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Beginner's Luck (1935)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 172 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 1 critic

Spanky's mother's pushes him to join a local theater amateur night.

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Title: Beginner's Luck (1935)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Spanky (as Our Gang)
Matthew 'Stymie' Beard ...
Stymie (as Our Gang)
Scotty Beckett ...
Scotty (as Our Gang)
...
Buckwheat (as Our Gang)
Jerry Tucker ...
Jerry (as Our Gang)
Eileen Bernstein ...
Our Gang member (as Our Gang)
Alvin Buckelew ...
Alvin (as Our Gang)
Sidney Kibrick ...
Our Gang member (as Our Gang)
Cecelia Murray ...
Our Gang member (as Our Gang)
Donald Proffitt ...
Our Gang member (as Our Gang)
Merrill Strong ...
Our Gang member (as Our Gang)
Marianne Edwards ...
Daisy Dimple (as Our Gang)
Pete the Pup ...
Pete (as Our Gang)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernie Alexander ...
Audience member
The Cabin Kids ...
Themselves
Edit

Storyline

At her afternoon tea social Spanky's mother has her son recite for the assembled ladies. It is easily seen they are bored to death as he has no talent. After he finishes the mother shocks everyone ,including her mother and son, by announcing she has signed him up to appear at a local children's talent show. The Grandma tries to intervene to no avail. The gang come up with a plan to sabotage his performance with peashooters and noise makers. Spanky is overjoyed but must keep his mother from finding out. At the theater Spanky meets a little girl who needs the prize money to buy her dancing costume but fell victim to stage fright. Spanky's mother has run afoul of the Master of Cerimonies by showing up with her son not ready to go on then saying he was too much of an artist to open a show. He is a real hard boiled type and well able to deal with the mother. He has kept Spanky's act for last. Spanky has decided he'll win the prize for the little girl but he must tell the gang. As he is ... Written by Harveyweinpop999

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Family

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 February 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ungerne optræder  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Has been wildly reported that the original script for this short came from a rejected short involving boxing. The story had a boy fighting a bully in a dilapidated boxing ring. His mother rushes to save him only to be knocked out by a punch which her son ducks. She gets her dress caught on a pole the kids have under the canvas. She is dragged under the canvas only to have her dress ripped off her when she is under the canvas. See more »

Goofs

While Spanky is on stage he is been pelted with peashooters. At the end of his act his mother is trying to pull him off stage and you can see the stage floor and no peashooter pellets can be seen. See more »

Quotes

Scotty: [Grandma has let the gang come in and go up to Spanky's room . Scotty is the first in ] Hey Spank. What's up ?
Spanky: [Spanky is downtrodden with the news he must act on the stage he tells the gang of his predicament] Well fella, my mom's trying to make an actor out of me . I have to receite everyday.
Jerry: All actors are sissies . You don't want to be an actor do you ?
Spanky: Of course not but i'll be reciting the rest of my life if I win that prize.
Alvin: Why don't you tell your mother that you don't want to recite ?
Spanky: ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sliders: The Java Jive (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Wobbly Feet
(uncredited)
Music by Marvin Hatley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A case of art imitating life!
15 January 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is a rather cute little Our Gang short, but I also found it unsettling as it was clearly a case of art imitating life. It all begins with Spanky doing a recitation for his mother's friends. Clearly, the mother is an obnoxious mother of a kid who just wants to be a kid! Later, she enters him in a talent show--when all sorts of hijinks ensue--some of which is pretty cute.

As I say, it's a case of art imitating life because I have read Leonard Maltin's book about the Rascals. And, unfortunately, a lot of the kids had pushy parents just like Spanky's in the film. It made the laughs a little less funny when I realized the writer for this short was probably influenced by the kids' real life folks! By the way, speaking of obnoxious folks, this was Alfalfa's first film with Our Gang. While cute in the films, he and his family are a VERY sad example of the sorts of pushy behavior and monstrous egos that were all too common with child actors. Read up on them when you get a chance--it's interesting but very, very sad.

Also, in this film you hear a child poorly singing "Honolulu Baby"--the tune that was popularized in the great Laurel & Hardy feature "Sons of the Desert".


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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