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Beginner's Luck (1935)

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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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Credited cast:
Ernie Alexander ...
Audience member
Matthew 'Stymie' Beard ...
Scotty Beckett ...
Eileen Bernstein ...
Our Gang member
Alvin Buckelew ...
The Cabin Kids ...
Marianne Edwards ...
Daisy Dimple
Bess Flowers ...
Friend of Spanky's mother
Charlie Hall ...
Stage hand
Tom Herbert ...
Master of Ceremonies
Ruth Hiatt ...
Daisy's mother
Fred Holmes ...
Audience member
Kitty Kelly ...
Leonard Kibrick ...
Audience member (unconfirmed)
Sidney Kibrick ...
Our Gang member


Spanky's mother is convinced that he is the most talented child entered in the talent contest. Spanky, however, wishes his mother would stop pushing him to perform. He arranges for his friends to sit in the front row and "ruin" his performance. But backstage Spanky meets Marianne, a little girl whose mother is depending on the prize money. When Marianne freezes onstage with stage fright, Spanky must find a way to overcome his own sabotage and win the prize, so he can give it to Marianne. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy | Family

Parents Guide:





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  »

Did You Know?


If you have professional equipment when you pause when the mother tries to stand up you can clearly see the tops of her stockings and her panties. See more »


When Spanky's mother is pulling him from behind the curtain at one point her dress hikes a little and it's obvious she isn't wearing a slip. However a few minutes later when her dress is hooked she is wearing a slip. See more »


Spanky: Wait a minute mom, I have to go talk to the gang.
Spanky's mother: You can't go out there now. You've got to win the prize.
Spanky: Well I can't win unless I talk to the gang. I've got to tell them something.
Spanky's mother: What is it I'll tell them.
Spanky: Tell them I don't want to lose now I want to win.
Spanky's mother: But of course.
Spanky: Now what are you going to say to them
Spanky's mother: I going to tell them that you've got to win!
Spanky: Right.
Spanky's mother: Now take these things over to Grandma. She hands him his shield and sword and proceeds into the audience.
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Friends,Romans and countrymen the dress is in the bag
13 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Spanky has been entered into a local kiddie talent show without his knowledge or consent .His stuffed shirt stage mother is crowing to her friends about her son reciting Shakespere and when questioned about if he stood a chance of winning she responds" but of course".When questioned about her actions by grandma the mother responds"what has Gable or Barrymore got that Spanky hasn't". The gang tells Spanky that they will ruin his act with peashooters and noise makers and he is overjoyed.At the theater Spanky is told by the MC he will be the first act,His mom says "my son is too much of an artist to open a show".The MC decides to have her stew in her juices and have Spanky be the last act.However at the show a little girl bombs her act from stage fright and needs the prize money to buy a dress.Spanky decides to help her and asks his mother if he can do anything with the prize money ,she responds "certainly I only want you to be a hit".Spanky looks tells the little girl "don't worry girlie the dress is in the bag".Spanky's mother is beaming with joy that the act is about to begin.Little does she know her fate before his act is over and she will be the girlie whose dress is in the bag. Spanky must now go out to the gang in the front row to tell them his change of plans,but his mother won't allow him and insists she will deliver his message to them.She has no idea there is a plot to sabotage the act.She goes to the gang and fails to make them understand .One even says"don't pay any attention to what his maw says".So the gang prepares to give Spanky the works and make a laughing stock out of him.Unknown to the gang ,it will Spanky's mother who will "GET THE WORKS"because of their actions. Spanky begins his act and is hit with a barrage of peashooters and the audience starts to laugh at him.Spanky's mom wants Spanky taken off and says "I won't have my son laughed at " is told by the MC "You can't break up that act.The Mother tries to frantically to rescue Spanky,by going behind a curtain with a pole to drag him off.Spanky's mom gets down on all fours from behind the curtain and tries to pull him in.Grandma sees her opportunity to teach her daughter a lesson for putting Spanky on the stage and cook her goose .Grandma asks permission to raise the curtain saying to the MC "here's where we stop the show" and does she ever!!A hook is dangling of the curtain bottom and as the curtain begins to rise it moves up along the mother's legs.Grandma decides Spank's Mother should make her stage debut ,as a comedic burlesque act. As the curtain starts to rise a hook on the curtain snags Spanky's mom's dress .The audience howls with approving laughter at Spanky's mother's predicament.Slowly the curtain rises hiking the dress along with it.The audience laughter grows with intensity as her dress hikes higher.Frantically , Spanky's mother tries to get the hook out of her dress hem.Granny is laughing so hard she is having trouble finishing her task,as Spanky's mother desperately tries to free herself.Grandma gives a tug on the curtain ropes with all her might and the curtain goes all the way ,ripping Spanky's mother's dress off. .Spanky ,who was blinded by a visor which he just freed ,looks up to see his mother's dress attached to the curtain rise to the ceiling.The audience is in near hysterics .Spanky jumps to his feet and rushes to his mother's aide.His mom is kneeling on the stage, in her slip, totally humiliated ,gawking up at her dress dangling off the curtain.She is stunned and immobilized from what happened.In his haste to hide his

mother's "assets" from the howling audience he grabs a stage prop and places it in front of her to shield her from the audience's view.This backfires as it is a caricature of a body of a dog with his mom's head atop it.The audience roars with laughter and is in total bedlam .Spanky cannot believe his eyes ,as his eyes bulge his helmet top begins to spin looking at the sight of his mother's head atop an animal body looking like she is howling at the moon. Spanky's mother,who wouldn't have her son laughed at,rushed to save him ,has now been made a total laughing stock of ,stripped of her dress and is completely humiliated in her slip with her head atop the stage prop all to the delight and total enjoyment of the gang and the theater audience who howl laughing at the spectacle that has been made of her.Spanky's Mother who was told "you can't break up that act", has brought down the house ,started by not delivering the message to the gang and then by grandma ,who has stopped Spanky's mother's rescue attempt and made a "damsel in disdress" out of her,degraded and mortified behind the prop.Some people feel that an authority figure and a mother should not have received this type of degrading experience in front of children. Most people feel ,that seeing a stage mother get her well deserved comeuppance makes it even funnier. Some people think that the stage prop should have been a chicken laying an egg symbolizing Spanky's mother's laying an egg trying to make an actor out of Spanky

11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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