Bedtime Worries
 
Series: Our Gang Distribution: MGM  Director: Robert F. McGowan  Cinematography: Hap Depew
Production: G-17 Type: Sound short Producer: Hal Roach  Editor: William H. Terhune
Released: 09 September 1933 Length: 2-reels Sound recording: ?

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Spanky is listening to the radio when his mother (Gay Seabrook) tells him to fetch his father's pipe and slippers from the bedroom as he will be arriving home shortly. Spanky then goes outside to fetch the newspaper when the gang spot him and ask if he will look after their dog for the night, as the dog catcher is after it. Spanky refuses and goes indoors just as his father (Emerson Treacy) arrives home excitedly. He has been promoted to be in charge of shipping clerks but somehow he is unable to explain what exactly that means to Spanky. His mother doesn't do much better when she gets tongue-tied with how "in the ship where Daddy ships the shop...."
Later at dinner Emerson tries to carve the roast but has difficulty when it ends up on the floor. Annoyed, he instructs Gay to take it into the kitchen and then throw it out of the window. That night Emerson decides it is time for Spanky to start sleeping in his own bed before he and Gay retire to their own room (with separate beds??) As Spanky lies awake in the dark he hears the gang's dog howling. His mother reassures him but the restless Spanky then calls out for his father, asking for a drink of water. Emerson brings Spanky in a glass of water but his patience begins to get tested when again Spanky calls out in the dark after seeing two round lights moving slowly across his wall. His father assures him that it's only an automobile before returning to his own bed and falling through the bottom of it!
There is no time to get settled for Spanky's folks as they are soon back in his room and having to deal with a moth which has cast its large shadow upon the window. Emerson goes outside to get rid of it (apparently he thinks that it is necessary to hit a moth with a large wooden stick!?) and then ends up breaking the window. Next up, it's the Boogeyman on the porch (really only Harry Bernard scoping the place out with the intent to burgle it). After the parents go back to bed the burglar walks into Spanky's bedroom and declares himself Santy Claus (with bandana covering his face and a gun in his hand). The burglar begins loading up his sack with items which Spanky reports to his father, who then instructs Spanky to tell him to take the radio and the kitchen stove. Spanky, oblivious to sarcasm, obliges.
Spanky demands another drink of water, to which his father calls out for Santy Claus to get it for him. The burglar not only puts Spanky to bed with some compassion but also fetches the water! Spanky then proceeds in asking 'Santy' what a shipping clerk is, and off we go again with the long-winded, but going nowhere conversation. The gang come by (yes, in the middle of the night and unsupervised by any adult) and invite themselves into Spanky's bedroom where they see the burglar and raise the alarm. Pete (the dog) latches himself onto the burglar who runs through the house trying to escape. Spanky's folks get involved too, with Emerson heroicly subduing the criminal. Gay calls for the police (well, she shouts at the top of her lungs outside the front door because apparently that's how you call the police) as the gang grapple with the burglar. A policeman arrives and arrests the burglar, who has one last word with Spanky!


Favourite bit
There is something quite touching about the scene where the burglar and Spanky have their chat. The burglar attends to Spanky's water request, and even tucks him into bed, showing some compassion.

Facts
Production G-17 - Our Gang series.
Copyrighted September 26, 1933.

Filming dates
1933.

Trivia
In the opening scene when Gay Seabrook tunes the radio, she momentarily looks directly into the camera as she turns round to face Spanky.
The letter that Emerson Treacy shows to his wife is signed by "J.W. Burns". Between 1930-1935, "J.W. BURNS" (building #32 - Section 13 on the Dallape/Winslow Back Lot Tour on my website) was used as a "Sporting Goods: Everything For The Golfer" store in: ALL TEED UP (1930), HIGH GEAR (1930), ONE GOOD TURN (1931), TOO MANY WOMEN (1932), SCRAM! (1932), BIRTHDAY BLUES (1932), HOT SPOT (1932), A LAD AN' A LAMP (1932), SNEAK EASILY (1932). Then in 1933 it was "J.W. BURNS BICYCLES AND ACCESSORIES" in: MIDSUMMER MUSH (1933), SONS OF THE DESERT (1933). In 1935 it was simply "J.W. BURNS" in: NURSE TO YOU (1935).
Emerson and Gay sleep in separate beds, yet Spanky has a double bed all to himself.
Spanky and his parents live at number 2988.
In my opinion, both parents show considerable restraint in continuing to attend to Spanky every time he calls out from his bed.
It's the middle of the night when Spanky and 'Santy Claus' are having their bedroom chat as the other gang members walk up to the house. How is it that children that age can be walking the streets in the middle of the night?
Whilst the fight between Emerson and the burglar was taking place, did nobody think to turn a bloody light on? Instead they let everything happen in the dark!
Last line:
-Spanky: "Where are you going Santy Claus?"
-Burglar: "I guess I'm going to jail, son."
-Spanky: "I'll come up and see you some time!"

What the experts say
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Gay Seabrook
Spanky's mother
Emerson Treacy
Emerson Treacy, Spanky's father
George 'Spanky' McFarland
Spanky
Matthew 'Stymie' Beard
Stymie
Tommy Bond
Tommy
Georgie Billings
Georgie
Jerry Tucker
Jerry
Harry Bernard
Burglar/'Santy Claus'
Lee Phelps
Officer
Billy Bletcher
First voice on radio
Frank Terry
Second voice on radio
David Sharpe
Stunt
   

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Acknowledgements:
http://theluckycorner.com/rmt/124.html (Robert Demoss/The Lucky Corner)
"The Little Rascals: The Life And Times Of Our Gang" by Leonard Maltin & Richard W. Bann (book)

This page was last updated on: 24 November 2016