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Author Topic: Our Gang "Wiggle Your Ears" 1929
Joseph Banfield
Film Handler

Posts: 93
Registered: Jun 2010

 - posted November 09, 2011 05:03 AM      Profile for Joseph Banfield   Author's Homepage   Email Joseph Banfield   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One of the most bizzare of all the Our Gang series of films, "Wiggle Your Ears" from 1929 is truly something different and was never repeated in any of the other shorts before or that followed.

PLOT: The film opens with Mary Ann Jackson being repeatedly kicked in the rear end by Harry Spear for having done something wrong. Mary Ann is in love with Harry Spear because the boy can wiggle his ears. But Harry has eyes for five year old blond bombshell Jean Darling. Acting upon the advice of Farina, Mary Ann tries to win back Harry by transforming herself into a flapper, but to no avail. Meanwhile, chubby Joe Cobb, who has worshipped Mary Ann from afar, captures the girl's heart by wiggling his ears, with the help of a string and a wad of chewing gum. As for Harry, he loses his ear-wiggling gift and we find him now being abused by Jean, the same as Mary Ann had been earlier. This film contains subtext that would make Sigmund Freud proud!!!

PRINT: My version of the film was released by Collector's Club on a 400 foot reel. It has almost perfect contrast and sharpness, especially since the entire film is shot in very tight closeups. The original negative is also quite good for a film this old.

MY THOUGHTS: A really remarkable adult story played by children who are truly convincing, especially Mary Ann Jackson who has the lead role. This was quite a departure from the role Mary Ann normally played and we find her totally submissive and abused. What makes this Our Gang film so special is that it is filmed like no other in the entire series. The story is rather good too and it is obvious that this film would have appealed more to adults than to children who probably would not have fully understand what was really happening.

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: Mountian Home, ID.
Registered: Jul 2005

 - posted November 09, 2011 02:00 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 

Those early "child shorts" were renown for having adult storylines. Take the Shirley Temple shorts before she began earlt feature film career. In "Glad Rags to Riches" (Available from Blackhawk Films), Shirley plays Burlesque dancer, shaking her hips about and is "propositioned (so to speak) by the club owner (played by a child as well).

Usually, Shirley played the4 "Bad girl going good" by the end of these films, in other words, the "temptress".

It's kind of like with animation or westerns. You can take a deeply psycological storyline, which audiences wouldn't usually sit through in a theater, but you put them in an animated film or a western, you can say anything, and the audience will listen in.

ThanX 4 the review.

"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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