Birthday Blues (1932) Poster

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10/10
Educational about Our Gang-- and boys in general!
petersgrgm30 May 2010
Surely, Birthday Blues is eloquent about Our Gang members and their families. Dickie and Spanky's daddy was at first disagreeable, to point of giving Dickie severe spanking for bringing strange children into the house, without his permission, and making such a mess that the kitchen looked like the municipal dump! Dickie told Mom that he did that to raise money to buy her birthday present, which Dad had forgotten to do for second straight year, and when Gordon Douglas delivered a dress for $22.50, Dad made Mom send it back. (If he could not afford to pay for it, one wonders how the family could afford the water cooler!) The beauty in this Our Gang-er is that Dad became a lot nicer, learning a good lesson from his son. What this episode ALSO brought out is the increased understanding not only about the kids in Our Gang, but about boys. All boys are not identical to each other because EVERYBODY-- boy and girl, man and woman-- is UNIQUE! There are no two boys who are exactly alike, nor any two girls either, nor any two grown men or women. Dickie's and Stymie's experimenting in the kitchen may not have been THAT prevalent among boys in the Thirties (before feminism), but there WERE boys who liked to cook even then! MY father learned to cook from his mother and his maternal grandmother. So, what Dickie and Stymie did HAD parallel examples in REAL life even then. One cannot blame Donald Haines' calling the cake a fake, as HIS "prize" was a MOUSE TRAP! Another kid drew a trick snake (which somehow I used to think was a live baby alligator! All in all, a wonderful Our Gang-er, teaching that there have always been INDEFINITE ways for boys to be boys, often good-natured instead of mean-spirited.
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One of the best!
LittleRascalRicky11 August 2004
The best of the "Our Gang", "Little Rascals" short films. The sound effects of the cake as it comes out of the oven are hilarious. The mess in the house was awful, but necessary for Dickie to get the money for the birthday dress for his mother (and the man at the store threw in the shoes for nothing!)

Everybody won in this episode; The father learned an important lesson, Dickie was able to buy the dress, the gang had a great time at the party, the mom was so happy that her son would think this much of her to spend all the time and effort to get the dress, the dress shop owner made a little money and Spanky is all dressed up to go to church!

Watch it over and over again!
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8/10
Chase the blues away with this fine "Our Gang" short
jimtinder13 February 2001
"Birthday Blues" tells the story of Dickie, who wants to buy his mother a new dress (well, not really new -- it's a 1922 model). To get the money for the present, he holds a party with prizes in a cake, with kids paying per slice. The only problem is that Spanky and Jackie Lyn have added a few surprises to the prizes -- soap, shoes, gloves, and so on. Dickie earns the money, but faces his father's wrath for making a mess. Will he get his mother's present in time?

"Birthday Blues" is memorable, if only for one of the most unique sound effects in movie history. Who knows how the Hal Roach effects people created it; it sounds something like "wow-eep...wow-eep..." If you heard this effect as a kid, you never forgot it.

