The Our Gang Kids set up a combine in order to enter Alfalfa, the star crooner, in an amateur contest at the local radio station. Spanky is the manager and Darla, Buckwheat, Porky and Gary make up his staff. But Butch, a violin virtuoso and big-time bully, plans on winning the contest, and intimidates Spanky into trying to convince his client to withdraw from the competition. Alfalfa wins with his rendition of "Just an Echo in the Valley," while Spanky ends up with a black-eye, courtesy of Butch, but gives Bully Butch two in return. Heard, while the boys are listening to the contest on the radio, are the voices of Marvin Hartley singing "Honolulu Baby" from "Mike Fright", and Olive Brasco's rendition of "The Ice Cream Song" from "Shrimps for a day." Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
If you love hearing Alfalfa sing, it's more enjoyable....
....but I DON'T like hearing singing in Our Gang films. Up until Darla and Alfalfa entered the series late in its lifespan at Hal Roach Studios, the kids NEVER sang or danced. The emphasis was on kids acting like kids. Now, in films like "Framing Youth", the emphasis is on Alfalfa's god-awful singing--something that gets old because he did it so many times in these films. The first time you hear him, it's mildly funny--but this is about the sixth one with him crooning. Fortunatley, in this one there is at least a SLIGHT variation on this familiar theme.
The short begins with a cute bit with a talent agency--with the gang (Darla, Buckwheat, Porky and Spanky) all working with their star, Alfalfa--getting him ready for the big talent contest. Soon, however, the evil Butch enters and threatens Alfalfa--as HE intends to win. Despite this, the Alfalfinator performs...and there will be consequences.
Fortunately, while Alfalfa sings, the frog bit wasn't too bad and was at least mildly funny. Certainly not a great short (especially compared to the earlier films) but quite watchable and cute. I especially liked it when Buckwheat phoned Porky!
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