Hal Roach, who no longer owned the rights to his "Our Gang" (aka The Little Rascals") creation, decided to "create" a similar gang of kids, to be known as "Curley and his Gang", and star them in feature-length films shot in Cinecolor. This film is the first effort, and is virtually a remake, with longer running time, of the 1930 "Our Gang" short, "Teacher's Pet." The kids are fretting because their favorite teacher has gotten married and departed town, and they fear her replacement will be not to their liking. When Curley mistakes the aunt of the new replacement as being the new teacher, he and the rest of the kids make plans to discourage her staying. Mortification sets in when the new teacher turns out to be sweet, young and pretty. Jackie Cooper and June Marlowe had the smitten kid/teacher roles in the original. Robert F. McGowan, who directed and wrote the original short, gets story credit here, and was also the Associate Producer. Written by
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"Curley" was banned from many Southern theaters in the U.S. for depicting black and Caucasian children "playing happily together." Other than that it is a rather desperate attempt to recreate the Our Gang shenanigans, with lovely Frances Rafferty doing most of what real acting seems to be required. Another sideline: I saw this film on a 16mm camera in 1964 in second grade. My teacher supposedly screened it for the entire class in order to prove that instead of disliking me as I had thought, she was "very fond of" me, to quote Rafferty to little Larry Olsen in the final sequence, which was all that I remembered when I stayed up till 4 in the morning to watch it again (!!!) in 1983 on a UHF station. Not much of a movie, but fascinating to me on the two levels I mentioned above!
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