville" and "Learn to Croon"; Darla's interpretation of "The Love Bug Will Get You If You Don't Watch Out"; "Loch Lomond", performed by Annabella Logan (who grew up to become fabled jazz singer Annie Ross); and "That Foolish Feeling" and "There's No Two Ways About It", sung and danced by Georgia Jean LaRue and Phil MacMahon. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Mail and Female
Acting as if the previous "Our Gang" one-reeler Hearts are Thumps never happened, the Gang's male members, headed by Spanky McFarland, decide to create the He-Man Woman Hater's Club. When the kids ask who will be elected president, Spanky nominates his pal Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer in absentia -- because everyone knows that Alfalfa "hates women." Alas, at this very moment Alfie is writing a love letter to his sweetheart Darla Hood. Just as he sends Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas and Eugene "Porky" Lee to deliver the note, Alfalfa is informed that he has been unanimously elected president of Spanky's new club. Without even asking what the club is all about, Alfie declares that all rules must be obeyed, lest the members suffer a paddling at the hands of "sergeant-at-arms" Henry "Spike" Lee. Only then does he discover that he has agreed to take charge of the He-Man Woman Hater's Club -- and from this point forward, it's every He-Man for himself! One of the best-remembered "Our Gang" comedies, Mail and Female was originally released on November 13, 1937. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Glove Taps
After appearing as a peripheral player in several earlier "Our Gang" shorts, Tommy Bond made a spectacular return to the series in Glove Taps. Here and in all future appearances, Bond is cast as neighborhood bully Butch, the bane of the existence of Spanky McFarland, Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer and the rest of the Gang. Normally, Butch explains, he beats up every kid in school to prove that he's Big Man on Campus; but to save time, he'll lick the toughest kid in school. By a fluke, weak-kneed Alfalfa is chosen to face Butch in the barnyard boxing ring --- and he has only one day to train for the big bout! If the background music in this one-reel comedy sounds familiar, it should; much of it was lifted from Marvin Hatley's Oscar-nominated score for the Laurel and Hardy feature Way Out West (1937). A fast and funny exercise in adolescent wish-fulfillment, "Glove Taps" was originally released on February 20, 1937. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Pups Is Pups
The Our Gang kids prepare to enter their scraggily pets in a high-society dog show, where their pal Allen "Farina" Hoskins is working as an usher. Meanwhile, Jackie Cooper tries vainly to prevent his troublesome kid sister (Dorothy "Echo" DeBorba) from jumping into every mud puddle that she sees. And little Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins has a high old time trying to round up his runaway puppies, who change directions every time they hear a bell ringing. A truly delightful two-reeler, "Pups is Pups" expertly combines slapstick, verbal humor and pathos in one neat, entertaining package. Originally released on August 30, 1930, this was the first "Our Gang" comedy to utilize the captivating background music of LeRoy Shield, notably such familiar tunes as the lilting "Teeter-Totter", the rousing "Hide and Go Seek", and the lively "On to the Show", later made famous as the secondary opening theme for Hal Roach's Laurel and Hardy comedies. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Be Honest
The Pooch
Cheerful vagrant Mathew "Stymie" Beard tries to get back in the good graces of the Gang after stealing their pies. Stymie's not a bad kid, just hungry, as proven when he cadges a meal from a friendly housewife -- a meal supposedly for his faithful pet Pete the Pup, but actually consumed by himself. When a mean dogcatcher (Budd Fine) tries to round up the Gang's dogs, Stymie comes to the rescue, earning the undying devotion of the kids and the animosity of the dogcatcher, who vengefully bundles Petey off to the pound, intending to consign the poor pooch to the gas chamber. Desperately, Stymie prays for the five dollars necessary to spring Petey, whereupon a five-spot blows out of the hands of a lady shopper and lands at Stymie's feet. For a while, it seems as if Stymie and the Gang are too late to save Petey from being destroyed, but the dog has a trick or two of his own up his. . .er. . .sleeve. A semi-remake of the 1927 "Our Gang" comedy "Love My Dog," "The Pooch" was originally released on June 11, 1932. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

For Pete's Sake
When neighborhood bully Leonard Kibrick wrecks little Marianne Edwards' favorite doll, the "Our Gang" kids promise to purchase a new doll for the brokenhearted girl. Unfortunately, the local toy store is run by Leonard's equally obnoxious father William Wagner, who agrees to give the kids a doll only if they'll hand over their beloved Pete the Pup in exchange. Balking at this arrangement, the kids concoct a variety of moneymaking schemes, all of them doomed to failure. Tearfully, the youngsters trade Pete for the doll --- but fear not, a happy ending is waiting in the wings! Originally released on April 14, 1934, "For Pete's Sake" is highlighted by the bantering byplay between the two youngest "Our Gang" members, Spanky McFarland and Scotty Beckett. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

High Society
