- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Updated edition (November 24, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0517583259
- ISBN-13: 978-0517583258
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 10.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #521,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Little Rascals: The Life and Times of Our Gang Paperback – November 24, 1992
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was fascinated by the background information, particularly the biographies of EVERY ONE of the Little Rascals and how they lived the rest of their lives. Be prepared for some tragic, tear-jerking stuff! The information makes viewing the classic episodes even more poignant in hindsight.
I am not familiar with ANY of the "silent era" episodes, but I appreciate the information nonetheless. It was interesting to see how so MANY ideas for later episodes were either inspired by or directly picked up from the silent era.
I also appreciated Maltin's candor as he reviewed the declining later years of the Our Gang franchise. What was obvious to any fan, Maltin confirms with honest (yet never mean-spirited) criticism.
Highlights: The information-packed episode guides, the aforementioned actor biographies and the wonderful collection of Our Gang photos (I only wish there were MORE)!
Warning: If you are only a casual fan of the Rascals or if you're someone who's only watched the 90's "Little Rascals" motion picture, you should probably skip this book. Devoted "Our Gang" fans need only apply!
This book opens with a short history of the Hal Roach film company and the Our Gang series.
Then, it leads to a collection of all of the shorts made for the series including the cast, release date, and highly effective synopses and analyses of each short. These are listed chronologically and noted according to ownership and distributor and silent and sound. Some of the silent have been lost, but they are not neglected. Instead, Maltin has used reviews from the time period to give the reader a sense of the short and an idea of its quality. Opinions are used, but they are obviously separate from the factual information and are supported by facts. They add to the effectiveness of the synopses and paint a more vivid picture of the shorts that are unavailable. What is also unique about this book is the listing of the MGM shorts that are often regarded as the worst quality episodes of the series. Skipping these films, although understandable, would have made this book far less complete.
Next, the spin-offs and pop culture effects of the series are addressed, including the Saturday Night Live spoofs of Buckwheat and the cartoon versions of the show.
Last, the book includes a brief history of all of the major stars of the series and a few sentences about the more minor players. Sadly, this section needs to be updated because of the deaths of the cast members after this second publication.Read more ›
Bann and Maltin uncover the history of Hal Roach Studios' brainchildren, known today as "The Little Rascals", originally known as Our Gang. This book is the definitive authority. The authors have gone to great detail in covering the history of this film series and it's endless cast of kiddie actors, including Spanky, Buckwheat, Alfalfa, Stymie, Wheezer and others including Jackie Cooper, probably the most successful of the series' child actors, who grew up to be one of the most influential directors in Hollywood during the Advent of TV and Baby boomer era. Scores of interview material (including interviews with Hal Roach who just died in 1992, and Stan Laurel) are included in this hefty paperback volume, worth more than the list price!
Most of the book is dedicated to the 220 or so short subject films (and one major motion picture) of Roach's Rascals, from Our Gang's inception with their first silent two-reeler in 1922 with Pathe (I believe) to the final MGM sound one-reeler film during the War (WW2) in 1944. Uh-huhhhh! That's a lot of celluloid over a 22 year period! The film documentaries are divided into 3 sections: The Silent Years (Pathe and Hal Roach Studios), The Sound Years at Hal Roach Studios (The "Talkies", Our Gang's Golden Era), and the MGM years (when The Rascals really declined).
You can find out all you need to know about the Little Rascals in this book by Richard Bann and Leonard Maltin (of Entertainment Tonight). This book is a must for comedy buffs who love the black and white era of film (especially Laurel & Hardy fans!). Also, for video collectors, the Little Rascals' best sound (and some silent) films are available from Cabin Fever Entertainment in 21 volumes.Read more ›
Maltin includes interviews with Our Gang alumni and fills in what happened to many of them afterward. A grown up "Porky" Lee sums it up perfectly- you'll be happy to hear about the successes of some (particularly Jackie Cooper, who went on to be a movie director) and depressed to find out the tragedies that befell other Our Gang alumnists (particularly Alfalfa).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing book!! If you are a fan of The Little Rascals then this book is a must buy.Published 2 months ago by Matthew Krankka
Great book about the history of the coolest kids in film history.Published 4 months ago by Jose E. Chamorro
I enjoyed everything in this book. Both pictures the history and all of the above. This is a great book. I recommend it to anyone to order and buy it. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Justin Waller
This is a nice thick book with pictures and details of the lives of the original little rascals. It is very informative.Published 12 months ago by Corrina Countryman
Whether you know it as "Our Gang" or "The Little Rascals," it is a cultural phenomenon crossing continents, generations, and media platforms in the 90-plus years... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Bill Slocum
I was very satisfied with my purchase and it arrived in a timely manner and just as advertised.Published 19 months ago by Cecil
If you are a Little Rascals fan and would like to know of the details of the productions and the lives of castmembers, THIS IS THE BOOK!Published on July 20, 2014 by J. C. Robinson