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Peck's Bad Boy with the Circus (1938)

Passed | | Comedy | 2 December 1938 (USA)
Trouble-prone Billy Peck and his gang descend on a traveling circus that has just hit town, and before long their antics are causing the circus owner all kinds of problems.


Edward F. Cline


Al Martin (screenplay), David Boehm (screenplay) | 3 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Tommy Kelly ... Bill Peck
Ann Gillis ... Fleurette de Cava
Edgar Kennedy ... Arthur Bailey
Benita Hume ... Myrna Daro
Billy Gilbert ... Bud Boggs
Grant Mitchell ... Henry Peck
Nana Bryant ... Mrs. Henry Peck
George 'Spanky' McFarland ... Pee Wee (as Spanky McFarland)
Louise Beavers ... Cassey
William Demarest ... Daro
Mickey Rentschler ... Herman Boggs
Fay Helm ... Mrs. De Cava
Harry Stubbs Harry Stubbs ... Hank
Wade Boteler ... Murphy


Bill Peck (Tommy Kelly) receives ten dollars from his parents for railroad fare to summer camp where he is to defend his trophy cup in a cross-country obstacle race. But he is forced to spend his money for tickets to a circus that comes to town. In revenge, he feed his mother's sleeping pills to the circus lions. Arthur Bailey (Edgar Kennedy, the lion tamer, swears vengeance on the one responsible. His money gone, Bill hitch-hikes a ride to the camp with the circus. A puppy-love romance develops between Bill and Fleurette de Cava, ten-year old bareback rider. During rehearsals, Fleurette sprains an an ankle, and she must appear for the next performance or have her contract cancelled. Bailey suggests that Bill wear a wig and substitute for Fleurette. Bailey volunteers to guide Bill with a wire---one end fastened around Bill's waist and the other strung through a revolving pulley controlled by Bailey. Just as the act begins, Bailey learns that Bill ruined his lion-act. He gets his ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The "Tom Sawyer" Kid in another great fun, thrill and adventure show!




Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

2 December 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Circus Kid See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sol Lesser Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


George 'Spanky' McFarland took a leave of absence from the "Our Gang" series to appear in this picture. See more »


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

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User Reviews

Peck's Bad Boy with the Circus has a lot of players you may be familiar with if you've watched a lot of Our Gang shorts...
8 January 2015 | by tavmSee all my reviews

This is the film Spanky McFarland made while missing the last three Hal Roach entries of the Our Gang series as well as the first two from new producer M-G-M. Besides him, former bully of the series Leonard Kibrick also appears here. Also, Edgar Kennedy-who was the cop in the early talkie entries when Jackie Cooper was the star-and Billy Gilbert-who played Spanky's father in one of his early entries-are also on hand here. Cooper had starred in the previous Peck's Bad Boy film from 1934. He and Spanky had missed each other when he left the OG series and the little toddler came in but they would both appear subsequently in O'Shaughnessy's Boy with McFarland playing Cooper as a little kid. They'd also, a few decades later, present their former boss Hal Roach with an honorary Oscar. Anyway, this version now has young teen Tommy Kelly playing Cooper's former title role with his The Adventures of Tom Sawyer co-star Ann Gillis as the leading lady. Plenty of funny stuff involving most of whom I mentioned especially when Kennedy confronts Gilbert. So on that note, Peck's Bad Boy with the Circus is worth a look if you're a fan of all of the above.

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