Sprucin' Up

film no. 137


availability:

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 4 (VHS) from Cabin Fever and
The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Volume One (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 16:45. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs. There's also a clip lasting 0:01 included in the opening advertisement of all the Cabin Fever VHS releases, which shows Marianne and Jerry. There's also a clip lasting 0:03 included in the opening montage of all the Cabin Fever releases, which shows the boys scrambling from the curb.

The Little Rascals Volume 4: Collector's Edition (VHS) from Hallmark Home Entertainment
Released Aug. 15, 2000. Also included as part of The Little Rascals Volumes 1-5: Collector's Edition (5 VHS set) and The Little Rascals Volumes 1-10: Collector's Edition (10 VHS set), both released Aug. 15, 2000.

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 3 & Vol. 4 (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 (DVD) from Hallmark Home Entertainment
Released Aug. 19, 2003. This is a copy of the Cabin Fever version.

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: Honkey Donkey/Sprucin' Up (VHS) from Republic Pictures Home Video
Released May 1991. This is a home movie print from Blackhawk. The opening title is remade and the crew credits derive from a Famous Kid Comedies print from Official Films. The end title is taken from a later Our Gang film, from the last Roach season. The picture quality is very good, but there are several instances in which footage has been edited out of this print. The original footage totals 14:04, but the original soundtrack lasts an additional 0:24.

The Little Rascals Book V (VHS) from Blackhawk Video
This is the Blackhawk print.

The Little Rascals - Little Papa/Dogs Is Dogs/Sprucin' Up (VHS/DVD)
from GoodTimes Home Video
Released Mar. 1 or 21, 2001. Presumably released initially on VHS. Included as part of The Little Rascals 4-Pack DVD, released May 29, 2001, and probably also Our Gang Collection (10 VHS set/8 DVD set), released May 7, 2002. This version has also appeared in bootleg form.

The Little Rascals - Funniest Episodes (5 VHS set) from GoodTimes Home Video
Released June 25, 2002.

Rascal Dazzle (VHS/LD) from Embassy Home Entertainment
Original film released 1981. Video released 1984. A clip lasting 1:07 is included, showing Marianne moving in as the boys watch, with narration added. This is followed by a clip lasting 0:38, showing Alfalfa combing his hair and Spanky cleaning his ears. This is followed by a third clip lasting 1:46, showing Spanky arriving at the house.


technical details:

Production G-30.

Filmed probably in the early spring of 1935.

Released June 1, 1935. It was the 137th film in the series to be released.

Copyrighted June 12, 1935, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP5615. Renewed August 1, 1962, with registration no. R299655. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2030.

All-talking two-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Sprucin' Up".'

King World Productions episode no. 37, available in both colorized and original black-and-white versions.


the crew:

Produced by Hal Roach
Credited in the film as a presenter.

Directed by Gus Meins
This credit appears in the film.

Photography: Art Lloyd, A. S. C.
This credit appears in the film.

Film Editor: Louis McManus
This credit appears in the film. Credited as Lewis McManus in the Blackhawk print.

Recording Engineer: William Randall
Not listed by Maltin & Bann. This credit appears in the film.

Assistant director: Gordon Douglas
This is revealed in the photograph in Maltin & Bann's book.

Props by Bob Saunders
This is revealed in the photograph in Maltin & Bann's book.

Animal trainer: Tony Campanaro
He trained the current Pete.

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.

Approved by the Motion Picture Producers & Distributors of America
Certificate no. 738.

NRA
The National Recovery Administration emblem is shown in both the opening and end titles.

studio personnel
possible uncredited involvement


the kids:

George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
Lead role. Mr. Jones addresses him as "Mr. Spanky." He cleans his ears and battles with Alfalfa over the affections of the new girl in the neighborhood.

Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa"
Lead role. Marianne calls him "Mr. Alfalfa." He combs his hair and battles with Spanky.

Marianne Edwards as "Miss Jones"
Supporting role. The cutting continuity refers to her as "Marianne." She's the new girl in town and the daughter of the truant officer.

Scotty Beckett as "Scotty"
Supporting role. He's featured as an equal with Spanky and Alfalfa early in the film, but disappears before the halfway point.

Jerry Tucker as "Percy"
Small part. He shows up at the end of the film to escort Marianne out of the film.

Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas
Small part. The nickname wasn't used in this film. He sits on the curb with the other boys. Photos reveal that he's the little girl with the parasol at the end of the film.

Alvin Buckelew
Small part. He's the only remaining kid with dialogue. The cutting continuity mistakenly identifies him as "Donald."

Donald Proffitt
Small part. He sits at the far right on the curb.

