Too many silent shorts!!!
Daniel Jolley | 10/22/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The first DVD has -Came the Brawn, Official Officers, Spook Spoofing, Lazy Day, Mary Queen of Tots, and Rascal-Ographies. The only two that isn't silent is Came the Brawn and Lazy Day.The second DVD has-Hi Neighbor, The Fourth Alarm, Olympic Games,Spooky Hooky, and Hollywood Hall Of Fame. This one has three that isn't silent-Hi Neighbor, Spooky Hooky, and the Hollywood Hall of Fame that tells about the star's. It could have been alot better than it was. Also alot of the shows looks like it has been taped from a video tape."
A good intro to Our Gang from the silent films to Spanky
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 04/13/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This two-volume set of Our Gang episodes is not quite what it seems. The box features Spanky, Alfalfa, and the more familiar Our Gang members of the 1930s, but only three of the nine short films included here actually feature these fan favorites. Five films are early silent episodes from the 1920s which I don't think I have ever seen before. These early films look their age, and only two of them managed to really amuse me, The Fourth Alarm (1926) and the classic Spook Spoofing (1928). Lazy Day is a nice addition to the set because this 1929 "talkie" lets us hear the original Gang speak (and helps to definitely prove that Farina is in fact a boy, although some references to him as a girl seem to still turn up from time to time). A very young Spanky turns up in the hilarious Hi Neighbor (1934) film, while only Came the Brawn (1938) and Spooky Hooky (1936) feature the four-boy team of Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, and Porky. The Hollywood Hall of Fame feature on volume 2 is somewhat interesting, but the fact that the vast majority of its clips come from the films featured on these two DVDs makes its much less enjoyable and comprehensive than it really could have been. There is a short history of Hal Roach's Rascals along with short biographies of Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Butch, Mickey, and Jackie Cooper included on both DVDs (the exact same features are included on each volume). It is unfortunate that a short biography of Farina was not included because he was one of the biggest of the early stars and enjoyed the longest career (nine years) of any Rascal. Basically, you should only buy this two-volume set if you are curious about or a fan of the earliest, less familiar, silent Our Gang films. Fans of Spanky's Gang only should look elsewhere for their Our Gang viewing pleasure so as not to court disappointment."
Another Mixed Bag
Andre M. | Mt. Pleasant, SC United States | 03/02/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"~This Rascals DVD is another mixed bag of episodes of varying quality of content and picture.Quite a few of the silents are here. Mary Queen of Tots & The 4th Alarm are also on the "Little Rascals Collector's Edition and both are quite good. "Official Officers" is an interesting story about the Gang playing policemen from 1925.Then there's "Spook Spoofing" (1928) which some consider to be the most racist and un-PC of all Our Gang films. This is where Farine, the Black star of the silent era, faces incredible cruelty from the rest of the Gang because fo his supersitious beleif in a "mumbo-jumbo" charm. Harry Spear goes so far as to prented to be dead and the other Gangsters laugh as they mockingly encourage a terrified Farina to bury his "Cold and clammy" comrade. Sounds like a real knee-slapper, eh? Even though the Gang gets its comeuppance in the end, it still leaves the modern viewer with a bitter taste afterward. The only redeeming aspect of this film is that marks an exception, rather than the rule, of the treatment of the Black kids in the Our Gang films.Then there's the weak "Olympic Games" (1927). The Gang playing at various sports with almost no gags in sight and a terrible print.Other than that, the sound films are good except for the dull "Lazy Days." (1929).Like I said, a real mixed bag."