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Readin' and Writin' (1932) HD online

Readin' and Writin' (1932) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Short / Family / Comedy
Original Title: Readinu0027 and Writinu0027
Director: Robert F. McGowan
Writers: H.M. Walker
Released: 1932
Duration: 20min
Video type: Movie
Tired of going to school, Breezy comes up with a plan to get himself expelled.
Credited cast:
Sherwood Bailey Sherwood Bailey - Sherwood (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
Matthew 'Stymie' Beard Matthew 'Stymie' Beard - Stymie (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
Dorothy DeBorba Dorothy DeBorba - Dorothy (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
Bobby 'Wheezer' Hutchins Bobby 'Wheezer' Hutchins - Wheezer (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
Kendall McComas Kendall McComas - Brisbane (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
Carlena Beard Carlena Beard - Marmalade (as Hal Roach's Rascals)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Bernard Harry Bernard - The Fruit Vendor
Patsy Britten Patsy Britten - Patsy
Otto Fries Otto Fries - The Blacksmith
Donald Haines Donald Haines - Donald
June Marlowe June Marlowe - Miss June Crabtree
Lyle Tayo Lyle Tayo - Brisbane's Mother
May Wallace May Wallace - Wheezer's Mother

This was June Marlowe's final Our Gang appearance as their teacher, "Miss Crabtree".

This was Kendall McComas's first appearance as Breezy Brisbane.

Reviews: [9]

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    This charming Our Gang short follows Breezy as he attempts to get expelled from school. After he does get expelled, he has a change of heart and comes back to Miss Crabtree teary-eyed. This film features some great moments from Wheezer and Stymie, a hilarious poem recital by Sherman, and an ending that made me cry when I was kid. My only complaint is that the ending with the skunk is way too abrupt.
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    (Possible Spoilers): Kendall McComas stars in this "Our Gang" short as a wiseguy who deliberately gets himself expelled from school, only to find that he is so lonely that ANYTHING -including being back in school- would be preferable. The teacher will let him back in, PROVIDED he gives a public reading of a mushy poem first assayed by Sherwood V. "Spud" Bailey. McComas's ability to cry and fake humiliation as the "class" jeers at him is nothing short of astonishing. You believe that he's as miserable as he appears to be.

    McComas had fairly extensive experience as a child actor. According to Leonard Maltin and Richard W. Bann, he killed himself upon his forcible retirement at age 65. He had been working as an Electrical Engineer for the U.S. Government.
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    An OUR GANG Comedy Short.

    It's the first day at school for young members of the Gang - and it will be Brisbane's last day there, if he can do anything about it. Wanting to begin the exciting life of a streetcar conductor, he has lots of tricks up his sleeve to get Miss Crabtree to expel him. There won't be much READIN' AND WRITIN' going on when she finds out what's in store for her...

    Some good moments in this film, especially from young Stymie & Wheezer. Little Marmalade, played by Stymie's real kid sister Carlena, is cute. This was to be pretty June Marlowe's exit from the movie business. She had appeared as Miss Crabtree in 5 LITTLE RASCALS films.
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    Breezy Brisbane, real name Kendall McComas, gives an excellent performace. Breezy is a wise guy (smart ellecky) and is constantly nagged by his mother (Lyle Tayo) becuase she wants him to be president. But he wants to be a streetcar conductor becuase "Boy, do they pick up the nickels!". Breezy wants to be kicked out so he TRIES to get expelled. After doing several things the teacher Miss Crabtree (played by June Marlowe) tells Breezy that he has one last chance, but he was to recite Sherwood's silly poem in front of the class, but Breezy replies, "I wouldn't recite this junk in front of a group of calf!" so Miss Crabtree expells him. When Breezy thinks he has triumph, he realizes that he can't doing anything now that hes kicked out. He can't go home, theres no kids to play with. So with much regret and lots of tears he decides to recite the poem in front of the class, only to get laughed and teased at.

    This a excellent short, one of the best of the Rascals shorts ever made. It's ironic that the blacksmith that Breezy passes by says that wise guys like him never amount to anything. Well, in 1982 i think Breezy killed himself. Sad. He only appeared in ten shorts of the 1932-33 season, he is one of my favorite Rascals, after Scotty Beckett and Spanky McFarland.
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    "Readin' and Writin'" was the last of the Robert McGowan directed Little Rascals school-oriented flicks in which June Marlowe portrayed their pretty teacher, Miss Crabtree. Some of the kids, like Breezy, Stymie, Wheezer, and Dorothy De Borba were going for the first time. Breezy's dasmal-dame mother nagged him about wanting him to be President! (Was she so sure that he'd get elected?) Breezy wanted to be a streetcar conductor instead, saying "Boy do they pick up the nickels!"(in 1931, a trolley-car ride WAS often five cents!) It was clear that Breezy WANTED to be expelled from school! That explains the myriad misdeeds that he committed, coaching Dororthy to tell Miss Crabtree she was deaf and Wheezer and Stymie to address Miss Crabtree as "Crabby", gluing her books shut, tacks on seats, blowing the car horn, throwing something at Sherwood and worst of all, bringing Dinah the Mule into the classroom! Breezy ADMITTED that he did that to get expelled; Miss Crabtree gave him very fitting punishment, to memorize the sappy poem about picking daffodils, that Sherwood had recited; Brisbane refused so was expelled, and "Crabby" said he'll never become President. (He could hardly become a streetcar conductor either!) At first he was overjoyed, but then his conscience caught up to him, spookily warning him to learn that poem, that there was no one to play with as all the children were in school, that there was no place for him to go, as he couldn't go home. (What would Mom say?) Breezy tried fishing, but the voice came eerily, LEARN THAT POEM. Then he called to order the Secret Order of the Winking Eye, by himself; again, the mysterious voice called LEARN THAT POEM. THAT led him to apologize to Miss Crabtree and recite the poem, in tears, the kids laughing at him. This was the punishment that was best for him; turning a child over one's knee, and spanking him so hard as to be unable to sit for days, is NOT the best punishment in the whole wide world (as used to be thought). MissCrabtree made the punishment fit the crime, appropriate as he had DELIBERATELY misbehaved with INTENT to get expelled. This proved that Breezy was NOT really a BAD BOY, just rebelling against misparenting by Mom. He called Sherwood a sissy, though there really IS no such thing as a sissy! Apple-polisher was what Spud really was; he recited that sappy poem to please Teacher. I admit that this poem of Sherwood's was really sappy, but there are worse poems. All in all, a very fine
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    My calling this 'mindless fun' isn't really a criticism--it's just pointing out that this particular short doesn't have an especially deep story but it is quite silly and enjoyable.

