ALPHA VIDEO is a provider of vintage movies, serials and TV programs, many of which aren't available elsewhere. Their prices are fair, but so is transfer quality of some of their offerings. None have undergone restoration, yet the market scarcity of their material and an honest price make these DVDs a worthwhile purchase.
ALPHA's collection, HAL ROACH'S RASCALS consists of 8 silent era shorts that go back almost to the 1922 inception of the kiddie troupe. This groundbreaking comedy series was the first ever to be racially integrated. Many of the children featured in Our Gang became stars and a few, like Jackie Cooper, Mary Kornman and Robert Blake had successful acting careers well into adulthood.
Presented here are the first two generations of Rascals: Joe Cobb, Ernest 'Sunshine Sammy' Morrison, Mary Kornman, Mickey Daniels, Allen 'Farina' Hoskins, Billy Lloyd, Jackie Condon, Johnny Downs, Jay R. 'Spec' Smith, Bobby 'Wheezer' Hutchins, Bobby Dean, Jean Darling and Scooter Lowry. Guest actors are listed for each title, along with IMDB user ratings and year of release.
(6.2) Dogs of War (1923) - Harold Lloyd/William Gillespie/Jack Davis/Ernie Morrison Sr./Fred C. Newmeyer/Lincoln Stedman/Leo White/Dick Gilbert
(6.7) Derby Day (1923) - Sing Joy/William Gillespie/Richard Daniels/Jack Davis/Charles A. Bachman/Wallace Howe/
(6.9) The Sun Down Ltd. (1924) - Andy Samuel/'Sonny Boy' Ward
(7.0) Official Officers (1925) - James Finlayson/Peggy Ahearn/Dick Gilbert/George Rowe/Chet Brandenburg/Charley Young
(7.0) Mary Queen of Tots (1925) - James Finlayson/May Beatty/Richard Daniels/Lyle Tayo/Charles A. Bachman/Charley Young
(6.7) The Fourth Alarm (1926) - George B. French/Charles A. Bachman/Ham Kinsey/Ed Brandenburg/Sam Lufkin/Gene Morgan
(6.1) Olympic Games (1927) - Robert Parrish/Joseph Metzger/Harry Spear/Johnny Aber
(6.7) Spook Spoofing (1928) - Charles A. Bachman/Charles Lloyd
In DOGS OF WAR, the gang runs wild at the Roach studio, where company actors, directors and cameramen in shown in candid scenes.
The kids operate hotdog and lemonade stands near a racetrack in DERBY DAY and later hold their own race, using animals other than horses.
A visit to a rail yard in SUN DOWN LTD. inspires Joe and Mickey to construct their own train.
In OFFICIAL OFFICERS, the gang become "junior" cops.
MARY, QUEEN OF TOTS is a poor little rich girl with a collection of dolls that look like the Our Gang boys. When the real fellas show up one day, Mary thinks her dolls have magically come to life.
In THE FOURTH ALARM, the gang are honorary firemen who help out at a real conflagration.
The title of OLYMPIC GAMES explains the plot: kids emulating world athletic sports.
In SPOOK SPOOFING, the kids frighten Farina after he enters a graveyard. The title is now considered offensive.
There more fine silent comedy in THE CHARLEY CHASE COLLECTION, VOL. 1 and THE CHARLEY CHASE COLLECTION, VOL. 2.