Hal Roach Studios created the Little Rascals back in 1922. They continued making films until 1938 and distributing them through MGM. However, for some reason, MGM decided to buy the series off of Roach. I am sure some of this was because the Roach studio was getting away from shorts and moving to B-length films of 55-65 minutes in length. Regardless, folks who loved the Rascals tend to feel that the quality of the pictures dropped significantly when MGM took over and the films did tend to be more dull...especially the ones they made in the 1940s. "Cousin Wilbur" is one of these MGM- made films (dubbed the 'Our Gang' pictures), though it was created shortly after the sale...and so it's not surprising that the quality isn't so bad.
An interesting thing about this one is that Cousin Wilbur is played by Scotty Beckett--a kid who used to be a regular member of the gang and who was possibly the cutest. Here, he plays Alfalfa's very prissy bespectacled cousin.
The plot is VERY simple. Cousin Wilbur is visiting and Alfalfa's mother tells him to introduce him to the gang...which he is apprehensive to do considering how wimpy Wilbur appears to be. Wilbur convinces the guys they can make money selling insurance to other kids...but soon they have to start paying out for black eyes, as Butch and his toady start beating up all the kids. So, it's up to Wilbur to take care of things!
The only real problem with this film is that the plot is so simple. This is because unlike Little Rascal shorts of about 20 minutes in length, the Our Gang versions tended to be about half that length! Cute but suffering from being a bit too simple and too rushed...but still worth seeing.
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