Little Rascals/East Side Kids Aug 6, 2011 21:25:43 GMT -5
Post by mtw12055 on Aug 6, 2011 21:25:43 GMT -5
Poor Billy. One of his first roles after WWII was "The Gas House Kids", which was clearly a rip-off of the East Side Kids (which, to some extent, was a rip-off of the Dead End Kids). Pretty rough for someone who was trying to escape his Dead End Kids image. I haven't seen the other two Gas House films in full, but from what I have seen, they do look somewhat better than the first film. I think the best way to describe this film is "bland". Pretty much everything about the film comes off as being unoriginal and underdeveloped.
Of course Alfalfa was in all three Gas House films (in the last two, he plays an older version of Alfalfa, simply called "Alfie"). Poor Alfalfa was still being called on to do the old 'off-key singing' schtick in these films, but he'd get better roles as time went on. I also thought it was a good move on PRC's part to hire Tommy Bond to play opposite Alfie in the last two films.
As for producer Ben Schwalb thinking that Stanley Clements was the best choice to replace Leo, I can sort of see his argument. In order to keep the films in high demand, it probably would have helped to get a decently well-known name to play opposite Huntz, in addition to someone who could play the 'tough-guy' type. I may have mentioned this earlier, but Gabe Dell may have also been a good choice as a replacement for Leo. He and Huntz had a very close friendship (apparently they knew each other before doing "Dead End"), and had good chemistry together. Still, Clements did a fine enough job. If any weak points in those later Bowery films, I don't think Clements is the cause of them.