Three Smart Boys
Series: Our Gang Distribution: MGM  Director: Gordon Douglas  Cinematography: Art Lloyd
Production: K-8 Type: Sound short Producer: Hal Roach  Editor: William H. Ziegler
Released: 13 May 1937 Length: 1-reel Sound recording: William Randall


The new superintendent, Miss Witherspoon (Nora Cecil) arrives at the school, drawing questions from the boys who are gathered nearby as to who she is. They soon discover her nastiness when they overhear her refuse to grant the wishes of the teacher, Miss (Rosina) Lawrence who asks if she can close the school for the rest of the week so that she can attend a wedding. So Spanky devises a plan to create an epidemic so that the school will be forced to close. Unfortunately, they have left the scene by the time Miss Witherspoon reverses her decision and grants Miss Lawrence her request based on the good reports of the students at the school. Waldo hears the update and gives Porky a note stating as such and tells him to deliver it to Spanky.
Spanky is busy inflating balloons and stuffing them his, Buckwheat's and Alfalfa's shirts and painting spots on their faces to give the impression they are sick. They visit a veterinary surgeon (Sidney Bracey) with their affliction but he is wise to them. He takes Buckwheat into his surgery whilst the other boys wait outside, and deliberately boasts about "having to operate". Through the door, Spanky and Alfalfa hear the vet's comments and quickly wipe their faces clean of their spots and deflate their balloon-stomachs. To make matters worse, the vet's assistant comes into the surgery with a sick monkey and a serum and their conversation worries the boys outside who hear everything and jump to the wrong conclusion. Spanky and Alfalfa fear the worst - that Buckwheat has been turned into a monkey and when the vet and his assistant have to leave the surgery on account of a call, the boys walk into the adjacent room to find a monkey in place of where they last heard Buckwheat (who has hidden in the next room in a sack). Believing the monkey to be Buckwheat, they try to coax him down from a shelf, before it runs into the next room and hides in the same sack where Buckwheat has taken refuge. Spanky and Alfalfa get the sack and put it in a ready-made bath after hearing that was the only way to reverse the formula. Porky runs in with the belated note and Buckwheat jumps out of the sack, and all is as it should be.

Favourite bit
The moment when the monkey launches his attack on Buckwheat, hitting him repeatedly around the head with the deflated balloon Buckwheat tried to con the doctor with.

Production K-8 - Our Gang series.
Copyrighted March 31, 1937.
Filming dates
February 15-19, 1937.
Film #154 in the series.
The three boys identified by the film's title are Spanky, Buckwheat and Alfalfa.
Spanky and Alfalfa manage to wipe the spots from their faces without the aide of a mirror and do a completely clean job. Quite impressive.... if it was real!
Darla Hood and Shirley Coates appear in the opening scene, sitting on the steps to the school house. They have no dialogue and are on screen for approximately ten seconds. Also, Rosina Lawrence has a mere cameo; one short scene in long shot at the beginning.
What the experts say
"Decent film, but with wasted talent (Darla Hood and Rosina Lawrence are seen all too briefly). Some clever ideas, but the whole thing seems rushed and squeezed into the one reel of film allotted to it." ~ Lord Heath.

George 'Spanky' McFarland
Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer
Billie 'Buckwheat' Thomas
Eugene 'Porky' Lee
Darwood Kaye
Rosina Lawrence
Miss Lawrence
Sidney Bracey
O.T. Hertz, the veterinary doctor
Jack Egan
Jack, the assistant
Nora Cecil
Miss Witherspoon, superintendent
Darla Hood
Shirley Coates

This page was last updated on: 13 May 2017