Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Earning instant stardom via his appearance in the 1932 "Our Gang" comedy "Free Eats," 3-year-old George "Spanky" McFarland was rewarded with his own two-reel vehicle, appropriately titled "Spanky." One suspects, however, that the film, a remake of the 1926 "Our Gang" entry "Uncle Tom's Uncle," was on the drawing boards long before Spanky signed with Hal Roach, inasmuch as the youngster's "showcase" scenes are largely unrelated to the plot proper. While Spanky toddles around the house attempting to kill bugs with an outsized hammer, the older Gang members endeavor to stage a barn production of Uncle Tom's Cabin, with black youngster Mathew "Stymie" Beard pressed into service as both Uncle Tom and Topsy. Comedy buffs will enjoy the brief but explosive appearance by Billy Gilbert as Spanky's loutish father, and the clever utilization of a Negro spiritual lifted from the soundtrack of the Laurel and Hardy feature Pardon Us (1931). "Spanky" was originally released on March 26, 1932.
barn, bugs, friendship, production [showbiz], toddlers, exterminator