Series: Our Gang
Director: Edward L. Cahn
Producer: Jack Chertok
Screenplay: Hal Law, Robert McGowan
Photography: Ray June
Editor: Roy Brickner
Stars: Eugene Lee, George McFarland, Carl Swizter, Billie Thomas, Robert Blake, Leonard Landy
Released: 24 June 1939
Length: 1 reel
Production No.: 2630
Filming dates: April 17-21, 1939
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At the annual scouts interpatrol meet, the first contest is in tent craft. The kids: Alfalfa, Spanky, Porky, Buckwheat, Leonard and Mickey watch on as the uniformed kid scouts gut a fish and then bury it. The gang claim they could do better but the scout leader tells them they are too young to take part so they decide to set up their own camp at the Geyser Springs Camp Ground. Porky and Buckwheat do a spot of fishing; Alfalfa prepares pancakes over a self-made fire; Leonard fetches some wood (he uproots the sign warning them to keep away); whilst Spanky and Mickey try to erect the tent in a hole filled with water. Leonard gives Alfalfa the wood needed for the fire but accidentally knocks a box of popcorn into the cooking pot.
Spanky gets the tent up (a large umbrella with quilts hanging from it) just as Alfalfa's pancakes begin exploding. Leonard, who is the recipient of one that lands in his lap, quickly gets up when it starts popping. Porky and Buckwheat continue to fish all kinds of discarded junk from the river, including a painting, an accordian, and a basket - but they do finally catch a decent sized fish which they attempt to cook on Alfalfa's stove, which has become engulfed in thick black smoke. After Spanky places the fish into the frying pan and smothered it with salt, a thunderstorm suddenly erupts. The kids take temporary refuge in their tent until a water spring pops up from the ground inside it and sends the tent - along with the boys into the air. Fortunately they land on something soft. Unfortunately the something soft turns out to be poison ivy. The boys head off back to Greenpoint along a woodland track and encounter the scouts along the way. They treat the gang for their poison ivy infections and the scoutmaster confirms to the boys that he would be glad to have them in his group when they get a bit older.
The boys come back down to earth safely.
• Copyrighted June 24, 1939.
• Script no. B972.
• Release no. C-940.
• This was Robert Blake's debut appearance in the series after replacing Gary Jasgur. His first line is "Gee, there's a lot of water in that hole!" Look closely at around the 5:13 mark when the tent gets erected. Blake goes from being on the ground to raising upright in a very unnatural manner. It's my guess that this footage was played in reverse to how it was filmed?
• The twelfth film in the series to be released by MGM following the departure of Hal Roach as producer; and film number 181 in the series in total.
• When Leonard gets up off the rock after eating the pancake he is lifted into the air by the sound of the explosion. You can see the cable and the hook attached to his collar which does this.
What the experts say
• "Wow, that was ten minutes? This film seemed to fly by very quickly. Not much wrong with it - simple, fun and gets the job done, though I felt had a weak ending." ~ Lord Heath.
The Little Rascals: The Life And Times Of Our Gang by Leonard Maltin & Richard W. Bann (book)
This page was last updated on: 10 March 2019