True Hollywood Story documentary entitled "The Curse of the Little Rascals". The MGM-produced Our Gang shorts, General Spanky, and the rights to the Our Gang name are owned by Warner Bros. through Turner Entertainment. A smaller cast of Our Gang kids—Matthew Beard, Tommy Bond, Jerry Tucker, and Georgie Billings—were featured in supporting roles with reduced screen time.  The two separate packages of Our Gang films competed with each other in syndication for three decades.  McGowan returned two years later to direct his Our Gang swan song, Divot Diggers, released in 1936. Join us as we take a… In 2009, Warner Home Video released all 52 MGM Our Gang shorts in a compilation titled The Our Gang Collection: 1938–1942 (though it contains the 1943–44 shorts as well) for manufacture-on-demand (MOD) DVD and digital download. On May 31, 1938, Roach sold MGM the Our Gang unit, including the rights to the name and the contracts for the actors and writers, for $25,000 (equal to $454,078 today). Co-star Darla Hood gave the inside scoop on how Alfalfa was like on-set.  The Snopes.com website debunks the rumor of an Our Gang curse, stating that there was no pattern of unusual deaths when taking all of the major Our Gang stars into account, despite the deaths of a select few. Look at them! In 1993, Republic Pictures Home Video sold the home video rights for the 80 sound Roach shorts and some available silent shorts to Cabin Fever Entertainment. Poor guy is already balding, and apparently had to take a job at Walmart. Less notable imitations series include The McDougall Alley Gang (Bray Productions, 1927–1928), The Us Bunch and Our Kids. However, MGM did not want the series discontinued and agreed to take over production. Gordon Douglas was loaned out from Hal Roach Studios to direct The Little Ranger and another early MGM short, Aladdin's Lantern, while MGM hired newcomer George Sidney as the permanent series director. In 1930, Roach began production on The Boy Friends, a short-subject series which was essentially a teenaged version of Our Gang. Another director, Herbert Glazer, remained a second-unit director outside of his work on the series. Many of these shorts include early appearances of Jerry Tucker and Wally Albright, who later became series regulars. Legacy and influence [ edit ] Painted cover to Four Color Comics number 674, featuring "The Little Rascals" ( Dell , January 1956).  The strips in The Dandy ended three years after the demise of the Our Gang shorts, in 1947. During the 1980s and 1990s, MGM released several non-comprehensive VHS tapes of its shorts, and a VHS of the feature General Spanky. The series broke new ground by portraying white and black children interacting as equals.. Our Gang (also known as The Little Rascals or Hal Roach's Rascals) is an American series of comedy short films chronicling a group of poor neighborhood children and their adventures. McGowan worked to develop a style that allowed the children to be as natural as possible, downplaying the importance of the filmmaking equipment. The video contained three previously-released shorts and the previously-unreleased silent short Dog Heaven; the VHS tape was also available in a gift set with a Pete plush doll.. Adult situations often drove the action, with each film often incorporating a moral, a civics lesson, or a patriotic theme. Sep 26, 2017 - Explore Sharon Amorosa's board "Darla Hood", followed by 818 people on Pinterest. However, by 1934, many movie theater owners were increasingly dropping two-reel (20-minute) comedies like Our Gang and the Laurel & Hardy series from their bills and running double feature programs instead. Neither he nor any other Our Gang children received any residuals or royalties from reruns of the shorts or licensed products with their likenesses. The two reunited for the 20th anniversary of the iconic children’s film in 2014. They're all here! The first one-reel Our Gang short, Bored of Education (1936), marked the Our Gang directorial debut of former assistant director Gordon Douglas and won the Academy Award for Best Short Subject (One Reel) in 1937. The death of Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer is still a very murky chapter in Hollywood history. Television broadcast", "WAUGH and On and On #1: Neither Fish Nor Fowl", "Monogram Will Enter Short Subjects Field with 39 Reissues Made by M-G-M", "Same Client, Same Vidpix On Second Go-Around", "Metro Readies Short Subjects Bundles for TV", Business Data for The Little Rascals (1994), Urban Legends References Page: 'Our Gang' Curse, "Complete National Film Registry Listing - National Film Preservation Board - Programs - Library of Congress", Itinerant Filmmakers and Amateur Casts: A Homemade, Joyce Haber, a Gossip Columnist Known for Barbed Commentaries, "Former child actress Mollie Barron dies", "The Little Rascals DVD news: Little Rascals Box Set Announced", "The Little Rascals DVD news: Box Art for The Little Rascals – The Complete Collection", "DVD Talk Review: The Little Rascals: The Complete Collection", "WarnerBros.com | General Spanky | Movies", "Qintex Entertainment to Sell Virtually All of Its Assets", Warner Bros. to Run Most of Turner's Entertainment Units, "Our Gang. He signed on to release future products through the newly formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which released its first Our Gang comedy in September 1927. and "Okey-doke!". From 2006 to 2009, Legend Films produced colorized versions of twenty-four Our Gang comedies (23 Roach entries, and the public domain MGM entry Waldo's Last Stand), which were released across five Little Rascals DVDs. Sadly for fans, he didn’t marry Darla but he looks so happy with his bride that we can’t help but be thrilled for him! The King World/CBS Little Rascals package was featured as exclusive programming (in the United States) for the American Movie Classics network from August 2001 to December 2003, with Frankie Muniz hosting. Roach and original director Robert F. McGowan worked to film the unaffected, raw nuances apparent in regular children rather than have them imitate adult acting styles. Darla and Alfalfa were the cutest couple in history. The Painful Lives of the Our Gang Cast Members-Truth!& Fiction! In Follies of 1938, Alfalfa, who aspires to be an opera singer, falls asleep and dreams that his old pal Spanky has become the rich owner of a swanky Broadway nightclub where Darla and Buckwheat perform, making "hundreds and thousands of dollars.". Later that year, the first 10 Cabin Fever volumes were re-released on VHS with new packaging, and the first two volumes were released on DVD as The Little Rascals: Volumes 1–2. The films were created by studio executive Hal Roach, who was best known as the man behind the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.  Lacking a replacement, Hal Roach persuaded him to stay on for another year. One notable exception was Jackie Cooper, who was later nominated for an Academy Award and had a career as an adult actor. 235–236. The film is an adaptation of Hal Roach's Our Gang, a series of short films of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s (many of which were broadcast on television as The Little Rascals) which centered on the adventures of a group of neighborhood children. Nearly all of the 52 MGM-produced Our Gangs were written by former Roach director Hal Law and former junior director Robert A. McGowan (also known as Anthony Mack, nephew of former senior Our Gang director Robert F. McGowan). While some may have preferred the original TV show of the same name, we think … Carl Switzer was born in Paris, Illinois in 1927. , The Our Gang series is notable for being one of the first in cinema history in which Black Americans and White Americans were portrayed as equals. ", Despite the stereotyping and racial gags, Our Gang's integrated cast caused it to be disliked by certain theater owners in the southern United States. Darla Hood played Darla in the Our Gang series later to be known as The Little Rascals. The resident Spoiled Brat uses his money-fueled machine to take out Alfalfa's new MacGyvered car. The series was produced in various formats from 1922 to 1944 and is noted for showing children behaving in a relatively natural way. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Numerous unauthorized Little Rascals and Our Gang restaurants and day care centers also exist throughout the United States. Most early shorts were filmed outdoors and on location and featured a menagerie of animal characters, such as Dinah the Mule. Scripts were written for the shorts by the Hal Roach comedy writing staff, which included at various times Leo McCarey, Frank Capra, Walter Lantz, and Frank Tashlin, among others. Among the most notable are The Kiddie Troupers, featuring future comedian Eddie Bracken; Baby Burlesks, featuring Shirley Temple; the Buster Brown comedies (from which Our Gang received Pete the Pup and director Gus Meins); and Our Gang's main competitor, the Toonerville Trolley-based Mickey McGuire series starring Mickey Rooney. , The children's work in the series was largely unrewarded in later years, although Spanky McFarland was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame posthumously in 1994. However, after filming the