Production Company: Paramount
Top Billed Actors: Jackie Cooper, Robert Coogan, Mitzi Green
Won 1 Oscar:
Best Director - Norman Taurog
Nominated for 3 more:
Best Actor - Jackie Cooper
Best Writing (Adapted) - Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Sam Mintz
Plot: Kids being kids while trying to save a dog.
If child acting a la The Little Rascals is desired, then this movie delivers. Jackie Cooper did a phenomenal job considering his age and also the age of the medium. Sound pictures had only been around for a couple of short years when this was released and to deliver a performance that I didn't totally hate from a 9-year-old is a remarkable feat.
The same can't be said for Cooper's colleagues. Each of the other children's performances are as irritating as ever. The wailing and singing is cute for a brief moment, then it makes you want to rip your ears out. The directing by Taurog is serviceable but an Oscar win puzzles me. Nothing was over the top exceptional. The only thing I can think of is his bravery and patience with dealing with a bunch of 9- and 10-year-olds.
Overall, this family film doesn't provide anything other child-centric family films has in more recent movies. However, the story still is heart warming in the finale and Cooper's acting is noteworthy.
My Score: 4/10