The Our Gang Collection

Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Joe Geil as Corky
Darla Hood as Darla
Dickie Jones as Dickie
Darwood Kaye as Waldo
Eugene ‘Porky’ Lee as Porky
Henry ‘Spike’ Lee as Spike
George ‘Spanky’ McFarland as Spanky
Tommy McFarland as Tommy
Carl ‘Alfalfa’ Switzer as Alfalfa
Harold Switzer as Harold
Billie ‘Buckwheat’ Thomas as Buckwheat

Special Features:
None

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Mono Sound
Running Time: 572 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the series:

“Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Porky, Darla, Mickey, Waldo and Froggy have long been names to conjure with in the annals of screen comedy. They’re fun-loving members of ‘Our Gang,’ one of the most beloved bunches of movie kids ever. And with this fabulous 5-Disc Collection of 52 Theatrical Shorts, you’ve struck the mother lode of laughter from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Popularized on television for generations following their run in theatres, these rib-tickling short subjects showcased an ensemble of groundbreakingly diverse youngsters, many of whom were skilled at song as well as slapstick. If you belong to the legions of this mischievous gang’s fans, this compilation (covering the years 1938-1944) of mirthful memories and lasting laughter belongs in your home collection.

Disc 1 (1938 – 1939)
Little Ranger, The
Party Fever
Aladdin’s Lantern
Men In Fright
Football Romeo
Practical Jokers
Alfalfa’s Aunt
Tiny Troubles
Duel Personalities
Clown Princes
Cousin Wilbur

Disc 2 (1939 – 1940)
Joy Scouts
Dog Daze
Auto Antics
Captain Spanky’s Showboat
Dad For A Day
Time Out For Lessons
Alfalfa’s Double
Big Premiere, The
All About Hash
New Pupil, The
Bubbling Troubles

Disc 3 (1940 – 1941)
Good Bad Boys
Waldo’s Last Stand
Goin’ Fishin’
Kiddie Kure
Fightin’ Fools
Baby Blues
Ye Olde Minstrels
1-2-3 Go!
Robot Wrecks
Helping Hands
Come Back Miss Pipps

Disc 4 (1941 – 1943)
Wedding Worries
Melodies Old And New
Going To Press
Don’t Lie
Surprised Parties
Doin’ Their Bit
Rover’s Big Chance
Mighty Lak A Goat
Unexpected Riches
Benjamin Franklin, Jr.
Family Troubles

Disc 5 (1943 – 1944)
Calling All Kids
Farm Hands
Election Daze
Little Miss Pinkerton
Three Smart Guys
Radio Bugs
Dancing Romeo
Tale Of A Dog ”

The “Our Gang Collection” is not rated.

Mini-Review:
I used to watch all the “Little Rascals” and “Our Gang” shorts on TV back when I was a kid. I loved the adventures of Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, and all the others. I was glad to be able to get the chance to show my kids some of the episodes. I was also curious if the shows were still entertaining 70 years after they debuted. Sure enough, my kids fell in love with them, too.

I guess the one thing I wasn’t expecting was the warning on the DVD cover – “The ‘Our Gang Collection’ is intended for the Adult Collector and is not suitable for children.” Reading that, I went back to some of the episodes looking for what was considered not suitable for children. While I didn’t watch all 52 episodes, I saw a few things that might have qualified. The kids did a few stunts that would be considered questionable today – hanging from a light fixture, gassing Alfalfa with drugs, hanging from a tree by a rope. But if I had to guess what would have been the most questionable, I’d have bet on potentially racist depictions of Buckwheat. While they do show him stereotypically bugging his eyes out and eating watermelon, the episodes I watched showed him pretty much as an equal to the other kids. It seemed surprisingly evenhanded for 1938. Maybe there’s worse stuff I didn’t delve into, but I wasn’t all that bothered by what I saw. Buckwheat was, and is, my favorite of the characters.

All that extra baggage aside, “Our Gang” was a fun series that’s still funny. It’s one of those rare shows intended for kids that even adults can enjoy.

Unfortunately, there are no bonus features included on this DVD. You’ll have to go to another “Our Gang” or “Little Rascals” DVD sets for that.

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