Series: Our Gang

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

Stars: Bobby Hutchins, Joe Cobb, Allen Hoskins, Jackie Condon, Harry Spear, Jay R. Smith, Jean Darling
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 22 October 1927
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: G-2
Filming dates: August 8-20, 1927
Rating: 6/10

The Old Wallop
Wheezer wants to be the boxing champion and begins by taking on his father, who promptly knocks him down. Wheezer retaliates and punches his dad on the nose, knocking him out. Meanwhile, Harry sees Jackie in the yard and asks if they can play together. Jackie leaves Harry in a large puddle after playing leapfrog with him and heads off to see Wheezer's parents, who pay him off for allowing Wheezer to punch him in the nose. But it seems Wheezer (who is a baby) is quite the brute, and assaults all those who dare to get to close to his pram - beginning with a woman passerby who tries to show him some affection. Along comes Joe, who gets roped into babysitting Wheezer by Jackie who gives him a dime to watch the baby for an hour. Joe soon realises what he has let himself in for when Wheezer starts punching him on the nose.
So, Farina walks by and Joe offers him money to take care of Wheezer for an hour. One punch later and Farina is on the floor. Farina decides to lace a boxing glove onto Wheezer's hand to try and soften the blow of his punches, but it has little effect. Two gentlemen walk past and also receive knockout blows from Wheezer. One of the men (Jack O'Brien) loses teeth and confides in a policeman that the baby pulled a knife on him. The cop laughs off the suggestion but soon loses his own teeth when he gets a bit too close to Wheezer. This is soon followed by the police chief Edgar Dearing who finds out the hard way that you shouldn't underestimate a baby's abilities! Even the Dippy-Doo-Dads get involved, when a monkey receives a blow to the head after foolishly climbing up onto Wheezer's pram!
Wheezer climbs out of his pram and is chased by Farina onto a building site. Farina gets stuck in a carriage/cage and is hoisted up by a crane to the top of a skyscraper which is under construction. The lunch whistle blows and Farina is left hanging, suspended in mid air. Jackie takes charge and operates the crane to try and bring Farina down but only has moderate success as each time the carriage lands on the ground it goes back up again with Farina still inside it.
One by one the rest of the gang attempt to climb up ladders scaling the structure of the unfinished building (with Harry impossibly trying to get past Joe!) The monkey climbs up onto the roof of the carriage and makes matters worse, as Jay daringly hangs on to ropes in an attempt to bring Farina down to earth again. Harry continues to hold on to the back of Joe's pants, often pulling them down as they climb (I bet that must have been quite a view for a young boy to have to endure!)
Jean (who has only been briefly glimpsed until now) gets at the controls of the building and hoists Harry back up to the platform where Joe is. After one too many tugs on Joe's pants from Harry, Joe chooses to wrap a rope around his own waist as a belt. Unfortunately, Jean is operating the rope and up Joe goes! The monkey causes havoc above Joe by untying bags of cement being used as ballast on the rope, and send them down onto Joe's head. Jay attempts to come to the rescue all the while Jean is messing around with the control levers which operate the pulley. Jay and Joe end up on opposite ends of a ladder as it balances precariously on a girder, a la Larry Semon. Jay then swings around on the rope, a la Tarzan! Blimey, even Pete (the dog) starts climbing up the ladders! In the end Jay rescues Farina whilst Harry saves Joe's ass (from being completely exposed!)

Favourite bit
The very last few frames of film show Wheezer scaling the structure and punching Joe in the face whilst he holds on for dear life!

Copyrighted October 22, 1927.
A print of the film was located in France in the late 1970s. All of the intertitle cards had been replaced and the film was missing the opening scene. The film was purchased by a fan and the titles were re-created by Michelle Schacht.
"The old wallop" is a term used by Wheezer's father after Wheezer punches him on the nose.
The building site used is a painting which is also used later in the Laurel & Hardy film, "Liberty".
Jay R. Smith performs a pretty brave stunt when he climbs up the ladder on the building site and calls up to Farina. If he had fallen he could have injured himself quite badly there.
My opinion
The child abuse is just hard to watch.

Bobby Hutchins
Joe Cobb
Allen Hoskins
Jackie Condon
Harry Spear
Jay R. Smith
Jean Darling
Anita Garvin
Wheezer's mother
Chester Bachman
Edgar Dearing
Police captain
Jack O'Brien
Man who loses teeth


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)
Jim Dallape (help)
Tim Reese (who financed the film and transfer and made the film available for public viewing)
Geoff Lucas and Michelle Schacht (editing and intertitles)
Steve Randisi (still of Wheezer and Garvin)

This page was last updated on: 21 March 2021