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Peck's Bad Boy with the Circus (1938)

Approved | | Comedy | 2 December 1938 (USA)
Trouble-prone Billy Peck and his gang descend on a traveling circus that has just hit town, and before long their antics are causing the circus owner all kinds of problems.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Ann Gillis ...
Fleurette de Cava
Edgar Kennedy ...
Arthur Bailey
Benita Hume ...
Myrna Daro
Bud Boggs
Henry Peck
Nana Bryant ...
Mrs. Henry Peck
Pee Wee (as Spanky McFarland)
Louise Beavers ...
Mickey Rentschler ...
Herman Boggs
Fay Helm ...
Mrs. De Cava
Harry Stubbs ...
Wade Boteler ...


Trouble-prone Billy Peck and his gang descend on a traveling circus that has just hit town, and before long their antics are causing the circus owner all kinds of problems.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

circus | gang | girl | boy | foot race | See All (12) »


The "Tom Sawyer" Kid in another great fun, thrill and adventure show!




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 December 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Moleque de Circo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Spanky McFarland took a leave of absence from the "Our Gang" series to appear in this picture, and as a result, missed five films in the series. See more »


Follows Peck's Bad Boy (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable fluff, but don't assume it's really a sequel
30 April 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Peck's Bad Boy" was made twice--one in 1921 with Jackie Coogan in the lead and another in 1934 with Jackie Cooper. Here in 1938 in "Peck's Bad Boy with the Circus", it stars a virtual unknown--Tommy Kelly. However, the different leading man isn't the only difference. In fact, the story and characters are mostly different. Peck now has a mother (his mother died when he was a baby), there is no bratty cousin or aunt and you really won't recognize the sequel as a sequel at all. That's okay--just assume it's NOT a sequel and you'll be fine.

In addition to Kelly, the film has an interesting cast that includes: Spanky McFarland, Billy Gilbert, Edgar Kennedy, William Demarest and Grant Mitchell as Dad. So, even if this is a low-budget film, the cast is made up of some excellent supporting actors.

The story is crazy but works if you suspend disbelief...and I mean TOTALLY suspend disbelief. It begins with Peck about to go to camp while his parents are on a vacation. His parents leave the day before Peck is to go on the train to camp. During this day, he goes to the circus with his friends. But, when they are forced to sneak in (after being cheated out of their tickets), they are caught and Peck feels obliged to pay for every one of his friends. BUT, then he's left with no money for the train and decides to hitch a ride with the circus to the next town--which is near the camp. It is AMAZING how easy this is and how the circus folk have no problem with him hanging out with them!

There is a subplot involving an evil lady who is intent on becoming THE star at the circus--and Billy Peck is able to help foil her plans. It's all pretty weird--and difficult to believe at times (such as when she locks Edgar Kennedy in the cage with the nasty lion, Demon). But, it's all in good fun.

The bottom line is that in spite of a plot that occasionally made no sense, I still enjoyed the movie. It's the sort of fun old fashioned film I like, even if it isn't exactly Shakespeare--it's just entertaining. Worth seeing if you are an old movie buff--those who aren't probably won't understand or care for it. But even if you don't like it, you can at least say you saw a film where Spanky got loopy while taking drugs (you have to see it to understand).

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