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The Awful Tooth

Buckwheat, Spike, Porky, Alfalfa

Production Notes

Length: One Reel
Producer: Hal Roach
Director: Nathan Watt
Photography: Nobert Brodine
Editor: William Ziegler
Titles:
Writer:
Released: May 28, 1938
Studio: M-G-M

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

The Short

Plot: Alfalfa discovers the club treasury is 20c short of the $3 they need to buy a catcher's mitt they see in a sporting goods store window, so when Buckwheat comes around with a dime from the Tooth Fairy (or "Good Fairy", as the Gang call him), Alfalfa reasons they could amass a small fortune from all of their teeth. They head to see dentist Dr. Schwartz and ask to have their teeth pulled to buy baseball equipment. Naturally, Schwartz and his nurse are horrified by the request, but they hope to scare the boys straight. Schwartz gathers a formidable array of tools, including a hacksaw and a mallet, to stage the scene, but behind the boys' backs, he and his nurse, Miss Rogers can barely keep a straight face. Buckwheat even starts praying at one point. As Schwartz heads in to start pulling teeth, Alfalfa jumps up terrified; the scare has worked. At that moment, Schwartz asks his nurse if it was the Good Fairy he just heard, and she adds that he just left. Schwartz then turns over to the boys a glove, two baseballs, and a catcher's mitt.
Quotes:

  • "Fellas, this is one of the best ideas I've ever had!" - Alfalfa

Notes/Trivia:

  • The title of the short derives from "The Awful Truth" (1937) directed by occasional Roach Studios director Leo McCarey.
  • Henry Lee is no relation to Eugene Lee.
  • Actor Jack Norton was better known as a typecast drunk through several later movies of the Thirties and the Forties, second only to actor Arthur Housman, and TV's Hal Smith and Dick Wilson.
  • A wax effigy from this short is (or was) on display at the Hollywood Wax Museum along with a figure of Buster Keaton with a toothache. Harry Keaton, a Hal Roach Studio writer, was Keaton's brother.
  • Maltin and Bann call this short an "unfortunate harbinger" of the heavy moralizing that the Our Gang shorts turned into during the M-G-M years.
  • The script for this film was originally written prior to George McFarland's temporary retirement from the series. Therefore, Spanky was included in the original script. Butch was also featured in early drafts.

Sequence


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