The gang is participating in a program sponsored by the Golden Age Dramatic League. They present their own fractured version of Quo Vadis? (1924). Things go from bad to worse when the ... See full summary »
Robert A. McGowan
Norman 'Chubby' Chaney,
Allen 'Farina' Hoskins,
Stymie spots a dogcatcher taking the gang's dogs and lets them out of the dogcatcher's truck. But the gang thinks Stymie is stealing their dogs and threaten him. When it's learned that Stymie actually was rescuing their pets and that the dogcatcher now has Stymie's dog Petey in custody, the gang helps him in his attempt to save Petey before the dogcatcher can gas him. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
[praying to save his dog from the pound]
Dear Lord, that Petey is the only friend I've got. I just gotta have five dollars somehow.
[a five-dollar bill blows out of a woman's hand and, floating about a block down the street, lands a few feet in front of where Stymie is sitting]
Boy, that's what I call service!
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While it is usually pointless to choose favorite episodes of any continuing series, it is also irresistible. "The Pooch" happens to be my favorite movie from the OUR GANG/LITTLE RASCALS short subject series. Its blend of tear-jerking melodrama, comedy and social commentary epitomizes the strength of Hal Roach's RASCALS series.
While there is undeniable racial stereotyping in many of the OUR GANG shorts which makes for uncomfortable viewing today, the usual intent of the films (besides belly laughter and the occasional tear) was to break down barriers: both racial and socio-economic. Never was this more obvious than in "The Pooch" in which a black kid (Stymie) appears to be the older brother of a white kid (Spanky). And where both, quite poor and hungry (but never grim or humorless), explain to a counterman when he asks how they expect to get food with no money, "Well, we don't 'specks it, we just want it."
On a side note, this was also the last appearance of a descendent of the original Petie (the bull terrier with a circle around his eye). For whatever reason Petie's trainer and Hal Roach parted company after this short, and all future Peties were in fact impostors.
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