Harold Switzer
Small part. He sits at the far left on the curb.

Robert Lentz
Small part. He sits between Harold and Alvin on the curb. Listed by Maltin & Bann as Robert Lentz.

Dorian Johnston
The payroll ledgers reveal that he was present on one day of shooting. In the 1977 edition of their book, Maltin & Bann identify him as the blonde boy in the photo where the kids are sitting on the curb. In the 1992 edition, they corrected this error by identifying the boy as Robert Lentz. Nevertheless, the ledgers strongly suggest that this scene on the curb was reshot, probably to bring the dialogue in line with Scotty's newly-filmed opening segment. By this time, Johnston was no longer in the cast and ended up not being in the film.


the animals:

Pete the Pup IV
Small part. He's Spanky's dog, and is present in his bedroom, as well as on the sidewalk.

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


the adults:

Dick Elliott as "Mr. Jones," the truant officer
Supporting role. The cutting continuity refers to him as "Jones." He moves into the neighborhood with his pretty daughter, and ends up with a face full of cactus.

Leota Lorraine as Spanky's mom
Small part. She lets Spanky know that it's Saturday and orders him to clean his ears.

Gertrude Sutton as Alfalfa's mom
Small part. She orders Alfalfa to comb his hair.

Bess Flowers as Scotty's mom
Small part. She orders Scotty to polish his shoes.

James Burtis as the real estate agent
Bit part. The cutting continuity refers to him as "Agent." He talks to the Joneses as they move in.

Harry Bernard as "Mr. Riley," the cop
Bit part. The cutting continuity refers to him as "Riley." He tells the boys that the new neighbor is the truant officer.

Lillian Rich as "Mrs. Jones," Marianne's mom
Bit part. According to Maltin & Bann. She's barely seen in the film, so I'm assuming that publicity photos reveal her identity.

other adults
Extras. Six men and 2 women can be seen as pedestrians. Two of them are seen clearly enough to be identified, so I'm assuming that these are the two that Maltin & Bann refer to as the first and second pedestrians. Respectively, they are Lester Dorr and Viola Richard, who both look consistent with the man and woman in the film.


the music:

"Good Old Days" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A14.) This is played over the opening titles and as we first see Spanky in bed. The last half-verse is played as Alfalfa goes through the hedge and the end title appears.

"The One I Love Best" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931. Also known as "All The World (To Me)." The middle part and uptempo last verse are played as Spanky realizes it's Saturday and happily gets out of bed. It's played in full with the first verse repeated as Spanky and Alfalfa first try to top one another.

"Nothing At All" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Aug. 13, 1931. Half of this piece appears as Spanky pretends to wash. Most of it is repeated as Spanky and Alfalfa start doing chin-ups.

"Dash And Dot" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted 1930. This is played twice as Scotty and Alfalfa have disagreements with their mothers.

"Little Dancing Girl" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931. Also known as "Dancing Girl" and "Dancing Girls." This is played as the boys sit on the curb and watch the truant officer move in to the house across the street. This is the version reproduced on the 1st Beau Hunks CD.

"Teeter-Totter" by Leroy Shield
The first half of this piece is played as the boys react to Marianne. The same portion is played again as Mr. Jones chases off Spanky and Alfalfa.

"She'll Be Comin' Round The Mountain"
Originally a negro spiritual entitled "When The Chariot Comes." The retitled version was a popular Appalachian song in the 19th century, and also sung by railroad workers in the latter part of that century. In this film, it's sung by Alfalfa as he fixes his hair. Marvin Hatley received an arrangement credit for this version, which was copyrighted on Mar. 8, 1935.

"The Ice Man" by T. Marvin Hatley
Copyrighted Oct. 27, 1933. Part of this piece is played as the three boys spruce up. A fuller version is played as the boys are outside the Jones residence and Spanky honks the horn.

"In My Canoe" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931. This is played as Mr. Jones walks in and Alfalfa catches the vase. This is the version reproduced on the 1st Beau Hunks CD.

"The Moon And You" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931. Most of this piece is played and partially repeated as Percy puts the cactus under Spanky and Alfalfa.

other music
The only remaining music in this short is the impromptu little song that Spanky sings about Saturday.


©June 30, 2005, by Robert Demoss.
2005 updates: 7/4, 7/9, 8/27, 8/30, 12/19.
2006 updates: 1/3, 1/16, 2/11, 5/16, 6/23, 7/25, 10/25.
2007 updates: 4/1, 10/22.
2008 updates: 5/26, 7/12, 7/27, 7/28, 9/7, 9/22, 11/6.
2009 updates: 7/23.
2010 updates: 3/19.


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


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