Small Talk (1929)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Family-Oriented Comedy  |   Countries - United States   |  
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The first all-talking "Our Gang" comedy, Small Talk was also one of the few series entries to run three reels rather than the customary two. A sentimental effort, the film details the trials of tribulations of two orphans -- played by Mary Ann Jackson and Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins -- when one of them is adopted by a wealthy matron (Helen Jerome Eddy). Though Wheezer is showered with toys, fancy clothes and other luxuries, he remains lonesome for his sister Mary Ann. The two kids are reunited when Mary Ann, together with the rest of her orphan pals, pay an unanounced visit to Wheezer's new digs. After laying waste to the mansion and accidentally summoning the cops, the youngsters are rescued from a return trip to the orphanage when a group of rich ladies agrees to adopt all of them immediately. Though exhibiting the customary clumsiness of early sound films, Small Talk also contains several surprisingly sophisticated "talkie" gags, including an opening bit involving various makeshift musical instruments. Originally released on May 18, 1929, the film was not included in the "Little Rascals" package released to television in the early 1950s because no decent picture and sound material then existed. Small Talk was restored for the home-movie market by Blackhawk Films in 1974, and released on video and DVD in the 1990s.