Series: Our Gang
Director: Robert F. McGowan, Tom McNamara, Clarence Morehouse
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker
Editor: T.J. Crizer
Stars: Mickey Daniels, Allen Hoskins, Jackie Condon, Joe Cobb, Jack Davis, Ernest Morrison
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 16 December 1923
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: A-19
Filming dates: May 4-29, July 3-14 & October 2, 1923
NOT ON DVD
Joe, Jackie and Jack are the 'Tucker kids' sitting on the doorstep reading a comic when their father comes out and tells them to go inside. Then we have their neighbors, the McTeeter's - Mickey and his (unidentified) sister. The respective fathers briefly chat to one another outside about a picnic their families are about to embark upon whilst the two wives gossip amongst themselves. Indoors Mickey gets himself ready by putting on a tie as his mother makes last minute preparations with the food. Next door things aren't going so well as the three brothers create havoc in the kitchen before their mom breaks it up after being sprayed in the face with a soda bottle.
Mickey who is obviously bored, ties a thread from his mother's scarf to a pint of milk which he places on a gramophone turntable and then switches it on, causing the scarf to slowly wrap around the bottle. The boys from both houses meet outside in the street as Mr. Tucker shows up with a horse-drawn wagon. Naturally, the temptation to fiddle around with it is too much for Jackie as he encourages the others to start unscrewing the bolts from the wheels! Farina and Ernie come by and are told to wait around the corner for the wagon to go by before boarding - as the kids have invited the boys to come to the picnic without telling their parents. Ernie and Farina tie their cart onto the back of the overloaded carriage being pulled by the horse and away they go. Eventually the wheel nut on the wagon gives up its place and the whole thing collapses in a heap. As the two mothers blame Ernie for the incident, the boys take control of the wagon and leave without the adults.
The kids bolt off down a country lane in the wagon as the parents run after them. The boys come to a halt and begin unloading all the food. Like a pack of foxes, they start munching their way through it all. Mickey sniffs at some Limburger cheese but instead throws it to the dog (the one that suddenly appears in their wagon out of nowhere without any introduction). A pig emerges from the bushes to sniff around Farina who has fallen asleep on the grass. He wakes up and the pig chases him into a cornfield (yes I know this is getting very random now!) The boys give chase and pull Farina off the animal and then realise the field they are in is home to many small animals which want their food. The boys try to scare Farina into believing a rope he has picked up is a snake.
They find a stream and decide to go swimming as their parents continue to make their way to them down the lane. For the next few minutes the boys have fun jumping into the stream and messing about whilst Mickey's sister sits on the bank tieing knots in their clothes to punish them for not letting her join them. A large turtle joins the fun, swimming up behind Farina - and then promptly just vanishes. The adults arrive and, after a small argument between them they pull the kids out of the water. Just as everybody sits down for the picnic a bear comes out of the woods and everybody runs away in a panic. Everybody comes out of their hiding places when a man comes and claims the tame bear. Then comes the rain. Everybody takes cover under a sheet until the shower passes. The film ends with the horse running away down the lane with everybody running after it.
If you can just try hard not to notice Joe's fat arse, he does perform a pretty good stunt in the water where he does a reverse handstand/flip with his head submerged. Anybody who has ever done that will tell you it is very uncomfortable when the water goes up your nose. Good for you Joe!
• Copyrighted December 24, 1923, by Pathé Exchange, Inc. Registration no. LU19759. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain.
• The 19th film in the series to be released.
• According to the studio datebook, McNamara directed on all of the May dates except the 28th and 29th, when Morehouse directed (though he's listed as Moorehouse). McGowan then directed the July retakes, while Morehouse directed again on Oct. 2nd.
• I suspect that some of the technical credits in the opening titles of the print I viewed are inaccurate. See the "Credits" section at the bottom of this page. I believe the photography and editors' credits are wrong.
• The Tuckers live at 1797 and the McTeeters live at 1799.
• While sitting on the front porch, Joe and Jack are both holding the comics section of the Los Angeles Sunday Times. They've only got the outer part of the section, which splits in half as they're handling it. Joe's reading the front, while Jack is reading the back, but we see the illustrations on the opposite sides of the pages. On Joe's half, we see Martin Branner's Winnie Winkle, while on Jack's half, we see C. M. Payne's Smatter Pop. After several seconds, they both turn their pages around. Jack's half now shows Frank King's Gasoline Alley, while Joe's half shows the front page, though I can't make out which comic is on there. [Robert Demoss/The Lucky Corner]
• The words "P.D.Q. Express Co." is painted on the side of the wagon.
• Many sources list Clara Guiol as Mrs. Tucker. This is wrong. The actress is actually Vera White, whom was regularly mistaken for Guiol.
• The size of Farina's shoes surely were way too big for his feet?!
• When the boys jump into the stream to swimming, Joe is the first in, followed by Ernie, Jackie, Jack and finally Mickey. Farina does eventually go in but we don't see it.
What the experts say
• "It's a nothing film, with some very random moments involving a pig and very little entertainment." ~ Lord Heath.
|SHOT ON LOCATION|
http://theluckycorner.com/rps/019.html (Robert Demoss/The Lucky Corner)
The Little Rascals: The Life And Times Of Our Gang by Leonard Maltin & Richard W. Bann (book)
Geoff Lucas (source of print)
Rick Greene (poster)
This page was last updated on: 16 December 2018