Spanky

film no. 113


availability:

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 7 (VHS) from Cabin Fever and
The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Volume Two (4 LD set) from Cabin Fever
Released July 6, 1994. Also released as part of 12 VHS boxed set. This is a complete original print with excellent picture quality. The total footage lasts 19:37. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.

The Little Rascals Volume 7: Collector's Edition (VHS) from Hallmark Home Entertainment
Released Aug. 15, 2000. Also included as part of The Little Rascals Volumes 1-10: Collector's Edition (10 VHS set), released Aug. 15, 2000.

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 7 & Vol. 8 (DVD) from Cabin Fever
Same contents as the Cabin Fever VHS releases. Also released as part of The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited (6 DVD set).

The Little Rascals - The Complete Collection (8 DVD set) from Genius Products
Released late Oct. 2008. This is identical to the Cabin Fever version.

The Little Rascals Book XXIII (VHS) from Blackhawk Video
This is a home movie print from Blackhawk. The opening title and crew credits are remade, but the end title is original. The picture quality is very good. The original footage totals 19:11, but the original soundtrack lasts an additional 0:18.

The Little Rascals: Spanky/Feed 'Em And Weep (VHS) from Republic Pictures Home Video
Released May 10, 1990. This is a home movie print from Blackhawk.

Rascal Dazzle (VHS/LD) from Embassy Home Entertainment
Original film released 1981. Video released 1984. A clip lasting 0:10 is included, showing Spanky in the washtub, with music and narration added.


technical details:

Production G-6.

Filmed December 14 to 22, 1931. See the 'miscellaneous' section below for details.

Released March 26, 1932. It was the 113th film in the series to be released.

Copyrighted March 29, 1932, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP2945. Renewed May 19, 1959, with registration no. R236738. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2027.

All-talking two-reeler.

Opening title: '"Our Gang" Comedies - Hal Roach presents His Rascals in "Spanky".'

King World Productions episode no. 49b, available in both colorized and original black-and-white versions.


the crew:

Produced by Robert F. McGowan for Hal Roach
This is the way Maltin & Bann put it. The film credits Roach as a presenter, with a separate credit reading "A Robert McGowan Production."

Directed by Robert F. McGowan and James W. Horne
McGowan receives the onscreen credit, but without his middle initial. Horne is uncredited, since it was Spanky's screen test that he directed, a portion of which was used in this film. The original screen test was the length of one reel.

Photographed by Art Lloyd
This credit appears in the film.

Edited by Richard Currier
This credit appears in the film.

Dialogue by H. M. Walker
This credit appears in the film, but not in the Blackhawk print.

Story by Hal E. Roach
This credit doesn't appear in the film.

Recording Engineer: James Greene
Not listed by Maltin & Bann. This credit appears in the film, but spells his last name Green.

Animal Trainer: Harry Lucenay
He was Pete's owner and trainer.

Released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Indicated in the opening title card.

Passed by the National Board of Review
As indicated in the film.

Western Electric System
As indicated in the film.

studio personnel
possible uncredited involvement


the kids:

George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
Featured role. He's featured strongly in the first part of the film, and then causes trouble for the gang's play.

Kendall "Breezy Brisbane" McComas as "Brisbane"
Featured role. He plays Simon Legree in the play, and is in charge. He's also Spanky's older brother. The cutting continuity refers to him as "Breezy."

Matthew "Stymie" Beard as "Stymie"
Featured role. He plays both Uncle Tom and Topsy in the play.

Dorothy "Echo" DeBorba as "Dorothy"
Supporting role. She plays Little Eva in the play.

Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins as "Wheezer" aka "Wheeze"
Supporting role. He plays Marks the lawyer in the play, and refers to himself as "Harpo."

Sherwood Bailey
Supporting role. Maltin & Bann indicate that his nickname is "Spud" in this film. The cutting continuity refers to him as "Sherwood," even though the name doesn't turn up in the dialogue. He plays Aunt Ophelia in the play.

Bobby Mallon
Small part. He's sitting in the back row in the right aisle seat, and gets the idea to throw food at Brisbane.

Douglas Greer as "Speck"
Small part. He's sitting in the back row in the left aisle seat, and conspires with Bobby Mallon.

boy 111b
Small part. This is the little blonde boy among the blackface performers.

girl 111a
Small part. She seems to be one of the blackface performers.

boy 111a
Extra. In the shots showing the left side of the audience, he's more or less in the foreground.

girl 111b
Extra. She's sitting more or less in front of the boy that looks like Tommy Bond.

other kids
Small parts, bit parts and extras. There are four additional blackface performers, and perhaps twenty additional audience members. In the back row of the audience, two seats to the left of Douglas Greer, is a boy who resembles Tommy Bond. This seems to be the same boy that later runs out in front of everybody and tells them that a baby is throwing money out of a window. Presumably, this is who Maltin & Bann were looking at when they listed Tommy in their cast listing. It seems unlikely to me that this is Tommy, not only because he had a bit more baby fat at that age, but because the voice doesn't match. More compellingly, he remembered being five-and-a-half when he moved to California and didn't enter into his long-term contract until late in 1932.


the animals:

Pete the Pup III as "Petey"
Supporting role. He's mostly seen in the first part of the film with Spanky. The cutting continuity refers to him as "Pete."

dog 087b
Bit part. He's given a brief closeup right before he walks across the ice.

dog 074
Bit part. This is the German shepherd that leads Sherwood across the ice.

Laughing Gravy
Bit part. He's one of the dogs that crosses the ice.

dog 105a
Bit part. This is one of the dogs that cross the ice.

dog 105b
Bit part. This is one of the dogs that cross the ice.

