LOL. Now an overarching obsession with "Free Wheeling" or "Choo-Choo"... that I could see . But "Beginner's Luck?" Ye gods, the best thing in it were the Cabin Kids, who, strictly speaking were not Rascalgangers at all.
We've dealt more than enough with that one unfortunate individual and his obsession with Kitty Kelly's state of undress in this film.
But setting that aside, I have to disagree with malaria and his assessment. I love so many Our Gang films for their gentle humor and overall humanity. But there are relatively few of them that make me genuinely laugh out loud.
"Beginner's Luck" is one of them. Spanky stumbling blindly about the stage with his visor clamped over his eyes somehow just gets to me. I'm sure the scene is abetted by the laughter coming from the audience, which is contagious.
Beyond this, Spanky wanting no part of this (until his basic decency causes a change of heart), the gang giving him the business (not believing that sudden change of heart), and seeing a meddling stage mother get her comeuppance all make for a worthy Our Gang theme.
Look, we saw fourteen-year-old Spanky semi-nude. Twice. That's traumatic enough for anyone.
And yeah, creeper aside, 'Beginner's Luck' is one of the better mid-period Rascals shorts.
Oh, speaking of creepers, ran across a collection of film clips, pictures, etc. of boys being denuded by or in front of girls on DeviantArt. One of the clips is the "Oh, you nasty man!" bit from 'Washee-Ironee.' I was rather amazed, really. Consider the level of determination that poor, twisted creature had to go through all the Rascals films to find the one moment that spoke directly to her perversions...
I still haven't recovered from seeing him in The Grapes of Wrath (Wally, not T of F), a film which contains what may be the greatest scene in American cinematic history. Ford shot it in one take, yet. But it is (sadly!) free of Rascalian references.
"Wherever there's a guy bein' mocked for reciting 'High Up Grew The Daffydil', I'll be there..."
"It's like Casy says... fella ain't got a makeshift fire engine of his own... just a little piece of of one big fire engine..."