Series: Our Gang

Director: Gus Meins
Producer: Hal Roach
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Louis McManus
Sound: Harry Baker

Stars: George McFarland, Wally Albright, Matthew Beard, Scotty Beckett, Jerry Tucker, Jacqueline Taylor, Marvin Strin
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 03 March 1934
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: G-19
Filming dates: mid-winter 1934
Rating: 6/10


Available on BLU-RAY & DVD:

Spanky and Wally are sitting by the road watching a toy boat in a puddle when a delivery truck pulls up and the driver (Tiny Sandford) asks directions to Cherry Street. When the boys spot a toy fire truck hoisted on the back of the vehicle it isn't long before all the kids in the neighbourhood know about it. They all gather to greet the new kid who gets out of the truck (Jerry Tucker) but he shrugs them all off and goes inside his home. The delivery drivers unload the fire truck onto the ground and all the excited kids who have gathered around to see it. Taking turns to stick their faces into the headlamp with comical effect their fun is quickly broken up by the truck's owner Jerry. Wally offers him his pocketknife in exchange for one ride but Jerry refuses.
Along comes Wally's girlfriend, Jane who boldly asks to sit in the fire truck. When Jerry allows her to do so the other kids get jealous, especially Wally who gets upset that Jane rides off with the boy. The boys decide to build their own fire truck just to stick it to the new kid. Tommy goes around collecting wheels from all over the yard - peeling them off prams, bicycles and scooters whilst a window washer (Charlie Hall) has his ladder stolen by the other kids and a man (Harry Bernard) has his water hose chopped in half by Donald. Spanky raids a trash can and finds a discarded steering wheel and a bell before climbing out and revealing that he has in fact raided EVERY trash can on the street! The boys set to work in a barn utilizing all the parts they have found in an attempt to build their own fire truck. With Stymie in charge of fixing the wheels to the side of the truck he gets Spanky to keep handing him a wheel as he fixes each one onto it. Little does he know that Spanky keeps handing him the same wheel every time Stymie tries to fix the next one!
With Spanky and Scotty just getting in the others' way all of the time, the others decide to bore a hole through a plank which is leaning up against the side of the barn, just at the exact time the new kid pulls up in his fire truck with Jane and stands in that exact spot on the other side. After some pulling and tugging the boys in the barn manage to rip off the boy's shorts and send him running off squealing like a little girl. The kids, led by Wally stand proudly admiring their finished fire truck until Spanky sarcastically points out that it is too big to actually get out of the barn. They do manage to get it out (they drive through the wall) and stop by the new boy's home to show it off but upon seeing it he calls it a piece of junk and takes Jane for another ride in his own truck.
When the two trucks reach the top of a steep hill the boys decide to race to the bottom of it at high speed (and with the help of some rear projection). This goes on forever and involves so many impractical manoeuvres of the trucks, coupled with a lack of realism (Jerry spends most of the time looking back at Stymie's truck and not ahead on where he is meant to be steering his own), and are we meant to believe they were able to go at that speed, picking up momentum and then just casually steer it into a driveway nice and neatly? Then it just gets even sillier as the truck mounts the sidewalk and begins mowing down pedestrians who fly rather animated through the air. The truck finally comes to a stop after the nine kids riding it use their feet to slow it down but not before they all lose their clothes to a bush in the process.

Favourite bit
After Spanky raids the trash can the camera pulls back to reveal that every bin on the street has been looted!

Copyrighted February 24, 1934.
Film no. 126 in the series.
A colorized version of the film is available on DVD from Germany.
The delivery truck is Wilshire Storage Company, 116 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90004 - Phone Dunkirk 1171. Amazingly these premises were still being used as a self storage company in 2018!
The only shot which was filmed on the Hal Roach Back Lot was the 7 seconds scene with Charlie Hall washing the window.
"Hi neighbor!", the title of the film is yelled by Stymie to the new kid in the truck as he arrives on the street.
When Tommy Bond begins sawing through the piece of wood in the barn, just where is his logic?
My opinion
Delightful mix of fun, and no small amount of revenge among kids, one of whom is an utter brat.

George McFarland
Wally Alrbight
Matthew Beard
Scotty Beckett
Jerry Tucker
Jerry, the rich kid
Jackie Lynn Taylor
Marvin Strin
Donald Proffitt
Tommy Bupp
Bobbie Beard
Tommy Bond
Jean Aulbach
Little sister
Harry Bernard
Man watering lawn
Charlie Hall
Window washer
Tiny Sandford
Moving man
Tiny Ward
Jack, moving man
Tony Kales
Boy carrying ladder
*disputed by Robert Demoss
Ernie Alexander

CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

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Chris Bungo's "Then & Now" video presentation

The Little Rascals: The Life And Times Of Our Gang by Leonard Maltin & Richard W. Bann (book) (Robert Demoss/The Lucky Corner)
Jim Dallape (Back Lot Tour images)

This page was last updated on: 03 March 2023