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Pleasant Journey, A (1923)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Nice short from Hal Roach and Our Gang is broken up into two parts. The first has Ernie and Farina needing to get business for their shoe shining so one paints shoes while the other comes up on the people offering to clean them. The plan goes well until they happen upon some police. The second aspect has the kids meeting some runaways from San Francisco and they decide to switch places with them. This isn't the greatest comedy short out there but it's cute enough to make it worth viewing for fans of the series. I think even non-fans will enjoy the first portion of the film because Farina is just so cute stumbling around trying to find new shoes to paint. The second portion of the film has a lot more action but I think the laughs are somewhat short. What we basically have our the kids on a train causing all sorts of trouble ranging from stepping on a man's broken foot to trying to sneak the dog on the passenger car. Even though the second half isn't as funny the one good moment is the sequence with the broken foot as even the dog gets involved.
This Hal Roach comedy short, A Pleasant Journey, is the eleventh in the "Our Gang/Little Rascals" series. If while watching this, you may be feeling some sort of deja vu, you must have seen the talkie remake called Choo-Choo! from nine years later, at least the part where the gang is on the train and all sorts of chaos happens as a result. Before that, Ernie (yes, Ernie Morrison used his real name here, not "Sunshine Sammy" or "Booker T.") and sister Farina are shining shoes. Well, Ernie is doing the shining, Farina paints them white so her brother can earn his pay! Add in a man who hates children forced to deal with them and you have another hilarious early Our Gang short. So on that note, I highly recommend A Pleasant Journey. P.S. One of the pedestrians Farina encounters is Bob McGowan, this short's director. He's the one who walks away as she starts to paint his shoes.
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