Unexpected Riches  
 
28 November 1942
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
sound short
1-reel

 

Director: Herbert Glazer  Writers: Hal Law, Robert A. McGowan
Cinematography: Charles Edgar Schoenbaum  Editor: Leon Bourgeau  Art director: Richard Duce

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Froggy, Mickey, Spanky and Buckwheat all try to step onto a weighing apparatus which is located outside a camera shop.  Spanky calls over Ken, a fellow youngster who is nearby and asks for him to put the money in the machine on account that Spanky cannot reach the slot.  The kid asks the purpose of all four boys standing on the scales at the same time and Spanky tells him that they will simply divide the answer by four.
Ken runs home to ask his father for the money to buy the camera he saw in the shop window.  His father agrees to give him the money but puts the boy to work by digging a hole in the lawn to accomodate a tree he intends to plant.  Ken reluctantly agrees to the terms and conditions set by his father, but then comes up with a great idea - to get the four kids he met earlier to dig the hole for him by making them believe there is buried treasure in the ground.  Ken visits the boys' den and slips a note through their window giving instructions and directions to the hole.
It works, and Spanky leads the other boys straight to the spot to find Ken digging the hole.  Spanky offers to dig the hole for Ken, even pays him for the privilege!  As the boys take turns to dig, Buckwheat sits on the grass with Spanky and dreams of what he will do if he had the money.
Buckwheat dreams that he is treated like royalty, in a chauffeur-driven car down streets of adoring kids before winning the girl of his dreams.  Then it's Mickey's turn to tell Froggy all about his dream.  In the dream, Mickey leads his blindfolded folks to a large house and tells them that he has bought it for them.  Froggy dreams of buying a battleship to aide in the war effort and is thanked by the captain of the shipyard.  Spanky is the only kid who doesn't have a dream sequence.
As the boys continue to dig up the lawn, Ken returns to ask them why they haven't finished the job yet.  Ken's father overhears the conversation and steps in and figures out that Ken had set the boys up to do his dirty work so that Ken could earn the $1.50 promised to him by his father in order to buy the camera.  Ken is told off and Buckwheat, Spanky, Mickey and Froggy get the money for digging the hole.  So, the prophecy comes true - the boys do get their unexpected riches which was promised to them, at the beginning of the film.
Not everybody is happy however, as Froggy protests that he wanted enough money to buy the battleship but now doesn't have enough even to buy a rowboat.  The other boys chime in, "You said it!".

Favourite bit
Spanky thinks that with all four kids standing on the weighing machine all he has to do is get the reading and divide it by four in order to give them each kids' weight.

Facts
•The 211th film in the series.
•This was Spanky's 94th - and final Our Gang appearance.  His last line is "you said it!"
Did you notice?
•The opening shot of the film shows an advert for a camera: Super candid type camera, plus 2 rolls of film for $1.50.
The scales that offers correct weight and fortune costs 1 cent.  It tells them that the collective weight of the four boys (Spanky, Buckwheat, Froggy and Mickey) is 308lbs.  On the reverse of the card they receive from the machine, it reads: "Your fortune: Unexpected Riches".
•A step-ladder outside the shop has a sign above it which reads "A real bargain - $1.95".
•The directions on the map written by Ken reads; "Directions for finding Captain Kidd's buried treasure - start from Founders Oak and take 5 steps north - then take 3 steps left - then 5 steps left again - then turn right and take 15 steps - then keep digging until you find the treasure.  Captain Kidd."
•The name of the band in Buckwheat's dream is "Mr. Buckwheat's Dixie Tooters".
•Froggy's dream features a newspaper (the Greenpoint Herald) which has the headline, "Froggy gifts Uncle Sam with battleship".  One of the sub-stories on the front page is of an elevator operator who is crushed to death.  Nice touch!
•Froggy names the ship the "Our Gang".

Robert Blake
Mickey
Billy 'Froggy' Laughlin
Froggy
George 'Spanky' McFarland
Spanky
Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas
Buckwheat
Ernie Alexander
Mickey's father
(in Mickey's dream)
Margaret Bert
Mickey's mother
(in Mickey's dream)
Symona Boniface
Woman at shipyard
(in Froggy's dream)
Willa Pearl Curtis
Big Shot's mother
(in Buckwheat's dream)
Barry Downing
Kenneth Reed
Stanley Logan
Shipyard captain
(in Froggy's dream)
Emmett Vogan
Mr. Reed (Ken's father)
Ernestine Wade
Lulu's mother
(in Buckwheat's dream)
   
UNIDENTIFIED CAST

CREDITS


Acknowledgements:
The Little Rascals: The Life And Times Of Our Gang by Leonard Maltin & Richard W. Bann (book)
Matthew Lydick (help and correction)

This page was last updated on: 19 December 2017