Series: Our Gang

Director: Edward L. Cahn
Producer: Jack Chertok
Screenplay: Hal Law, Robert McGowan
Photography: Clyde De Vinna
Editor: Leon Borgeau

Stars: Robert Blake, Billy Laughlin, George McFarland, Billie Thomas, Leonard Landy, Joe Strauch Jr.
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 25 January 1941
Length: 1 reel
Production No.: 2696
Filming dates: August 26-31, 1940
Rating: 5/10
Fightin' Fools

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The boys are playing in a shallow pool when they dare one of their members, the aptly named 'Tubby' to dive in. He does so, and the water disappears, leaving them all in the hole that used to be the pool. Nearby, a rival gang led by Slicker are rearranging the boy's clothes into knots. When Spanky and co. come to retrieve their clothes the rivals laugh and run off, satisfied with their prank. Spanky gathers his friends at the barn where they compose a letter to Slicker and his bullies, telling them they are going to fight back. The stage is set - Thursday afternoon at McGowan's vacant lot. Spanky and Mickey wait patiently for the susprise attack to come but when it doesn't they instigate it themselves by launching apples at their rivals. Slicker responds by throwing tomatoes back.
Tubby threatens to quit when he is hit by a tomato. Leonard, then Mickey also join him after they too get splatted by the rivals. Spanky pleads with the boys not to give up even after he himself gets a faceful of tomato. The kids attach pegs to their noses and then get Tubby (what a great name for a fat kid, eh?) to jump onto a plank so that they can launch watermelons over the fence to hit their enemy. In a final act of revenge Spanky and co. send up buckets of onions, fastened by balloons over the fence before dropping them all over the rival gang. Slicker and his friends surrender and as a final act of humiliation they are made to undo all the knots they caused in the clothing earlier as Spanky's gang laugh at them.

Favourite bit
Tubby jumps in... the water jumps out!

Trivia
Copyrighted December 30, 1940.
Release no. C-295.
This was the 196th film in the series to be released.
Spanky declares the location of the battle to take place at McGowan's vacant lot. This is surely a nod to Robert A. McGowan, co-writer of the screenplay.
Unusually, there are no adults or female cast members in the film.

What the experts say
"A bunch of kids having a bunch of fun outdoors. No girls, no adults, just pure innocent fun. Nothing wrong with that. Not sure it makes for a necessary film, but technically there's not much wrong with it except to say it's pretty bloody pointless." ~ Lord Heath.

Robert Blake
Mickey
Billy Laughlin
Froggy
George McFarland
Spanky
Billie Thomas
Buckwheat
Leonard Landy
Leonard
Joe Strauch Jr.
Tubby
Fred Walburn
Slicker
Hugh Binyon
Dewey, member of Slicker's gang
Vincent Graeff
Member of Slicker's gang
Tommy Tobin
Member of Slicker's gang

CREDITS

SHOT ON LOCATION

Acknowledgements:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fightin%27_Fools (Wikipedia)
The Little Rascals: The Life And Times Of Our Gang by Leonard Maltin & Richard W. Bann (book)
Matthew Lydick (identification of Vincent Graeff and Hugh Binyon)

This page was last updated on: 31 March 2019