Series: Our Gang

Director: Robert A. McGowan
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker

Stars: Jean Darling, Bobby Hutchins, Joe Cobb, Allen Hoskins
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 01 January 1928
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: K-24
Filming dates: June 27-29, August 1-6, 1927
Rating: 5/10

Playin' Hookey

'Pansy' is in the yard playing with another dog, whilst Jean and Wheezer are sitting and holding some puppies. Wheezer walks over to pick up the smaller dog and moves it to a safer spot. Pansy then spots a chicken and chases it across the yard and up onto a telegraph pole, where another two dozen chickens have already been chased to! The chickens even converse about how long they have been sitting up there on account of the dog. One chicken lays an egg and kicks it down into the waiting mouth of the dog. When Pansy returns, Wheezer encourages him to tear up the yard. Joe's mother (Lyle Tayo) sees the destruction and tells Joe that she is going to get his father to shoot Pansy. Joe sneaks out to lead Pansy to safety, but the father (Budd Fine) comes looking for the dog, armed with his shotgun.
Whilst Joe's dad chases Pansy, Joe siezes an opportunity to unload the gun of its ammunition. The dad takes aim at the dog, but Joe intervenes and asks to say goodbye to his beloved pet. Joe whispers to Pansy that when the father fires the gun, he should play dead. The gun fires and the dog pretends to die. Farina and his sister are doing the hoovering when Joe arrives at their shack with the dog, which he offers as a present. Farina doesn't want Pansy because he eats too much meat. Just at that moment, the kids see what appears to be a police wagon chasing a getaway car, with gunshots firing out between the two vehicles. They run over and are met by another group of kids (Harry, Joe and Jay) and realise it is a movie being made. When the kids overhear the film director complaining that they couldn't get a dog for their picture Joe offers Pansy for hire. The director gives Joe $5 to use his dog and then drives off with it to the studio.
The kids jump in the back of a props van which takes them to the studio where they stand around watching a period drama being filmed by a German director. The director gets Joe to instruct Pansy to play dead for a scene they are about to shoot but the dog doesn't want to comply. Instead it chases one of the actors up a chimney and rips his trousers off. The security guard (Tiny Sandford) is called upon to throw the kids out of the studio. The kids runs through the set where the period drama is being filmed, causing havoc everywhere and continually knocking over one of the actors (William Gillespie) before Jay falls through a makeshift wall and into the water on the other side. Joe hides in a pram and is discovered by one of the actresses. Farina hides under a bed and finds an actor dressed in a lion's costume and quickly changes his mind.
Farina is chased around the set by the actors dressed up in animal costumes, dentists with sharp instruments, men dressed in skeleton costumes, and the Devil. He eventually becomes entangled in a skeleton which he carries as a piggyback through the set. Pansy chases the actors away and into the water. Then the most random of all, a dinosaur (two men in a costume) somehow emerges from the stage and walks through the set, scaring everybody. The boys end up in a kitchen where a massive pie fight breaks out. Just to add to the destruction, a massive wind machine is switched on and the whole set is destroyed. Finally the security guard and a couple of cops grab the boys and throw them over the fence to end the film.

Favourite bit
Sorry, but my favourite bit has less to do with Our Gang and more to do with me having perverted thoughts about Dorothy....

Copyrighted February 6, 1928.
The 65th film in the series.
Released one day after Laurel & Hardy's The Battle Of The Century, which featured a massive pie fight. This film features a scene where the gang become engaged in a big pie fight.
The film survived only in a fragmented form until the 1980s, when a complete print was discovered in a French vault.
The dog is referred to as 'Pansy', even though it is obviously Pete.
Joe's mother tells him she is going to get his father to shoot the dog. Wow, that must have taken some real balls. Note sarcasm. The father then actually comes out armed with a shotgun and is prepared to shoot the dog dead right in front of his young son. A perfect example of everything that is wrong with American laws regarding firearms. They are abused by idiots like that. He even complains that the dog won't stand still so that he can shoot it dead. Fucking idiot.
The scene where the film crew are shooting in a narrow corridor is the same set where Laurel & Hardy filmed "The Second 100 Years" as the cellblock.
Charlie Hall has a brief scene near the end where he is in blackface. But to avoid the argument of any oversensitive racism, a black woman is also hit in the face with a white pie.
Dorothy Coburn is hit in the face from a pie thrown by Jay R. Smith. There's nothing quite like seeing Dorothy's face covered in white muck.
My opinion
After a very horrible opening scene which made me so angry, the film begins to lighten up a bit but it just seems to serve no purpose other than to showcase the kids having a lot of fun. The plot is very thin and apart from seeing Dorothy Corburn gettiing her face splattered in white muck (oh my god) this film offers little in the way of quality.

Joe Cobb
Allen Hoskins
Bobby Hutchins
Jay R. Smith
Harry Spear
Jackie Condon
Jean Darling
Jannie Hoskins
Mildred Kornman
Lyle Tayo
Joe's mother
Budd Fine
Joe's father
Tiny Sandford
Mike, the studio guard
Charlie Hall
Movie star dressed as Chaplin
Edgar Dearing
Herr Dun der Blitzen,
the German director
William Gillespie
Movie star
Alice Belcher
Movie actress
Dorothy Coburn
Actress at make-up table
Jack Hill
Movie cop
Chet Brandenburg
Movie cop
Jack O'Brien
Movie villain
Edith Fortier
Maid who gets hit by a pie
Charles Oelze
Property man


INTERTITLES (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)
Silent Hollywood (colorized lobby card)
Gene Sorkin (copy of the film)
Jim Dallape (Back Lot tour images)
Chris Bungo (Then & Now YouTube video)
Steve Massa (identification of Alice Belcher)

This page was last updated on: 02 January 2019