Two early comedies plus a Little Rascals classic
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 02/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD features three Little Rascals comedies, two from 1930 and one from 1938. Bear Shooters is one of the better Our Gang adventures from the pre-Spanky years (1930 in this case). Jackie Cooper, Chubby Chaney, and a few friends decide to go camping, and they reluctantly agree to let Mary and little Weezer come with them. Their mule-drawn wagon is something to behold, and poor Chubby keeps moving toward the back of the camper and tipping it over. A couple of hoodlums are hiding out at the kids' campsite, and one of them dresses up as a gorilla in order to scare the kids away. This proves to be a big mistake on his part, as the kids more than hold their own against him. There really are some funny parts to this video, but it seems to end abruptly with very little closure at all. School's Out from 1930 is another early comedy featuring Jackie Cooper, Chubby Chaney, a very young Stymie, and other less familiar members of the gang. The kids are worried that their teacher Miss Crabtree is going to get married and stop being their teacher. When her brother comes for a visit, they think he wants to marry her, so they tell him all kinds of terrible things about her (e.g., she has two sets of false teeth and a wooden leg) and later steal his clothes while he goes for a swim. There is also a funny scene involving an oral history quiz in class. Our Gang Follies of 1938 is vintage Little Rascals, featuring Spanky, Alfalfa, Porky, Buckwheat, and Darla. The King of the Crooners gets top billing in Spanky's production, but unfortunately Alfalfa decides he wants to stop crooning and concentrate on singing opera. He walks out, heads off to an opera rehearsal, and lands a contract (for 20 years in the future). He comes back and shows off his contract to Spanky, who tries once again to convince him to croon for the audience chanting his name. Then Alfalfa takes a nap and dreams of his future career-when he finally makes his big opera debut, the audience boos and throws vegetables at him. Reduced to singing on the streets, he meets up with big-time club owner Spanky, band conductor Buckwheat, and singing sensation Darla, all of whom are making hundreds of thousands of dollars. When he wakes up from this bad dream, he's more than happy to give up opera and join the gang for the closing number of the Follies production. This video features a number of songs and dances from Our Gang's talented kids, and Alfalfa's performance of The Barber of Seville is a quintessential Alfalfa moment. Our Gang Follies of 1938 is one of the truly classic Little Rascals performances.Two videos from 1930 and one from 1938 is a strange trio to put on one DVD; it's not as if these are three of the all-time best Little Rascals' comedies. Still, there is a whole hour of good, wholesome, genuine fun to be had in this particular little collection."