Dogs of War (1923)
Director: Robert F. McGowan
Cast: Hal Roach’s Rascals, Joe Cobb, Jackie Condon
Synopsis: The gang wages war using old vegetables as munitions. Later, they ruin a movie in progress when they double-expose the film.
The Little Rascals star in this Hal Roach comedy short, and director Robert F. McGowan goes all out to trade upon their cuteness. Kids playing war is probably non-PC these days, but it was what kids did before they had to wear safety goggles to play conkers. Their games were never as elaborate as these ones, though. The Rascals and their foes have a network of trenches, and even a hospital at which one cute little nurse tends to two ‘wounded’ boys who jealously vie for her attention.
Around the halfway mark, the gang decide they want to be in movies and sneak into a movie lot (Roach’s own, although it’s given a fake name in the movie) and create havoc. While fleeing from the studio’s security guards, they run into Harold Lloyd (who was filming Why Worry? on the lot at the time) and Jobyna Ralston. Lloyd’s appearance is a welcome diversion, but he doesn’t really do a lot.
Dogs of War is entertaining enough, but it doesn’t contain any real belly laughs and the cuteness quotient starts to wear a little thin fairly early on in the proceedings.
(Reviewed 27th May 2013)