Adopted by his wealthy Aunt Kate, freckle-faced Mickey Daniels at first enjoys his newly luxurious surroundings, but before long he misses the companionship of the other Our Gang kids. In addition, Mickey can't stand his obnoxious cousin Percy, nor does he relish Aunt Kate's efforts to turn him into a proper gentleman. But salvation is at hand: While Aunt Kate is out, Mickey invites his old pals to pay him a visit, whereupon they make such a mess of the place that Auntie is more than glad to send Mickey back where he truly belongs. Originally released on August 24, 1924, the silent two-reel Our Gang comedy High Society was never officially remade, though elements of the plot would resurface in several future series entries. Excerpts from High Society appear as "flashback" sequences in the 1932 Boy Friends comedy Too Many Women, which features former Gang stalwarts Mickey Daniels and Mary Kornman. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Rushin' Ballet
Our Gang members Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer and Spanky McFarland form the Sekret Revengers Club, dedicated to protecting such smaller, more vulnerable children as Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas and Eugene "Porky" Lee. When Buckwheat and Porky report that their marbles have been stolen by bullies Butch (Tommy Bond) and Woim (Leonard Kibrick), Alfalfa and Spanky vow to retrieve the marbles. Alas, Butch and Woim prove to be more formidable than expected, forcing the two Sekret Revengers to run for their lives. Everything comes together during a ballet recital, in which Alfalfa, dressed in ballerina drag, finds himself at the mercy of "mystery dancer" Butch. The one-reel comedy Our Gang: Rushin' Ballet was originally released on April 24, 1937. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Bored of Education
Producer Hal Roach had intended to terminate his "Our Gang" short-subject series at the end of the 1935-36 season, but was talked out of it by Louis B. Mayer, the head of Roach's distributor MGM. As a cost-cutting measure, Roach shortened the running time of each subsequent "Our Comedy" from two reels (approximately 20 minutes) to one (approximately ten minutes), beginning with the first release of the 1936-37 season, "Bored of Education." It's the first day of school, and Gang members Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer and Spanky McFarland look forward to meeting their new teacher Miss Lawrence (Rosina Lawrence) with fear and loathing. Hoping to skip out of class, Spanky fabricates a phony toothache for Alfalfa, using a balloon stuffed inside his pal's cheek. But when the boys discover that Miss Lawrence intends to serve ice cream to her new students, they change their minds about playing hookey. Unfortunately, Alfalfa swallows the balloon, causing him a great deal of discomfort and embarrassment when he is called upon to sing in front of his fellow students. Originally released on August 20, 1936, Bored of Education was the only "Our Gang" entry to win an Academy Award. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Dogs of War
Originally released on July 1, 1923, the silent, two-reel Dogs of War may well have been the most schizophrenic entry in the entire Our Gang series. The film begins with an elaborate sandlot recreation of a battlefield, with the Our Gang kids staging an elaborate mock war, complete with such "artillery" as rotten eggs and overripe vegetables, and with makeshift tanks and cannons adding to the imaginary carnage. Suddenly an armistice is declared when "Red Cross Nurse" Mary Kornman is called away to the local movie studio to appear in an epic titled Should Husbands Work? for a magnificent five dollars a day. Recognizing a good thing when they see it, the rest of the kids head to the studio (actually the Hal Roach lot) and offer their services as actors. Ordered to get out and stay out, the youngsters devise a clever method to gain access to the studio where, in addition to wreaking their usual havoc, they produce a one-reel "masterpiece" that more closely resembles an Andy Warhol experimental picture of the 1960s. Watch for comedy great Harold Lloyd in an amusing cameo -- which also serves as a plug for Lloyd's latest release, Why Worry?. One TV version of Dogs of War, retitled Hollywood USA, jettisons the "war" sequence entirely, with little damage to the film's continuity. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Dogs Is Dogs
Another expert blend of genuine sentiment, moving pathos and belly laughs, the "Our Gang" comedy "Dogs is Dogs" was orginally released on November 21, 1931. This time, Gang members Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins and Dorothy DeBorba are cast as brother and sister, left in charge of their hateful stepmother (Blanche Payson) while their absentee father weathers a serious illness. In addition to being abused by their stepmom, the kids must suffer the taunts of their prissy stepbrother, played by Sherwood "Spud" Bailey. Fortunately, their old pal Matthew "Stymie" Beard is around to brighten their lives and to outfox the despicable Spud. Also figuring in the proceedings is the beloved Pete the Pup, who very nearly meets an unpleasant demise thanks to the combined machinations of the villains. A variety of plot complications both hilarious and heart-breaking occur before the inevitable happy ending. Incidentally, this is the film in which the crafty Stymie explains how "ham and eggs can talk" --- thereby obtaining a free meal in the process. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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