Saturday, June 8, 2013

"Spooky Hooky" with the Little Rascals (1936)

When Spanky has Porky put an absence note on the teacher’s desk at the end of the school day, so that they can go to the circus the next day, they have no idea that their teacher has made plans to take the class there as a surprise.

With the school locked for the night, the boys must brave the dark to retrieve the phony note.  With a dark and fierce storm raging; at least it seemed that way to me when I watched it as a kid; the boys enter the building, waking the janitor, and scaring him half to death before doing the same to themselves. The scene with the skeleton really caught my attention at age 6.

Naturally, the boys are outwitted by their common enemy; adults; and when they catch cold due to their exploits they cannot attend the circus the next day due to the very real colds they once strove so hard to pretend they had. As for the stereotyping in these films; I've said it before, and I’ll repeat it now; the common enemy of the gang were the adults.

The characters were all stereotyped to one degree or another. There was the arch typical bully, the good girl, the fat kid, the black kid, the little kid, the maiden teacher; hell, even the dog was stereotyped. So, forget the political correctness for about 6 minutes and enjoy the film for what it was meant to be. And whatever you do, don’t listen to Spanky. He’s always getting the gang into trouble!

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