The family melodrama is a bit much to take, and let's face it - Dickie's dad is a jerk, and you get the feeling he doesn't learn his lesson or will be more attentive to his wife in the future. Watch "Birthday Blues" for the laughs and forget the corny melodrama. 8 out of 10.
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8/10
Birthday Blues was a funny enough Our Gang short
tavm28 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This Hal Roach comedy short, Birthday Blues, is the one hundred eighteenth in the "Our Gang/Little Rascals" series and the thirtieth talkie. Dickie and brother Spanky witness their father being insensitive to their mother for reminding him it's her birthday and makes her send back her dress that arrived C.O.D. So Dickie resolves to buy one from a store but because of the price (which is more than a dollar) he-per Stymie's suggestion-bakes a cake with his friend and puts prizes in it. Some of those prizes were put in unexpectedly by Spank and Jacquie so some of those items were real surprises! I'll stop there and just say this was another hilarious short which is tolerable at the end despite the not-very-believable turnaround by the father but does reflect a wishful thinking that was probably needed during those Depression times. So on that note, I recommend Birthday Blues. P.S. This was Jacquie Lyn's second and final Our Gang short. After her stepfather demanded more money than Hal Roach-or any other studio-could afford or were willing to give, Ms. Lyn simply lived a quiet life for decades before Lois Laurel-in showing home movies of her and Jacquie before Ms. Lyn's movie with Lois' father, Pack Up Your Troubles, was shown on the VHS tape, asked what happened to her and provided the address of the Sons of the Desert on screen. Ms. Lyn saw that and became a treasured guest at the club meetings for a few years before she passed away on March 21, 2002. Oh, and two of Stymie's siblings appear here-sister Carlena and, in his film debut, brother Bobbie as Cotton.
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7/10
Now you're cooking with gas . . .
Hot 888 Mama19 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
. . . and suspenders, shoe laces, bubble bath, loafers, bar soap, hair brushes, mouse traps, gloves, balloons, and Tabasco Sauce, MGM's food stylists strive to top themselves during BIRTHDAY BLUES. Probably HAPPY DEATH DAY's birthday gal thought that her poisoned cupcake was the pits, but she can thank her lucky stars that she did not get an invite to this Little Rascals Party. Our Gang stirs in everything save the kitchen sink amid their cake batter (and the basin omission is not for lack of trying). It's Dickie's mom's natal date, but HE gets the birthday spanks from Dad. Father seems to be a streetcar conductor as of this episode. If so, he's headed down the wrong track by making Mom send her birthday dress back on a Saturday. As sure as God made little green men, the next day is Sunday. Mom insists upon strutting into church adorned in her birthday suit, newly provided by Dickie. Maybe this is a tad more stylish than the emperor's infamous new clothes, but not by very much. Mom's also probably shod in shoes provided by Dickie's BIRTHDAY BLUES cake, which would make the family parade a literal cake walk.
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4/10
Birthday chaos
Warning: Spoilers
"Birthday Blues" is an American black-and-white film from 1932, so still relatively the early days of sound film and one of the dominating (recurring) forces in film back then were the Little Rascals and here we have another film with the that runs for slightly under 20 minutes as they mostly do. The title already gives away that it is birthday time, but not for one of the Rascals, but for his mother actually. And it's Dickie's. The Rascals shorts frequently have one member of the gang in the center and this time it is him, one of the few (male) Rascals who led a life that wasn't cut really short for whatever unnatural reason. Dickie wants to get his mother a present as his dad seems to be ignoring her (birthday) completely. Kind boy he is. But things are not always the way they seem as the ending tells us. The best moment of it all by today's standards is when we hear how they considered 2 dollars (or 1,99) a decent amount of money. O tempora, o mores. Anyway, I personally am not the very biggest rascals fan and this one here could not change it for me. Hasn't aged too well in my opinion sadly, especially in terms of the comedy. And boy this one had a few annoying sound effects really. How could anyone find these funny. I give it a thumbs-down. Watch something else instead.
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6/10
Pleasantly amusing Our Gang short
Leofwine_draca6 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I thought this was a warm-hearted and funny addition to the Our Gang series of comedy short. In it, a couple of kids find out that it's their mother's birthday, so they decide to throw her a surprise party and bake her a cake, with predictably terrifying results.

The story has an interesting back story with an extremely negative portrayal of the boys' father, given to corporal punishment and aggression throughout. The opening dinner table sequence is my favourite part, particularly that hilarious gag with the Tabasco sauce. The kitchen sequences are full of good-natured slapstick including a nice run of the old 'making a cake' sequence which is as messy as you'd imagine. The child actors work hard in this one and the end result is pleasantly amusing.
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4/10
Apparently Dickie lived with a hostile and abusive father....ain't that a laugh!
MartinHafer2 December 2011
This film begins with Dickie and Spanky's mother becoming quite upset. First, her jerk-face husband forgot all about her birthday. Second, instead of apologizing and being a man about it, the jerk-face then bellows and screams like someone giving birth to a 25-pound baby! You really have to wonder if maybe the writers overdid it in making the father so nasty. It gets worse, as late in the film the dad starts smacking Dickie after he and his friends try to earn money to buy mom a present--and make a HUGE mess in the process. And, in the end, the dad seems a bit repentant and not so nasty...and you can only assume he finally got medicated or lobotomized.

I know I sound harsh, but this film really missed the mark. Had they made the father the least bit nice and in control of his anger, it might have worked. However, instead of me noticing the humorous middle portion, all I could think was that someone should call Children's Services! A rare failure and too dark for my taste.

By the way, another negative about this one were the annoying cake sound effects. Cakes shouldn't make noises. And, if they did, they'd sound NOTHING like this one!
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