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Helping Grandma (1931)

 -  Family | Comedy | Short  -  3 January 1931 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 126 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

The kids' adopted grandma decides to sell her store, but can't decide whom to sell it to. The kids try to help her out.

Director:

(as Robert McGowan)

Writer:

(dialogue)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Matthew 'Stymie' Beard ...
Stymie (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
Norman 'Chubby' Chaney ...
Chubby (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
...
Jackie (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
Dorothy DeBorba ...
Dorothy (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
Allen 'Farina' Hoskins ...
Farina (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
Bobby 'Wheezer' Hutchins ...
Wheezer (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
Mary Ann Jackson ...
Mary Ann (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
Shirley Jean Rickert ...
Shirley (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
Donald Haines ...
Donald (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
Clifton Young ...
Robert 'Bonedust' (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Oscar Apfel ...
Mr. Pennypacker
William Gillespie ...
Billy, Chain store official
Dell Henderson ...
Henderson, Chain store official
Margaret Mann ...
Mrs. Margaret Mack (storekeeper)
Edit

Storyline

The kids' adopted grandma decides to sell her store, but can't decide whom to sell it to. The kids try to help her out. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

children | our gang

Genres:

Family | Comedy | Short

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 January 1931 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

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User Reviews

Ownership
17 February 2006 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

This series went on for so long, and had so many changes that it forms a sort of kaleidoscope. No other comedy troupe varies so. As a result, there are some of these that will appeal, some that repel, others where you wonder why everyone wasted time. And a few that will stand out as gems. For many, this is one of those gems. But not for me. I like the ones from the Alfalfa/Buckwheat period. They seem more humane.

The form of these is always the same. There's a larger story, usually involving class or money. And within that are little jokes that have little or nothing to do with the wrapper. Both of these relate to the definition of the characters, who are sort of in between stereotypical film characters and stereotypical types we all knew from the playground.

This time the wrapper is about a cad trying to swindle Grandma out of the windfall purchase of her store, which is managed by the Gang. The jokes are written by Walker, a sort of phenomenon who could write dozens of movies a year for Roach, including some classics.

One of the interesting things to watch in these is what role the black kid plays. If you look at just about anything else from this period, you'll shudder when matters of race are raised. Mickey Roonie in particular offends.

In many Rascals shorts, the black kid is treated pretty much like anyone else, just as comically stupid but a solid member of the gang.

This one is different. There are two groups of kids, some of whom run the store and others merely visit. There is a black kid in each group. One of these is sort of the leader of the store gang in a model we'd find elsewhere. But the other takes a status completely different.

The joke is race neutral: a boy and girl buy candy and split it. The third boy (the black kid) gets none; when a pretty girl comes along and wants some, the boy takes some from the first girl for her. The third boy remains candyless. It would have worked with whatever white boy was at the bottom of the gang's pecking order.

But in this case, it is punctuated by the white kid repeatedly telling the black one that he wasn't going to get any, with the black kid saying "I knows." Its a bit heartrending.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


3 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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