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LittleRanger

Muggsy, Alfalfa, Butch, Darla

Production Notes

Length: One Reel
Producer: Jack Chertok
Director: Gordon Douglas
Photography: Robert Pittack
Editor:
Titles:
Writer: Robert A. McGowan and Hal Law
Released: August 6, 1938
Studio: M-G-M

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

  • Calvin Ellison - Member of Butch's Gang
  • Dix Davis - - Member of Butch's Gang
  • Grace Bohanon - Audience Extra
  • Harold Switzer - Member of Butch's Gang
  • Henry Lee - Member of Butch's Gang
  • Joseph Geil - Member of Butch's Gang
  • Joseph Levine - Member of Butch's Gang
  • Tim Davis - Member of Butch's Gang
  • Tommy McFarland - (unconfirmed)

The Short

Plot: Alfalfa is waiting for Darla to show up for their date at the Greenpoint Movie House to watch "Fearless Bill," but when she finally shows up, she arrives arm-in-arm with Butch to make him jealous. Alfalfa then grudgingly accepts Muggsy's invitation to accompany her to see the movie which he ultimately falls asleep through. He dreams himself into the movie with the rest of the gang filling the rest of the roles. Butch is his rival who kidnaps Darla and takes her captive. Alfalfa is left defenseless and hanging from a tree, but he is rescued by his horse and rides to rescue Darla as "sherefs" Porky and Buckwheat come along to help. Unfortunately, Butch gets the upper hand and leaves them tied up with dynamite ready to explode. Darla must decide between marrying Butch or dying with the rest of them. When she decides to marry Butch, Muggsy swoops in and tosses the dynamite away to save the day. Alfalfa now wakes from at the movie's end still invigorated by the dream, tweaks Butch's nose and spurns Darla's attention to walk off with Muggsy.
Quotes:

  • Porky: "Poor Alfalfa, he's in love again."

Notes/Trivia:

  • The title of this short is probably an homage to "The Lone Ranger."
  • The original working title for this short was "Gun With The Wind," a play on "Gone With The Wind" (1939) with starred Hattie McDaniel, Buckwheat's mother in Anniversary Trouble and Arbor Day.
  • This was the first short done away from Hal Roach Studios under direct control of M-G-M. Eugene Lee, who played Porky, once remarked in an interview about the palpable change in atmosphere from moving from one studio to the other.
  • This short was the first entry to be produced at MGM. Hal Roach had another year to go to produce episodes for MGM but his distribution deal with other properties expired earlier in 1938. Roach switched to another studio to distribute his produced feature films. Our Gang was his only property left doing short subjects. Roach agreed to attempt to move Our Gang into features with the episode, General Spanky. That film was a box office failure so MGM let Roach out of the annual feature film for the gang but resumed producing the one reelers plus a two reeler per year.
  • After making Hide And Shriek, Roach announced that he would end the Our Gang series the following year. MGM, however, still loved the series and the films were doing well at theaters. So MGM decided rather than just distribute Our Gang, which Roach was a year from ending anyway, to just buy the unit outright. This would include the contracts with the Rascals and their director, Gordon Douglas. Hal Roach Studios' veterans Hal Law and former part-time director, Robert A. McGowan during the 1920s and early 1930s would also transfer to MGM Studios to write the screenplays and dialogue. Robert A McGowan was the nephew of the gang's original director and producer Robert F. McGowan.
  • This short was filmed late in June 1938, only a mere six weeks after Hide And Shriek. Critics stated that this was an example of what could and should have been done with Our Gang at their new headquarters. MGM revamped the series to have more continuity than at Hal Roach Studios and would be set in a fictitious town called Greenpoint. Over time, the series evolved into morality lessons. Film critics felt that the MGM Our Gang episodes were inferior to the Roach produced episodes. MGM continued producing the 10-minute shorts of Our Gang until 1944.
  • Maltin and Bann called this short "a fine example of what could have been done with Our Gang" at M-G-M, later adding the shame of how the studio let the shorts deteriorate afterward.

Sequence


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