    The first day of school has come and most of the kids seem excited to go to school--most except for Breezy. He sees no need for school and his father accidentally gives the boy the idea that he could get expelled if he's really bad--and Breezy plans to be just awful. But instead of being bad in an obvious way, he does a lot of things to drive the teacher crazy and get the other kids in trouble. And, when he thinks he's gotten what he wants, he isn't so sure if he really wanted that after all.

    Cute and inconsequential--this one has more laughs and less story than usual. However, the very end made me wonder if perhaps Pete the Pup needed an ophthalmologist!
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    . . . "What is your father doing?" to which the kid replies "Twenty years." Since nearly everyone's familiar with "the Our Gang Curse," it's fun to figure out what fate awaits the rotating pipsqueak "stars" of each episode. Take READIN' AND WRITIN,' for instance. We all know that Hollywood types routinely subtract 10 or 20 years from their actual ages at some point in their life. When Kirk Douglas appeared on the 75th GOLDEN GLOBES AWARDS SHOW this week, he was actually someone born TOO SOON to have played a tyke on the early Our Gang "talkies." However, READIIN' AND WRITIN' features a kid who is a dead ringer for one of America's 21st Century Presidents, assuming he fudged his birth year at some point. What got me to thinking along these lines is the fact that a typical sentence during this era for being a Ku Klux Klan organizer (as was this President's Real Life father) was--you guessed it--20 years! Ironically, as this kid does everything in his power to defy his teacher, disrupt her class, and fill his fellow students' minds with fake "facts," he insists that his dream is to make Big Money: He wants to be a streetcar conductor, he says, because then he can collect "all the nickels." This aspiring slot machine king next turns his teacher's name into an epithet while driving a donkey through her Electoral College! Nevertheless, READIN' AND WRITIN' concludes with this cursed Little Rascal accepting the inevitability of his presidency after all, as all the other reindeer mock him, shouting out with glee.
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    "Readin' and Writin'" is a 21-minute live action short film from 1932, so this one is already way over 80 years old. But even if all the actors, also the kids, in here have died already, it is still one you can watch if you like the series and don't really expect too much. But first things first: McGowan and Walker made this one so yes this black-and-white sound film is of course another entry to the very prolific Our Gang series. The central character here is Brisbane/Breezy and he is not one of the most or least famous actors from these films. Same description fits the movie itself. It is not too well-known, but also not forgotten. Animals play a major role in here and the very last scene is pretty much a perfect summary of the movie and the Rascals themselves too. A skunk enters the classroom and the teacher (yep Miss Crabtree again) and the kids run out of the room. Is this really comedy? Is this really funny? I am not sure. I would say that many of these have not aged too well when it comes to the entertainment factor. I suggest you watch something else instead.
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    This Hal Roach comedy short, Readin' and Writin', is the one hundred eleventh in the "Our Gang/Little Rascals" series and the twenty-third talkie. Breezy doesn't want to go to school on the first day and does all he can to get expelled: like setting a car horn in the wastebasket, making Dorothy send a note to Miss Crabtree which tells her Dorothy's hard-of-hearing, and having Wheezer and Stymie calling her "Crabby"! The final straw is when he deliberately brings a mule in the classroom. So unless he recites a sappy poem, Breezy is expelled. He should be happy but now he's all alone. So guess what he does? This marked Kendall McComas' Our Gang debut having previously been in the Mickey McGuire series. It was a trade-in since previous Gang-er Shirley Jean Rickert ended up transitioned there at the same time. It was also June Marlowe's final episode as the lovely teacher. After one more film, she'd get married and retire*. And this was the second appearance of Stymie's sister Carlena Beard in the series. Anyway, this was quite a funny short if not as hilarious as previous Crabtree entries. I especially loved seeing Pete the Pup's reaction at the end! So on that note, Readin' and Writin' is recommended.

    *Update: 11/28/14-I may have been mistaken about that as the June Marlowe who appeared in Roaring Roads is not the same one. See my review of that one for more info.