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Prisoners Porky, Buckwheat, Spanky, and Alfalfa

Production Notes

Length: One Reel
Producer: Hal Roach
Director: Gordon Douglas
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: William Ziegler
Writer: Hal Roach
Released: June 12, 1937
Studio: M-G-M

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

The Short

Plot: Spanky and Alfalfa have been getting frustrated with the unending task of having to take care of their younger siblings. To make matters worse, Darla informs them that they will have to take dancing lessons. They decide to run away from home, with Porky and Buckwheat tagging along. The four of them end up tired and hungry in the tiny rural community of Jenksville around the general store of Hiram Jenks. When they notice Hiram and his wife feeding a stray dog, they bring Pete in to get some cookies (actually for themselves), Ma Jenks has no more cookies, but gives Spanky a bag containing two dog biscuits, which he and Alfalfa reluctantly chew on. Porky and Buckwheat try the same trick, using the Jenks' own dog. The couple play along, with Hiram ultimately giving them a turkey leg, an apple pie, a cake, four cream puffs, and a pack of chewing gum. The younger kids share their bounty with the older two. Hiram, who's also the constable, overhears the boys' discussions about how glad they are that they ran away from home. Hiram plans to teach the boys "a durn good lesson." Using an ancient rifle which falls apart when he blows the dust of it for show, he "arrests" them for not paying for their food, puts them in striped prisoner outfits and has them smash rocks. He plans to drive them home afterwards, but when he leaves to start up his car, they instead decide to escape. When the car, which is started with a crank, backfires repeatedly, the boys think they're being shot at, and run into a barn, where they encounter several farm animals and a beehive which fortunately sends them all running in the right direction.

  • "How could a fella with my looks have brothers with faces like them?" - Alfalfa
  • "Dog biscuits - have one." - Spanky
  • "He likes chewin' gum, don't he, Porky?" - Buckwheat


  • The opening shots were filmed in front of the studio bungalow for actress Constance Bennett near the soundstage for the series, "Topper."
  • The Jenksville exteriors were actually the old exteriors from Helping Grandma, Readin' And Writin' and It's A Bear.
  • The closing gag with the boys' faces swollen from bee stings was deleted from the final cut.
  • The concept of the boys in black and white striped prison suits hammering rocks was also shown in The Champeen as Sammy's imagination of his fate if he couldn't come up with money to pay for stolen apples.