The Our Gang members want to raise money for the Red Cross. Of course they decide to put on a musical show. With the help of Froggy's uncle, an old minstrel show man, they hire the ... See full summary »
Edward L. Cahn
Billy 'Froggy' Laughlin
It's Mr. Hood's birthday and he's looking forward to a quiet celebration with his family. But Darla's friends show up with living presents, eat his dinner, argue about Tarzan and Alfalfa croons a special song for the unhappy man.
Eugene 'Porky' Lee,
Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer
Spanky and his friends all decide to play army as the country is embroiled in war. His friends designate him their general and he leads them on a rather funny encounter with real Union troops! In addition, they help a nice Southern officer escape a hanging--a hanging orchestrated by a total jerk.
It's not hard to believe that Hal Roach Studios decided to give little Spanky from the Our Gang comedies his own feature film. After all, for his age, he was a dandy actor...and cute as a button. However, in hindsight, their choice of material was a bit on the grotesque side. It's not that setting the story in the South during the Civil War was necessarily a bad thing, but the whole slavery issue is very weird when you see it today. After all, in this film you see lots of black slaves standing about and singing for joy, as they apparently love their lot in life!! And, when Buckwheat (who is a runaway slave) begins to cry because he wants to have a master, too, it's just too much! If it weren't so evil, it would be comical. It's sad. Because without the racial insensitivity, the film is very good. The kids in the film are all good actors and Buckwheat really is quite adorable and effective in the film.
Rather surreal...that's for sure.
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