Originally Posted by RobKnapp
The Our Gang Story:
A History of the
DIRECTOR: Paul Harris
STARRING : George "Spanky" McFarland, Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer, Billie "Buckwheat"Thomas, "Darla" Hood, & many more !!!
The Little Rascals, originally known as Our Gang
, have stirred up irresistible trouble ever since the short comedies debuted on silent film in 1922. Chubby and scrawny, bossy and sweet, black and white: The producer, Hal Roach, saw to it that his posse of children was motley. Bob McGowan, the avuncular director, made sure the crew never ran out of hijinks. How about a firecracker in a birthday cake?
You know, I've been thinking about this series ever since you've posted it over a week ago. These types of films and shorts, that were so prevalent on TV during my youth, have all but vanished today. The Little Rascals, Blondie and Dagwood, Ma and Pa Kettle, Abbot and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Hope and Bing Road pictures, etc., were all commonly syndicated fare and shown just about every weekend on local independent stations. Some are featured occasionally today, but there's at least a generation that's never been widely exposed to them.
It leads me to wonder if there's ever going to be a market for them, or if they will fade away as so many of the silents have. I know of younger coworkers that wouldn't think of even watching anything in black and white, and the names of the titles above are as foreign to them as Euripides, Plutarch, Virgil, Machiavelli, Pascal, Goethe, and so forth.
Are the charms of these older, charming, simpler (not necessarily simplistic), and innocent movies lost on today's courser, gritter, and harsher society? If it's simply the production values, and technological limitations, one would think that there would be someone out making modern versions of these kinds of films, but none readily come to mind. I'd be hard pressed to think of more than a couple of creators out there that would even be capable of making these kinds of movies today. Perhaps some of today's Disney films still have that same innocent charm, along with some other animated movies?
Maybe I'm just being a bit nostalgic for a simpler age, but it saddens me to think that more kids and families will have guffawed over the likes of the crude fare of Family Guy rather than Our Gang.
(And, if anyone thinks this is too far afield for this thread, you could easily substitute some of the older, classic horror films. Much of the same applies to them.)