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Wiggle Your Ears is a cute film from the later Our Gang silent period.
It stars Harry Spear as the boy who can wiggle his ears, much to the
delight of Mary Ann Jackson who is in love with him. However, when
Harry spots pretty Jean Darling, he ditches Mary and refuses to wiggle
her ears for her anymore since he has a new girl. Mary vows to get him
back, going to such lengths as dressing up as a flapper to win his
Wiggle Your Ears is a great film with only a few comedic elements in it. It is not terribly funny; it is more sad than anything. One sympathizes with the sweet Mary Ann who takes so much abuse from Harry, one wonders why she even likes him. The style is unusual and artistic; the film is shot mostly in close up.
This is a really strange, but thought provoking film. Here, beloved
Mary literally lets Harry Spear kick her behind, spend her money on
him, and forces her to push his kiddie car, all so that she could get
the occasional joy of watching Harry "Wiggle His Ears." Armchair
Freudians and double-entendre fans will quickly get the "joke" here. He
quickly dumps Mary for pintsized blonde bombshell Jean Darling. What
happens? You'll see.
This is all quite strange and unsettling on a number of counts. It's difficult to accept as comedy a scene where a little girl like Mary is being kicked in the buttocks and abused in other ways by Harry. Farina gives Mary advice on how to "Win your man and be a flapper." The sight of Mary in tight clothes and heavy makeup is REALLY creepy, not to mention the very idea of kids being used to satirize adult sexual relationships. However, the film works as a conversation piece and would especially play well if shown to a college classroom to discuss gender issues. That aside, it leaves a pretty foul aftertaste and fortunately, the Gang producers stuck to the kid's stuff in the future.
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