The first in a brace of "Our Gang" fantasy outings, "Mama's Little Pirate" begins when the mother of Spanky McFarland refuses to allow him to participate in a treasure hunt in a nearby cave (actually a spooky standing set left over from the 1934 Laurel and Hardy feature Babes in Toyland). Confined to his room, Spanky argues with his "inner self", who advises him to disobey his mother and join the rest of the Gang in their search for buried treasure. Though the kids miraculously unearth a fortune in gold and jewels, their triumph nearly turns to disaster when they encounter a surly giant (played by 7'6" Tex Madsen). Originally released on November 3, 1934, "Mama's Little Pirate" is enchanced by LeRoy Shield's brilliant background music composition "Cascadia", originally written for the equally thrilling "Boy Friends" comedy Air Tight (1931). Though he has never admitted it, Steven Spielberg may well have used this humble two-reeler as the inspiration for his own comedy-adventure feature The Goonies (1985).
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