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General Spanky (1936)

Passed | | Comedy, Family, War | 11 December 1936 (USA)
A small boy is instrumental in a famous Civil War victory.

Directors:

Gordon Douglas, Fred C. Newmeyer (as Fred Newmeyer)

Writers:

Richard Flournoy (original story and screen play), Hal Yates (original story and screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George 'Spanky' McFarland ... Spanky (as Spanky McFarland)
Phillips Holmes ... Marshall Valient
Ralph Morgan ... Yankee General
Irving Pichel ... Simmons
Rosina Lawrence ... Louella
Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas ... Buckwheat (as Billie Thomas)
Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer ... Alfalfa (as Carl Switzer)
Hobart Bosworth ... Col. Blanchard
Robert Middlemass ... Overseer
James P. Burtis James P. Burtis ... Boat Captain (as James Burtis)
Louise Beavers ... Cornelia
Willie Best ... Henry (as William Best)
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Storyline

A small boy is instrumental in a famous Civil War victory.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Hal Roach full length feature. (Posters).

Genres:

Comedy | Family | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 December 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Grande Generalzinho See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George McFarland ("Spanky") died at age 64, Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas ("Buckwheat") died at age 49 and Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer ("Alfalfa") died at age 31. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Buckwheat's Slavemaster: Where's Buckwheat?
Slave: I don't know, boss.
Buckwheat's Slavemaster: Buckwheat?
Buckwheat: Here I is.
See more »

Connections

Edited into The Our Gang Story (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Hymn Of The Republic
(uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Exceptionally well made but rather grotesque...
25 January 2011 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

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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