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Now why don't they put this on video?
xidax21 December 2000
This was the first MGM OUR GANG, presented as a dream of Alfalfa's that places him in the old West fighting Butch for Darla's hand. It's pretty good. I cannot figure out why it isn't on video. It certainly belongs there much more than FARM HANDS, DON'T LIE, TIME OUT FOR LESSONS and some of the other masterpieces the copyright holders have chosen to give us on tape. In fact it doesn't even seem to play on TV, and they show most of the other (mostly inferior) entries all the time. It's bizarre.
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Very good transition
Thomas Dye9 September 2010
Except for the bigger MGM production values (the film within the film) this plays very much like a typical "Little Rascals" film of Roach's. Alfalfa falls asleep in the movie theater and dreams he's a cowboy hero defending Darla's honor against Butch. Porky and Buckwheat have a funny scene as sheriffs who have a unique way of conquering the bad guys. Shirley Coates is also amusing as "Muggsy", the lovesick girl after Alfalfa's affections. She wasn't used nearly enough in these shorts.

Very amusing and charming; it's a shame they couldn't keep this up for too much longer. The kids, however, would grow up, and that would be that.
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The Little Ranger was a nice start for M-G-M's run of the Our Gang series
tavm7 January 2015
This M-G-M comedy short, The Little Ranger, is the one hundred seventieth entry in the "Our Gang" series and the eighty-second talkie. Since the series by this point was only credited as "Our Gang", that's the way I'm now referring them as. Alfalfa is waiting for Darla at the movies, ignoring Muggsy's (Shirley Coates) flirting with him at the box office. Darla arrives with Butch as both couples enter the theatre. While sitting down, Alf dreams he's the cowboy hero with Darla the leading lady, Butch the villain, and Porky and Buckwheat the sheriffs. Oh, and Muggsy is the other leading lady...With Gordon Douglas continuing as director of the series, The Little Ranger is a funny enough start for M-G-M's initial foray in taking over production of the shorts from Hal Roach Studios which would only make features from this point on and switch distribution to United Artists. Besides the heading during opening credits now saying "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents", the theme song is now a medley of "London Bridge is Falling Down" and "The Farmer in the Dell", and screenplay credits are printed for the first time in the series, the authors being Hal Law-who had been one of the gag writers in the HR entries-and Robert McGowan-not the director who helmed the silent and early talkie entries but his same-named nephew who previously helmed some late silent and early talkie ones as "Anthony Mack" though the senior one's middle name was Francis while this one is-well, it's the first name of his pseudonym. Most of the eps from now on are written by them. Oh, one more thing: the song Alf partly sings is "A Melody from the Sky" which was first played in the feature The Trail of the Lonesome Pine which featured Spanky McFarland-who was still absent from this series at this point. Spank hummed this tune in that picture. So on that note, The Little Ranger was a nice start for M-G-M's run of the series.

Personal note: These were my first exposure to the Our Gang series during the mid-'70s when Buckskin Bill showed them on his weekday morning "Storyland" program or his daily afternoon "The Buckskin Bill Show". Me and my brother remember enjoying them as kids as we didn't know about the way some were presented as lessons as differed from those that weren't. But we'd soon find out when a rival station ran the earlier Hal Roach talkie entries...
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MGM Takes Our Gang to the Movies
wes-connors3 September 2014
The western movie "Fearless Bill Rides Again" has the "Our Gang" kids lining up at the cinema, and in the mood to date. Nerdy-looking Alfalfa (Carl Switzer) wants to go with pretty little Darla Hood, but she only has eyes for bad-boy Butch (Tommy Bond). After they hook up, Alfalfa reluctantly pairs up with spectacled Muggsy (Shirley Coates). While watching the movie, Alfalfa imagines the little rascals are in the story. The sequence amusingly helps him learn a lesson about potential girlfriends. "The Little Ranger" was the first "Our Gang" comedy short released by MGM, the series' new studio. We've clearly lost some of the appealing scruffiness present in earlier Hal Roach productions, but this one scores high on storytelling points.

****** The Little Ranger (8/6/38) Gordon Douglas ~ Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer, Tommy Bond, Darla Hood, Shirley Coates
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Nice Start to the Series
Michael_Elliott1 February 2013
The Little Ranger (1938)

*** (out of 4)

The first film in MGM's Our Gang series has Alfalfa getting dumped by Darla in favor of Butch. Inside the movie Alfalfa falls asleep and dreams that Darla is his girl and he must save her from the villain Butch. This here was certainly a cute way to kick off the series as all the kids were in fine form and the story itself was rather nice. If one is looking for some sort of ground-breaking social commentary then you're obviously not going to find it here but the film at least manages a few good laughs. What I was most impressed with was the way the film really did a nice job at seeming like a real Western. I thought the entire dream sequence contained quite a bit of imagination and it also felt like a real "B" Western that you could have been seeing in these days. There are some funny sequences scattered throughout including the one where Alfalfa realizes that Butch would beat him up plus another towards the end when Porky and Buckwheat show up to rescue their friend. All in all this is cute enough to where fans of the series should enjoy it.
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dbborroughs20 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
First of the MGM Our Gang films is an okay western fantasy. The plot has Alfalfa waiting to get into the movies with Darla only to have her arrive with Butch. Going in with another girl he falls asleep and dreams he and everyone is in the movie.

Bigger budgeted film is just okay. The feel of the film makes it very clear that there has been a change in the studio. The problem with the film is that it seems for much of it to be little more than a filmed play with all of the shots coming from one angle. The sets also seem cavernous as if the extra money now gave everyone too much room. Certainly no where near as bad as some of the later films that followed in the series, this isn't one of the better one either. Its a good amusing middle of the road film.
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