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Beginner's Luck (1935)

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


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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 ...


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


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?


Many people want Spanky's Mother to be dressed differently when her dress is pulled off her. One writer wanted her to be tightly packed into a corset with fishnet stockings, others want her in just bra and panties while others would prefer her not wearing underwear so when her dress is taken she is nude. See more »


When Spanky's mother takes the stage pole it is about 5 feet long. When she is trying to catch Spanky it seems to have doubled in size. When she is knocking out stage lights it goes out further and takes off the piano players toupee. See more »


Spanky's mother: [Spanky's Mother rushes to get Spanky ready as he is about to go on ,She finds him with Daisy and her mother] Spanky come on now your on next.
[She grabs his hand and is trying to take him back to the Stage wings]
Spanky: [Spanky resists his mother's pulling of him and digs his heels in] Hey Mom If I win first prize can I do anything I want with the money?
Spanky's mother: [...]
See more »


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


Swinging The Blues Away
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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