3 February 2008 | tavm
Even in shortened form, Lodge Night may be the most politically incorrect entry in the "Our Gang" series
The version I saw of this fifteenth "Our Gang/Little Rascals" comedy short, Lodge Night, on YouTube was an abridged one from TV distributor National Telepix which had retitled the silent era of the series "Mischief Makers" complete with beginning and ending credit animation from Gene Deitch Associates and a theme song sung by kids. By abridged, I mean not only were some scenes cut but also some inter-titles although the narration supposedly took care of that. In this one, Joe is a new student at the school. While Mary and the other girls take a shine to him by giving him many kisses, Mickey and Jack and the other boys express jealousy and they invite him to a secret meeting for an initiation. This club is called the Cluck Cluck Klams, which although is a kids version of the Ku Klux Klan, has Ernie and Farina as members! I'll stop right there and say that statement alone might be enough for anyone with a sensitive mind toward anything politically incorrect may want to stay away from this short and I'd like to add that most of the scenes weren't funny. Exceptions were when Mickey and Jackie were trying to fool their parents that they were still practicing piano and saxophone, respectively, Mickey tied string to some cats attached to the keys and Jackie put a wind blowing gadget to the sax with string attached by Mickey to the father's rocking chair. I also liked the gadget at the club meeting that spanked Joe for his initiation and also knocked Farina into a barrel. Other than that, what I saw was probably sufficient for evaluating the quality of this "Our Gang" entry that was retitled by National Telepix as "The Secret Meeting". P.S. Ernie Morrison's father played a double-talk preacher in this one and Mickey Daniels' father, Richard, was himself. Update-9/21/14: I've now seen the complete version on Internet Archive with the original H.M. Walker intertitles. He wrote some amusing ones here like-"Mary-Not yet a vamp--But give her time." And "The teacher admits that she is 20-it's her second time around." But this one made me cringe-"Farina-Doesn't know what the lodge is all about-But is in favor of anything." I also liked the name attached to a warning sheet about auto thieves-Sheriff Big Bob McGowan! And there was also Mickey's looking at a small diorama of animated ants at the beginning that I enjoyed. Otherwise, the rating stays.