Series: Our Gang

Director: Robert F. McGowan
Producer: Hal Roach
Dialogue: H.M. Walker
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Richard C. Currier

Stars: Our Gang
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 02 June 1928
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: G-10
Filming dates: February 10-24, 1928
Rating: 5/10

Crazy House

Available on DVD:

Poor Jean isn't happy. She comes downstairs to find two of her mother's friends there. Jean tells one lady that her mom said she was two-faced before asking the second lady about her face lift - well, that's one way to start a conversation, I suppose! Meanwhile, Percy's father is setting up his entire house full of pranks for a major April Fool's joke on all the kids. The pranks include a rubber sausage, and a small telescope with ink around the eyehole. The bored Jean looks out of her window to see the robust gang in the throws of a playful boxing match. Wheezer - and then Mary Ann get decked with a flying glove whilst Joe stuffs his face with a banana and trying to hold his pants up. The fight is broken up when Farina's mother shouts out to him to come and get the laundry.
Jean protests that she now wants to be a boxer - and be a boy. O......kay then...... The kids enter the "crazy house" where Pansy (the dog) is the first to discover a chair that bends when you stand on it (this is followed by a cringey shot of Wheezer "laughing"). Jean asks 'God' for a baby brother - and along comes Wheezer as the answer to her prayers. Her first decision is to dress him up in her doll's clothes, something that doesn't go down well with Wheezer so she ends up chasing him around the room until she finally puts him on a gramophone turntable. After spinning around for awhile Wheezer becomes dizzy and stumbles around the room. The boys go outside and see the ridiculous-looking Percy and make fun of him before he invites the to go with him to Jean's house (wait, is Jean his sister in this film?) The gang arrive at the house and no sooner do they enter it they are subjected to the pranks. A rush of air being forced up from the floor is the first such prank, followed by the dog being tricked by a pattern on the floor.
Harry plays the piano and gets an electric shock. Joe gets kicked in the pants by a suit of armour. Mary Ann receives flour to her face when she gets too close to the radio. Jean then asks to exchange clothes with Harry in exchange for anything he wants in the house and after doing so she offers him a fight. After taking on Harry, she picks on Joe and starts boxing him in the chest and face (it actually looks like she lands a few blows too!) The fun is broken up when the kids go to eat, where the practical jokes continue. Joe, Farina, Jackie and Mary Ann all attempt to tuck into some cakes but find they cannot be digested. Percy reminds the kids that it is etiquette to eat everything presented to them.
Farina tries to eat a hot dog but finds the dog is actually a balloon in a bun. Then come the cream puffs full of some kind of squirt. Several of these are exchanged among the kids before the Joe finally demands to know what is going on. Percy tells him it is April Fool's Day and it's all a big joke. Unhappy, Joe asks the others to get together to prank Percy to see if he can take it as well as give it. Harry emerges dressed up as a girl and carrying lots of household items he intends to steal. Just then the cops burst in and are swamped with an absolute avalanche of balloons (which must have taken the props department a whole day to inflate!) falling from the ceiling. The film ends with the kids escaping from the house and running down the street with bunches of balloons attached to them.

> Favourite bit
What a visual this is! Hundreds and hundreds of balloons falling all over the place as the cops burst in to get the kids.

Copyrighted May 16, 1928.
Film #76 in the series.
This was Mary Ann Jackson's first Our Gang appearance.
Damn, that skirt worn by Jean is rather short, don't you think? Saying that, Mary Ann's underwear is exposed as well during the film. Makes you wonder what was going through the minds of those whose ideas it was to film such things at the time?
There are two intertitle cards missing from the DVD version, both of which I have digitally re-created and included in the correct sequence in the montage at the bottom of this page. They are (#5) after Jean asks the second woman "When did your face fall?" she follows this up with "Mama said it took two men to lift it." and (#33) After Harry gets shocked on the piano bench, he says "This mus' be one o' them electric pianos."
When Harry and Jean exhange clothes, do you think he put on the underwear she was wearing, or should we not go there?
Black rings form around the eyes of all the kids when they put the eye-piece to their faces, but Farina's rings are white. Hmmm.... what gives?
Joe and Jackie both eat with the fork in their right hands and knife in their left. Very back-to-front.
When Joe bites into his cream puff to squirt Jackie in the face, the squirt comes from the side but Joe is sitting directly in front of him. Mistake.
The scene where the kids all sit at the dinner table was also the same setting for Laurel and Hardy's From Soup To Nuts.
My opinion
Jean Darling's finest hour. Cute, kinky and showing her knickers throughout the film. It's also rather odd that she just completely disappears in the second half of the film. There's no doubt about it though, that final scene with all the balloons is something quite spectacular.

Joe Cobb
Jackie Condon
Jean Darling
Allen Hoskins
Bobby Hutchins
Mary Ann Jackson
Mary Ann
Jay R. Smith
Harry Spear
Jimmy Farren
Chet Brandenburg
Joseph W. Girard
Percy's father
F.F. Guenste
Eric Mayne
Percy's father's friend
Ben Parsons
Blonde-haired kid
Eugene Pearson
Boy at boxing match
Bill Ulmer
Boy at boxing match
May Wallace
Jean's mother
Chester Bachman
C.L. Sherwood
Cop that gets bitten by Pansy
Budd Fine
Kathleen Chambers
Jean's governess
Clarence Morehouse
Mrs. Middlebunny
Face-lift lady
Farina's mother

CREDITS (click image to enlarge) INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

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Acknowledgements: (Robert Demoss/The Lucky Corner)
The Little Rascals: The Life And Times Of Our Gang by Leonard Maltin & Richard W. Bann (book)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Chester Bachman, Budd Fine, C.L. Sherwood, Clarence Morehouse, Kathleen Chambers)

Last updated on: 02 June 2023