Series: Our Gang
Director: Robert F. McGowan
Producer: Hal Roach
Dialogue: H.M. Walker
Photography: Harry W. Gerstad
Editor: T.J. Crizer
Stars: Mickey Daniels, Allen Hoskins, Ernie Morrison, Jackie Condon, Joe Cobb, Mary Kornman
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 13 January 1924
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: A-22
Filming dates: August 14 - September 4, 1923
NOT ON DVD
The gang have been working on a mysterious invention for the past two days. Mary is chief counsel; Jackie is general supervisor; Mickey is the inventor and Joe is the guinea pig for all the try-outs. They have built their own fully-functional car, complete with indicators, horn and even an engine (and we are supposed to believe this?) Off they go for a drive, out of their yard and swerving onto the roads with Mickey behind the wheel. They stop by to pick up the black kids (Ernie and Farina) from a different neighborhood. Ernie is greeted with a boxing glove contraption which Mickey fires into his face... you know, just for a laugh.
The kids arrive at the house of J. William McAllister, the richest and sickest man in town, who is being attended to by doctors. They tell him he is a sick man and his wife advises him to do as the doctors say. A boy invites the gang to a picnic which is being hosted by Madame La Rue for her Boys School of Dancing but when the gang try to into a car they are all pulled out by her. Mickey and Ernie beat up two sissy kids on the street corner. Mickey continues his violence on another boy whom he sees hanging around. LaRue reports the gang to the police. The gang take refuge in McAllister's house after he calls them. He tells them to hide as the police come searching for them. McAllister comforts a crying Jackie whom he sits upon his knee (hmmm not dodgy at all). Jackie proceeds to systematically remove all of the old man's dressings on his head before the others start having fun by sliding down the stairs rail. Mickey explains his diappointment at not going to the picnic so McAllister offers to take the gang to the beach instead.
He and the boys get into their makeshift car and off they go. Unsurprisingly the gang's car is pulled over by a motorcycle cop and the cop tells McAllister that he has to drive before Mickey ends up doing loop-the-loop! After a short detour across a farm they eventually arrive at Emerald Beach where McAllister buys the kids some food. Joe and Farina spot a fat man and ask him why he is that size and he replies it's because he keeps eating hot dogs. This prompts Joe to eat his food quicker whilst Farina throws his away. Mary gets her skirt blown up by an air blowe (actually this happens several times in this sequence - it's a shame she wasn't just a little bit older when she was really sexy!) And yes, I did just say that.
The old man is in his childish element here with the kids going on all the fun rides and amusements. He gets on the rollercoaster with Mickey, Joe and Ernie whilst poor Farina is neglected on a spinning floor amusement. The rollercoaster ride provides all those who ride it with a thrilling experience and we get to see some great perspective shots from the camera during the sequence, which was quite unique at the time. After the ride the kids want to go on it again and McAllister is happy to pay for another round. After every health & safety regulation is disregarded for the kids' safety on the ride they jump back into their carriages and ride the coaster again. Meanwhile McAllister's team of doctors turn up on the pier and confront him after he gets off the ride. He tells them he has never felt better in all his life.... as he goes for a third ride! The film ends with Farina emerging from his ride, dizzy, dazed and in slow motion!
This scene with Mary.
• Copyrighted December 24, 1923. Since the copyright was not renewed, this film is now in the public domain. Interestingly enough, the film shows the copyright year of 1924.
• The 22nd film in the series.
• There were 40 copies of this film printed for its initial release.
• There is a scene late in the film when Mary Kornman has her skirt blown up by air machine, exposing her in her underwear. Such a contraption in today's society would be deemed totally inappropriate!
• The print of the film I used for review was very washed out and blurry, hence the poor quality screenshots. There are some location shots used during filming which I have included on this page but it is hard to determine their locations due to the poor shots.
• The scenes at the beach/boardwalk were filmed at the old Venice pier in Santa Monica.
• Farina wins the endurance game where everybody sits in the middle of the spinning floor. Can you just imagine how dizzy he was after that? And how many takes were made of that scene? He spins around at least 26 times!
• Jackie and Mary are seen on the rollercoaster when it comes to an end but are not seen during the ride. This was most likely due to a height restriction imposed on the ride. Mind you, to break that argument Mary was taller than Joe and he was on the ride. So now I am not sure! Talking of the rollercoaster sequence, it is shocking to see when the kids get in for their second ride there are no protection bars to keep them in the seats. WTF?!
What the experts say
• "A fairly enjoyable joy ride, particularly the final scenes on the pier and the rollercoaster ride. Looks like a lot of fun." ~ Lord Heath.
|Allen 'Farina' Hoskins
|Harry L. Rattenberry
J. William McAllister
|George B. French
Madame La Rue
|SHOT ON LOCATION
|SHOT ON VENICE PIER, SANTA MONICA
http://www.theluckycorner.com/rps/022.html (Robert Demoss/The Lucky Corner)
The Little Rascals: The Life And Times Of Our Gang by Leonard Maltin & Richard W. Bann (book)
Robin Cook (title card)
Rick Greene (poster)
Chris Bungo (locations)
John Bengston (locations)
This page was last updated on: 13 January 2019