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Helping Grandma

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Helpinggrandma

Dorothy, Mrs. Mack and Wheezer

Production Notes

Length: Two Reel
Producer: Robert F. McGowan
Director: Robert F. McGowan
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Ruchard Currier
Titles: None
Writer: Robert F. McGowan
Released: January 3, 1931
Studio: M-G-M

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

The Short

Plot: The gang has been hanging out at the general store which has been owned by Margaret Mack for over twenty-five years, but a local opportunist named Pennypacker is trying to buy it out from under her for far less than it is worth. Meanwhile, two chain store officials are offering her much more, closer to the real price. The kids mistakenly scare off the two men from buying the store while Grandma is out, but they leave a contract offering $3500 for the place. Pennypacker discovers the contract and hides it from the kindly grandma and compels her to sell the place for a paltry $1500. He then imitates her voice over the phone when the chain store officials call to announce their arrival. After several requests from the kids trying to delay for time, Margaret signs the more unscrupulous contract just as the chain store men come with their final offer of $5000 for the location. Pennypacker is ecstatic because he has made the deal of a lifetime, but then one of the chain store representatives notices that Grandma actually signed a blank sheet of paper under the actual contract. Pennypacker's contract is worthless. When Grandma finds out that Pennypacker impersonated her on the phone and tried to swindle her, she punches Pennypacker out and he bounces off the counter toward Wheezer who then bops him one more time with a hammer.
Quotes:

  • "That's a silly idea, to dress a chicken." - Farina
  • "Eh, you couldn't sell many chains in this town anyhow." - Jackie
  • "It's getting me down too, I used to be fat." - Chubby
  • "I want ten cents worth of 'it'." - Stymie
    • "Well, what kind of 'it' do you want?" - Wheezer
    • "What kind of 'it' have you got?" - Stymie

Notes/Trivia:

  • This short features the first appearance of Shirley Jean Rickert in the series.
  • Mr. Pennypacker was actually named Pennypincher in the script. It was changed once it started to film.
  • The inserts of the car heading to the market were filmed at the Arnaz Ranch, one of Hal Roach's favorite exterior locations.
  • In several scenes at the grocery store, the schoolhouse used for such shorts as Teacher's Pet and School's Out can be seen across the road.
  • Although the pressbook for this film refers to Matthew Beard as "Matthew Beard, nicknamed 'Stymie'," the script refers to his character as "Tumble-Weed."
  • Beginning in 1971, parts of this short were edited out due to perceived racism towards African-Americans. These scenes included Farina's telephone conversations and the scene with the 'dressed' chicken. Most, but not all of the scenes were reinstated in 2001.

Sequence


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