Second Childhood

film no. 144


availability:

The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Vol. 17 (VHS) from Cabin Fever and
The Little Rascals Remastered & Unedited Volume Three (4 LD set) from Cabin Fever
Released 1995. This is a complete original print with excellent picture quality. The total footage lasts 18:57. This version has appeared on numerous bootlegs.

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 Two Reelers Vol. 3 (VHS) from Spotlite Video
This is a home movie print from Blackhawk, but with the company name blacked out. It was also included as part of a 6 VHS boxed set. The opening title is remade, but the crew credits and end title are original. The picture quality is very good. The original footage totals 18:40, but the original soundtrack lasts an additional 0:10.

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

The Best Of The Little Rascals (LD) from Republic Pictures Home Video
Released 1989. This is the Blackhawk print.

Rascal Dazzle (VHS/LD) from Embassy Home Entertainment
Original film released 1981. Video released 1984. A clip lasting 2:38 is included, showing Spanky entering the house to get his airplane. This is directly followed by a clip lasting 2:01, showing the kids singing with Grandma. Both clips have music and narration added.

The Little Rascals Clay Animation (VHS)
The claymation version has appeared on various homemade VHS tapes and DVDs on eBay.


technical details:

Production G-37.

Filmed probably in mid-winter 1936.

Copyrighted March 17, 1936, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Corporation. Registration no. LP6234. Renewed June 21, 1963, with registration no. R317582. This copyright is currently due to expire at the end of 2031.

Released April 11, 1936. It was the 144th film in the series to be released.

All-talking two-reeler.

Opening title: 'Hal Roach presents Our Gang in "Second Childhood".'

The soundtrack for this film was used for A Little Rascals Color Special made by King-World Productions and presented by Charles King. The resultant film, using puppet animation, was one of five episodes refashioned this way, which were intended to be marketed as a television series that never came to be.

King World Productions episode no. 25, 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: Francis Corby, A. S. C.
This credit appears in the film.

Film Editor: Louis McManus
This credit appears in the film.

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

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. 1936.

studio personnel
possible uncredited involvement


the kids:

George "Spanky" McFarland as "Spanky"
Featured role. He's the leader among the kids and has most of the dialogue.

Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as "Alfalfa" aka "Carl"
Featured role. He's featured almost as much as Spanky, as the two of them spend quite a lot of the film alone with Tilbury. She absentmindedly calls him "Carl" at one point.

Dickie De Nuet
Supporting role. His name doesn't turn up in the dialogue, but the cutting continuity refers to him as "Dickie." He teaches Grandma good manners.

Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas
Small part. The nickname doesn't turn up in the dialogue, but the cutting continuity includes it. He waters the lawn.

Darla Hood
Small part. Her name doesn't turn up in the dialogue, but the cutting continuity includes it. She gathers flowers.

Eugene "Porky" Lee as "Porky"
Small part. He isn't given too much of anything specific to do, other than getting squirted with water.


the animals:

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

other animals
There's a painting on the wall of two cats. There's also a strange high-pitched sound in the opening scene, which could possibly be a caged bird, much like the sound in "Anniversary Trouble" (no. 134).

bugwatch
There's a fly buzzing around Grandma's head at one point.


the adults:

Zeffie Tilbury as "Grandma"
Lead role. It's her 65th birthday, and her crabby disposition is transformed by the kids.

Sidney Bracey as "Hobson," the butler
Supporting role. He's repeatedly the victim of Grandma's new-found zest for life.

Greta Gould as the maid
Small part. She doesn't appear as much as Hobson, but she has a fair amount of dialogue.

other adults
Small part. There's a stunt double for Grandma in this film, presumably David Sharpe, who was still involved at the studio during this period.


the music:

"Good Old Day" by Leroy Shield
Copyrighted Jan. 10, 1931.
(A15.) This is played over the opening titles and as we're introduced to Grandma, the butler and the maid. The last half part is played as Grandma is in the fountain and the end title appears.

"Oh! Susanna" by Stephen Collines Foster
Published in 1848. Wendell Hall & Shannon Four had a number eight hit with this song in 1924. In this film, it's sung by Alfalfa, Grandma and Spanky. Marvin Hatley received arrangement credit for this version, which was copyrighted on Jan. 6, 1936.


miscellaneous:

In the category of unseen characters, one of Grandma's prescriptions is from a "Dr. Jones."

Reel one ends as the three singers walk into the house.


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


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


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