Mush And Milk  
  27 May 1933  
  sound short  

Director Producer Cinematography Editor Sound recording
Robert F. McGowan Hal Roach Hap Depew Louis McManus James Greene

(click image for

Peyton Ennis
For unknown reasons, the gang is living in the aptly named ‘Bleak Hill’ boarding school. At about 4 o’clock in the morning, the alarm clock rings, awakening the boys in their shared room. Stymie (Beard), annoyed, chucks his shoe at the annoying clock, silencing it. Stymie and Tommy (Bond), the first ones awake, talk about their far-fetched attempts to keep warm during the night using bricks (warmed up by Stymie’s feet) and a lamp under Tommy’s bed. All of the gang cover themselves up again to go to sleep. Alerted by the alarm clock, the terrifying, crotchety old lady who runs the place (Louise Emmons) enters the boys’ room. Literally screeching at them, she commands them to get up out of bed, get dressed, and get to work, or else they don’t get anything to eat (geez!).
As the gang dresses, the kindly old man Cap (Gus Leonard), the teacher at the boarding school, enters. He sits down with the boys, and they talk of the cold last night and how the kids want to get out of the school. Cap comments that as soon as he gets his back pension, they’ll all get out, and the kids will get lots of gifts. Spanky (McFarland), Dickie, and Stymie head out to the kitchen. The old lady tells them to head outside to the barn and milk the cow, and if even a drop is spilled, she will “thrash” them. As she exits, one of the young girls working there makes a face at her.
Outside, Stymie struggles to milk the cow, who is not giving any milk.
Stymie: “She’s doing just what she did yesterday”
Dickie: “She is? Then we’ll do just what we did yesterday”
The two hurry off-screen. Looking for a little amusement, Spanky squeezes one of the cow’s udders and projects the oncoming milk at Pete the Pup, who laps up the airborne milk with glee. Dickie and Stymie return with a vacuum cleaner (curiously which has two hoses) and use it to suck the milk out of the udders and dispense it into a bucket. Spanky asks Dickie to let him hold the hose. His request is met with “go sit on an egg, willya?” . Taking Dickie literally, Spanky goes to the other side of the barn and finds an egg laying in some hay. Cautiously about to seat himself, he his pecked in the rear by an angry chicken. He tries again, this time successfully while making some disgusted faces. For some reason, Pete, curious, places his paw on the bucket of milk and (accidentally or intentionally?) knocks it over. Angry, Dickie tells Stymie to see if the cow has more milk ready, and he uses the vacuum again, to no avail.
“Brother, you better do some faaast thinkin’”
Obviously not wishing to be thrashed, Dickie pours some dry plaster of Paris into the bucket and mixes it with some water. They decide that they will pretend not to want any milk today.
Later, in the dining room, the gang is served their mush.
Edith: “Gee, I hate mush”
Dickie: “I’m fed up with mush, ain’t you, Spanky?”
Spanky: “You said a mouthful!”
As the old lady and Cap enter, the gang is poured their ‘milk’, and one of the funniest bits in the film takes place. Each kid whispers to each other in a circle “don’t drink the milk; it’s spoiled!” The message gets around the table and Dickie makes the mistake of telling Spanky. Spanky passes on the message to the old lady: “Ah, spoiled nothing. You kids put that milk on your mush and eat it! Euaaaaaagggghhh!”
Cap tells his wife about his future plans about his back pension, and she doesn’t seem to care. The kids pour the ‘milk’ over their mush, which quickly hardens. The mixture is impenetrable by their spoons, or even the table!
At school, Cap asks the kids several geography questions, and is met with bizarre answers by the students:
Cap: ''‘Uh Huh, can you give me a sentence with the word ‘isthmus’ in it?”
John ‘Uh Huh’ Collum: “Uh huh! Isthmus be my lucky day.”
Spanky: “That’s no good!”
After the problematic lesson, comes the ‘entertainment’. Two kids, Billy and Olga, do a short dance their mother taught them (and are joined by Cap!) Afterwards, a very humorous rendition of ‘Mary had a Little Lamb’ by Spanky, mixed up with ‘eenie meenie miney moe’. Stymie plays Brahms’ ‘Hungarian Dance No. 5’ on his harmonica, surprisingly very quickly as Cap conducts with his pencil. And the strangest of all: Tommy Bond sings the quite adult-oriented song ‘Just Friends’.
Spanky exits the classroom and hurriedly answers the ringing phone. On the other end is a Mr. Brown (James Finlayson) from the first national bank. After a very humorous and problematic conversation with Spanky, Fin asserts that he wants to speak with Cap. Spanky reenters the classroom and informs Cap about the call. On the phone, Fin tells Cap that his $4,000 back pension just came. Cap relays the news to the very excited children.
After a short montage of amusement park footage, we are shown the kids (and Pete) in a fancy restaurant playing with a large amount of toys (Spanky even gets the monkey he wanted!). Cap is arguing with the waiter about his order (apparently it has a fancy name), as the waiter tries to tell him something important. Nevertheless, the children are seated and brought their food on covered platters. On the count of three, Cap tells the kids to lift the covers, revealing none other than mush! An angry Cap inquires about the food. When the waiter explains that it is mush, Cap hurls a plate of mush in his face.

•This was Wheezer's last Our Gang appearance.
Did you notice?

Matthew 'Stymie' Beard
Tommy Bond
John 'Uh huh' Collum
Dorothy DeBorba
Louise Emmons
Cap's wife
Bill Farnum
Tap dancer
Edith Fellows
James Finlayson
Mr. Brown
Bobby 'Wheezer' Hutchins
Dickie Jackson
Marcia Mae Jones
Marcia Mae
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - Gus Leonard
George 'Spanky' McFarland
Dickie Moore
Rolfe Sedan
Olga Edith Therkorn
Olga, tap dancer

Acknowledgements: (Robert Demoss/The Lucky Corner)
The Little Rascals: The Life And Times Of Our Gang by Leonard Maltin & Richard W. Bann (book)
Peyton Ennis (review - March 24, 2013)

This page was last updated on: 13 August 2018