Leo
Bit part. The MGM lion appears at the opening of the film.

other animals
Bit parts. The goat that pulls Stymie up and down at the end of the film.

bugwatch
The flies that irritate Spanky seem to be real, or at least a couple of them. The remaining bugs are fake.


the adults:

Billy Gilbert as the kids' dad
Supporting role. He's too much of a skinflint to spend money on his family, and hides it away behind a secret wall panel. The cutting continuity refers to him as "Billy."

woman 035 as the kids' mom
Supporting role. She argues with her husband and orders Brisbane to mind the baby. The cutting continuity refers to her as "mother."


the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A12.) Most of one verse of the twelfth version is played over the opening titles.
(A2.) The second version is played as the father learns his lesson and the end title appears.

"Bride's Song" by Leroy Shield
This is played as Spanky shoots flies. A portion is repeated as Little Eva defends Topsy.

"Intermezzo" by Leroy Shield
Most of this piece is played as Spanky looks at pictures with Pete. A few seconds are played as Spanky's mother talks about getting rid of the bugs. A longer portion is repeated as Topsy leaves the stage and Ophelia asks where she is.

"Little Dancing Girl" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931. Also known as "Dancing Girl" and "Dancing Girls." This is played and mostly repeated as Spanky bug-hunts, takes a bath, and eats breakfast with Brisbane. Most of it is repeated as as Brisbane tries to announce the next act, but keeps getting hit with food. A very short bit is played as Brisbane scolds Spanky for making a mess in the house. Another short bit is played as Brisbane scolds Spanky for knocking the pots and pans down the stairs. This is the version reproduced on the first Beau Hunks CD.

"On To The Show" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931. A fast version of this tune is played as Stymie announces that his sister won't be in the show. A portion is repeated as the kids first discover that Spanky is throwing money out of the window.

"(We're Going To) Arrowhead" by Leroy Shield
This is played as Brisbane goes to the barn and suggests that Stymie play two parts.

"Dash And Dot" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted 1930. Half of this piece is played as Spanky bug-hunts under the sink. The beginning is repeated as Brisbane takes the stage with protective clothing.

"Ants (Hurry)" by Leroy Shield
Also known as "Antics" and "Sneaking," but not to be confused with the two other pieces with these titles. Most of this piece is played as Spanky's father arrives and takes some money out of his secret hiding place.

"Candy Candy" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Dec. 23, 1930. This is played as Brisbane gets stuck with babysitting Spanky. A short part is repeated as Brisbane paints Stymie's head.

"Here Are The Pets" by Leroy Shield
Part of the ending section of this piece is played as the audience chants 'We want the show to start.' The very end of the piece is played as Wheezer reveals himself to be Harpo, and then the beginning is played as he chases Sherwood.

"Swing Along" by Will Marion Cook
Published by 1902 and featured in the 1903 Broadway musical "In Dahomey." It was later featured in the 1929 show "Swing Along." This is the plantation song being played on the record as the kids in blackface lip-synch.

"Prelude" by Leroy Shield
The beginning of this piece is played as Little Eva and Uncle Tom talk with each other. Another portion is played as Spanky keeps opening and closing the curtain. Another short bit is played as Simon Legree decides to send Uncle Tom down the river. The beginning is repeated as Little Eva is getting ready to die. Another short bit is played as Sherwood gets hit with a tomato. The end of the piece is played as Little Eva goes to heaven.

"The Villain" by Leroy Shield
Part of the "Goofs Suite." A short part of this piece is played as Simon Legree first appears.

"Blue Blue" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931. A very short part of this piece is played as Uncle Tom walks off the stage to get Topsy.

"Teeter-Totter" by Leroy Shield
The beginning of this piece is played as Spanky discovers the money. Another short bit is played as Spanky drops money from the top of the stairs. Another short part is played as Spanky throws money into the air.

"Hide And Go Seek" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Dec. 23, 1930. A portion of this piece is played as the father chases off the kids picking up his money.


miscellaneous:

8 shooting dates went into the making of this film. Three and a half weeks had passed since shooting finished for "Free Eats" (no. 112). The studio was closed during one of those weeks. The 'start' date for "Spanky" arrived on Dec. 14th, and shooting continued until Dec. 22nd, when it was considered 'finished.' No shooting took place on Dec. 13th or 20th, which were both Sundays. After this, five weeks passed before the Our Gang unit began filming "Choo-Choo!" (no. 114). The studio was closed for about a week and a half during this period.

According to Spanky McFarland, footage from his screen test was included in this film. If so, then we can place the earliest shooting date somewhere around late October or early November 1931. In his Cabin Fever introduction for this film, Leonard Maltin specifies that the 'bug-hunting' scene was from the screen test.

In the category of unseen characters are the Marx Brothers. Sherwood asks Wheezer if he's "Zippo" or "Groucho," to which Wheezer replies that he's "Harpo." The cutting continuity corroborates with Sherwood's mispronunciation of "Zeppo."

Reel two opens up with the phonograph record.


©May 23, 2005, by Robert Demoss.
2005 updates: 6/1, 6/17, 7/4, 7/9, 8/27, 8/30, 12/19.
2006 updates: 1/8, 1/9, 2/11, 5/16, 10/25, 11/2.
2007 updates: 2/4, 4/1, 10/22.
2008 updates: 3/26, 4/25, 7/6, 7/12, 7/24, 8/24, 11/6.
2009 updates: 1/18.
2010 updates: 3/13.


Thanks to Rob Stone, Joe Moore and Paul Mular for assistance on this page.


The Lucky Corner Homepage