Series: Our Gang
Director: Robert F. McGowan
Producer: Hal Roach
Dialogue: H.M. Walker
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Richard C. Currier
Sound: Elmer Raguse
Stars: Sherwood Bailey, Matthew Beard, Dorothy DeBorba, Bobby Hutchins, Dickie Jackson
Released: 21 November 1931
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: G-3
Filming dates: August 12-28, 1931
Dogs Is Dogs
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"Hey you, bring me some more coffee!" bellows the horrible mother (Blanche Payson in her typical growling self) to poor Dorothy. She sits at the breakfast table, dipping her toast into the coffee whilst flicking it at the cat, tormenting it. Her step-son Wheezer is asleep in the next room with a duck whistle in his mouth. The sound wakes Pete (the dog) who then snatches a pillow and wakes Wheezer up. As the two of them frolic around on the bed, Spud wakes up and rushes to inform his mother (Payson) about Wheezer breaking the rules about having the dog in his bed. Fortunately, Wheezer anticipates being caught and tells Pete to quickly leave as the mother walks into his room.
Wheezer is spanked by the woman for disobeying her house rules, but he asks why Spud isn't punished for allowing his dog, Nero, to sleep with him? She compares Pete as an alley dog, to Spud's 'pedigree' dog and threatens to send Pete to the pound if she catches him in bed with Wheezer once more.
Spud rubs it into Wheezer about how Wheezer's mother is dead and that he is only a step-brother to him, but Wheezer smacks Spud in the chin, causing the mother to come in and give poor Wheezer another beating. Both Pete and Dorothy come in to comfort the sobbing boy after the lunatic leaves the room.
|Wheezer pines for his father as his step-mother goes out. Out in the yard, Stymie talks to Pete as Spud, Dorothy and Wheezer sit and have breakfast. Wheezer practically begs the spoilt Spud to share some of his breakfast, but Spud instead hands it to his dog. In a spiteful act of revenge for Spud's selfishness, Wheezer pours some hot tabasco sauce over Spud's ham when he turns away to give his dog another slice. Both Spud and his dog burn their mouths on the contaminated ham and have to take a drink of water.
Stymie enters the kitchen despite being told by Spud that he isn't supposed to be there. He frowns upon Wheezer for eating mush again, whilst the spoilt Spud gets a luxury breakfast. Using an old jedi mind trick, Stymie cons Spud into believing that ham and eggs can talk. Spud thinks it is ridiculous, but Wheezer and Dorothy play along, knowing what Stymie is up to. Stymie tells Spud that in order to get the ham and eggs to talk he has to "mess them up in a frying pan". The gullible Spud cooks the eggs and ham on the stove, still dismissing Stymie's claim that they can talk. Stymie instructs Spud to turn the eggs over and mix them up a bit, which Spud does before walking out of the house and into the yard to find Dickie fishing down a well. As the two boys begin to talk, Nero (Spud's dog) walks past and pushes Spud down into the well.
Spud cries out for his mamma and tells Dickie to go get help, as the other three sit and gobble up their breakfast. Dickie tells them of Spud's predicament and they all go to the well. After finding some rope long enough to pull Spud out, the ungrateful little brat then confesses he intends to tell his mother about the other kids. Wheezer lets go of the rope and Spud plummets back into the well. After some negotiation, Wheezer, Dickie and Stymie pull Spud out of the well only to have Spud repeat his threat to tell on them. Wheezer comes back at him in wonderful fashion, "Well the dunking you got is worth the beating I'll get".
Out in the yard, Nero has killed a neighbor's chicken and Spud is quick to tell the owner (Billy Gilbert) and place the blame on Pete. The raging neighbor storms into the barn to shoot the dog despite the desperate pleas from the kids who resort to pelting him with eggs. Policeman Harry Bernard walks in and breaks up the commotion, but it means Pete is sent to the dog pound.
As Wheezer cries for Pete at the pound, his kind aunt (Lyle Tayo) stops by and gives him the two dollars needed to free his beloved dog back into his care. Back at the house, the aunt takes Wheezer and Dorothy away with her, but not before a confrontation with the wicked step-mother and a swift kick to her unmissable rear end. Wheezer states he is sad to leave his friend Stymie behind, but unbeknownst to him, Stymie has hitched a ride in the car's spare wheel!
As the boys use a rope to hoist Spud out of the well, Spud announces that he is going to tell his mother on them (I cannot see what for, as they hadn't actually done anything wrong?) Anyway, Wheezer takes an exception to this threat and lets go of the rope. The weight of Spud falling back down into the well drags Stymie along the ground in comical fashion!
• Copyrighted October 27, 1931.
• The 110th film in the series.
• The sound of Wheezer's blowing the whistle in bed whilst asleep is inconsistent with the movement of his mouth.
• When Blanche Payson gets up from the breakfast table after Spud tells on Wheezer, just look at the size of her. She's a monster!
• Even for comical effect, it is still very disturbing to see a child being spanked in the cruel manner in which Blanche strikes Wheezer.
• Watching the film for the very first time (July 2015), my first thoughts were these: I am shocked, disturbed and disgusted by the opening 5 minutes. Blanche Payson is a complete and utter nut job, control freak, bullying, piece of work... and Sherwood Bailey is a right little shit who needs a good smack in the face. Poor Wheezer. It is disgusting and it isn't funny, it isn't big and it isn't clever. Seeing a kid having his arse spanked off by a f***ing raging lunatic of a beast has no place in a "comedy" film. It is uncomfortable and it makes me want to eat a turnip. Sick bastards.
• When Stymie enters the kitchen and walks around the table, there is a very brief moment when Wheezer looks towards the camera. It looks like a mistake.
• When Stymie utters the line, "Spud, did you ever know that ham and eggs can talk?" the camera position is pretty lousy - completely blocking Stymie's face because it is obscured by the back of Wheezer's head. Can't believe that shot made the final print.
• Spud fries eight eggs.
• Wait a minute - did Spud just walk out of the kitchen and leave a frying pan cooking on the stove? Seriously, tell me he didn't just do that?
• Spud does a head-first dive into the well and upon hitting the water he (or rather the dummy) becomes submerged (though, if you look to the left of the screen you can see his feet stick out slightly). Problem is, when Spud stands up the water only comes up to his waist which means only half of his body would have been under the water; thus his whole body could not possibly be completely submerged. Also, if we are being over-technical here with reality - if anybody had fallen into a well at that speed, head-first, into water that shallow then there is very little chance they would have ever got out of there alive, or at the very least without a cracked cranium.
• Stymie, Wheezer and Dorothy each use a fork in their right hands to eat their breakfast. Oh, and there is a fly on the table too.
• Here we see poor Dorothy DeBorba take a shot of hot grease (Wheezer also notices it). She looks off camera, but for such a little kid, impressively does not ruin the shot.
What the experts say
• "Pretty decent." ~ Lord Heath.
|Matthew 'Stymie' Beard
|Bobby 'Wheezer' Hutchins
http://www.theluckycorner.com/rmt/110.html (Robert Demoss/The Lucky Corner)
The Little Rascals: The Life And Times Of Our Gang by Leonard Maltin & Richard W. Bann (book)
S.R. Wright (trivia)
This page was last updated on: 27 April 2019