When a brand new exhibition commemorating the a centesimal anniversary of the Our Gang brief movie opened on the Hollywood Museum on Wednesday, one particular visitor was really particular.
This collection, first proven in theaters within the early Twenties, ran for an additional twenty years and featured round 200 kids who have been continuously altering to point out their comedic antics within the neighborhood.
“That is an exhibit that can attraction to film lovers in addition to households who’ve loved Our Gang in movie, tv syndication over time, and Our Gang animated collection,” mentioned Donell Dudigan, founder and president of the museum. The movies, retitled The Little Rascals, reached new audiences once they have been broadcast on tv within the Nineteen Sixties.
In a collection of roughly 220 brief movies created by producer Hal Roach, roughly 40 little one actors appeared commonly from the silent movie period of 1922 by way of 1944. company on the opening of the exhibition.
Kibrik, 94, appeared in additional than two dozen “Gang” brief movies, first as an unnamed character however finally earned the nickname “Voym,” an exaggerated Brooklyn pronunciation of the phrase “worm.” Different notable members of the gang included Spanky (George McFarland), Butch (Tommy Bond), Buckwheat (Billy Thomas), and Alfalfa (Karl Switzer).
“We had two hours of lessons within the morning after which six to sixteen hours of labor till we have been accomplished,” Kibrick recalled from his Los Angeles house. “There was loads of work, no questions requested, however our director Gordon Douglas was an incredible man and he actually might get rather a lot out of each child.”
Regardless of the lengthy hours, there was typically time to loosen up and be a toddler off digital camera.
“There was a giant pond within the studio, so attractive, and I used to go fishing rather a lot,” Kibrick mentioned. “We turned lifelong buddies, and though he moved to Dallas whereas I used to be residing in Beverly Hills, we visited one another repeatedly over time.”
Though there are dozens of children working round on the set, Kibrick remembers that issues by no means obtained out of hand.
“We had scripts and we needed to rehearse earlier than filming, so the whole lot was very structured,” he recollects. “The mother and father needed to be on set on a regular basis and so they have been very type to all the children.”
And whereas many of the younger actors obtained alongside, Kibrick remembers one troublemaker.
“Alfalfa (Switzerland) was a really tough little one and created loads of issues on set. He wasn’t good—not simply to the gang, however to the girls and boys who have been extras within the films. That was his nature. Years later he was killed in a struggle, so mainly he was a tricky man.”
It was the identical with Kibrick’s character, Voim.
“I used to be Butch’s accomplice, and we have been the dangerous guys, at all times preventing Spanky, Alfalfa and Darla (Hood),” he defined.
Born in Minneapolis, younger Sid was simply an toddler when the household moved to Los Angeles so his father might discover a higher job. “We left after I was 6 weeks previous,” mentioned Kibrick, who was later “found” when he was 5 years previous.
“My mom took us to Grauman’s Chinese language Theatre, and after the film a person got here as much as us, pointed at me and mentioned he might use that little child within the films,” Kibrick recalled. “He was a expertise scout, however in these days you needed to be part of Central Casting earlier than you possibly can work. It was very tough to get to him, however he helped us. I began working in a few Shirley Temple movies and did a number of movies. earlier than and after “Our gang”.
Kibrick recollects that his mother and father actually pushed him and his brother Leonard into performing.
“I used to be making $750 every week with Our Gang, which was rather a lot in these days, particularly in the course of the Nice Melancholy,” he mentioned. “However by the point I used to be 15, I had had sufficient. My mother and father needed me to proceed, however in the long run my mom agreed to my want. Later I went to school and have become an actual property developer. I’ve constructed extensively within the San Fernando Valley – residences and industrial places of work – and have constructed over 1,000 houses in Thousand Oaks. So I had a really profitable post-Hollywood profession.”
Kibrick says he offered a few of the images for an exhibition on the Hollywood Museum, which might be on show till the tip of the 12 months.
“This can be a good occasion,” he mentioned, “and it’s good to be remembered!”
The Hollywood Museum is positioned within the historic Max Issue Constructing on the nook of North Highland Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Go to TheHollywoodMuseum.com for extra data.
Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn College in Montgomery, Alabama and writes function tales, columns and interviews for quite a few magazines and newspapers. Go to tinseltowntalks.com for extra data.