Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Originally released on June 21, 1930, the "Our Gang" comedy "A Tough Winter" was designed as a "pilot" film for a proposed series of two-reelers starring legendary black comedian Stepin Fetchit. Beginning with a lengthy sequence in which the Gang helps Stepin read a love letter (which segues into an impromptu song-and-dance), the film comes to a sticky conclusion as the kids try to clean up the aftermath of a messy taffy pull. Some of the best gags involve the hundred-and-one labor saving devices built by Fetchit to allow him ample time to goof off; also worth noting is a climactic bit involving crossed electrical wires, which was later reworked into the Laurel and Hardy feature Saps at Sea (1940). Because the comedy of Stepin Fetchit is today considered offensive by many observers, "A Tough Winter" has been withdrawn from the "Little Rascals" TV package, though it is available on home video.