The gang is participating in a program sponsored by the Golden Age Dramatic League. They present their own fractured version of Quo Vadis? (1924). Things go from bad to worse when the ... See full summary »
Robert A. McGowan
Norman 'Chubby' Chaney,
Allen 'Farina' Hoskins,
Jack likes Mary Ann but doesn't know how to tell her; he gets advice from the neighborhood beat cop, Officer Kennedy, who tells him to be a cave man. That goes badly (Mary Ann whups him), so Kennedy suggests Jack go home, clean up, put on a suit, and bring her candy. While Jack's getting ready, Speck puts the moves on Mary Ann; when Jack comes back, he challenges Speck to a fight. Mary Ann, who reads romantic novels, suggests they fight a duel. With Chubby and Farina as their seconds, the knights errant don makeshift armor and have at it. Trouble is, Speck is good and has a very sharp sword. Will Jack live to tell the tale?Written by
Released in four versions with a different language spoken by the actors in each one: English, Spanish, French and German. The new dialogue was not dubbed in; instead, each scene was shot four times, one take for each language. This process was helped with the aid of language tutors, blackboards placed out of camera range with the phonetic dialogue written on them, and the hiring of foreign actors for the incidental roles. This process was also used in the Little Rascals shorts When the Wind Blows (1930) and A Tough Winter (1930). See more »
The First Seven Years was perhaps the first real classic of the talkie Our Gang era
This Hal Roach comedy short, The First Seven Years, is the ninety-sixth in the "Our Gang/Little Rascals" series and the eighth talkie. Jackie is in love with Mary Ann and seeks advice from the neighborhood cop, Edgar Kennedy. This policeman suggests he grab her like a caveman, which doesn't work out. When he then suggests he dress nicely, he does but finds Speck taking her for a ride in his toy car. Mary suggests a challenge to a duel since she's been reading a story of one such thing. Jackie procrastinates but eventually agrees which results in quite a mess of laundry hanging around! This was perhaps the first real good talkie of an Our Gang short and also Jackie Cooper's initial real showcase which was real good for him. Many funny lines and gags abounded with Jackie's grandma a real hoot here. So on that note, I highly recommend The First Seven Years. P.S. Jackie Cooper later revealed he really had a big crush on Mary Ann Jackson when they were kids. When Ms. Jackson herself was told this by Leonard Maltin and Richard W. Bann in 1990, she laughed and was flattered especially since their families socialized away off the studio during that time.
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