movie, Brittany retired from acting at the age of 7! For other uses, see, For a detailed listing of the Our Gang child actors, recurring adult actors, directors, and writers, see, 1926–1929: New faces and new distributors, 1993-present: Cabin Fever/Hallmark VHS and DVD releases, Maltin & Bann, p. 119. Some stations bought both packages and played them alongside each other under the Little Rascals show banner. Alfalfa was convicted of stealing trees from the Sequoia National Forest and selling them for Christmas trees in 1958. When six of the 13 shorts released between 1942 and 1943 sustained losses rather than turning profits, MGM discontinued Our Gang. "The Little Rascals" redirects here. Along with Alfalfa, other popular characters included Spanky, Buckwheat and Darla. A number of groups, companies, and entities have been inspired by or named after Our Gang. The attendees were very receptive, and the press clamored for "lots more of those 'Our Gang' comedies."  Early in existence of Our Gang, these theater owners complained to Pathé that Morisson and Hoskins had too much screen time and their prominence in the shorts would offend white audiences. Forget Brad and Gwyneth, Johnny and Winona,Tom and Nicole - the real power couple of the 90's was Darla and Alfalfa.  Casting his replacement was delayed until after the move to MGM, at which point MGM rehired McFarland.. Director Fred C. Newmeyer helmed the first pilot film, entitled Our Gang, but Roach scrapped Newmeyer's work and had former fireman Robert F. McGowan reshoot the short. Due to the popularity of Our Gang, many similar kid comedy short film series were created by competing studios. I just try to look at it as mostly a fun thing. OMG #BugHall aka Alfalfa from 'The Little Rascals' is married! The Mack-directed shorts are considered to be among the lesser entries in the series. That same year, Darla Hood, Patsy May, and Eugene Lee as Porky joined the gang.  The television rights for the MGM Our Gang shorts belong to Warner Bros. Television Distribution, and the video rights to Warner Home Video. CBS Television Distribution, through King World Productions, owns the rights to the Little Rascals trademark and has all other media rights to the 1929-1938 Roach shorts, which constitute The Little Rascals television package, with certain territory exclusions controlled by Cinematografische Commers Anatalt. We saw the picture of Alfalfa and Darla, but here's some more about those lovable kids: Travis Tedford, AKA Spanky. The franchise began in 1922 as a series of silent short subjects produced by the Roach studio and released by Pathé Exchange. Hood was a guest on such TV shows of the early 1960s as You Bet Your Life and The Jack Benny Show, where she appeared on October 30, 1962 as "Darla" in a spoof of the Our Gang comedies with Jack Benny (who appeared as Alfalfa ), and The Charlotte …  The series was given a permanent setting in the fictitious town of Greenpoint, and the mayhem caused by the Our Gang kids was toned down significantly. The Little Rascals premiered over 20 years, on August 5, 1994. , In their adult years, actors Morrison, Beard, and Thomas defended the series, arguing that the white characters in the series were similarly stereotyped: the "freckle-faced kid", the "fat kid", the "neighborhood bully", the "pretty blond girl", and the "mischievous toddler". Cooper soon won the lead role in Paramount's feature film Skippy, and Roach sold his contract to MGM in 1931. In 1963, Hal Roach Studios, by then run by Roach's son Hal Jr, filed for bankruptcy. Some of the lines I had to say I didn't like, but I never look at it like that. These shorts marked the departure of Jackie Condon, who had been with the group from the beginning of the series. " In a separate interview, Ernie Morrison stated, "When it came to race, Hal Roach was color-blind. The sound discs for Railroadin' had been lost since the 1940s, and a silent print was available for home movie release until 1982, when the film's sound discs were located in the MGM vault and the short was restored with sound. Among them were the future child stars Mickey Rooney and Shirley Temple, neither of whom made it past the audition. The Laurel & Hardy series went from film shorts to features exclusively in mid 1935. Another was Robert Blake, who found great success in the 1960s and 1970s as an actor, with films like In Cold Blood (1967) and television shows like Baretta (1975–78), which netted him an Emmy Award.  Roach agreed, producing shorter, one-reel Our Gang comedies (ten minutes in length instead of twenty). 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