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Curley (film)

Curley is a 1947 film produced by Hal Roach and Robert F. McGowan as a re-imagining of their Our Gang series. The film was one of Roach's " streamlined" features of the 1940s, running 53 minutes and was designed as a b-movie. Like most of Roach's latter-day output, Curley was shot in Cinecolor.

Bernard Carr was the film's director, and the film released to theatres on August 23, 1947 by United Artists. It stars Larry Olsen, Frances Rafferty, Billy Gray, and Renee Beard, younger brother of original Our Gang cast member Matthew "Stymie" Beard. The plot of the film centers on a group of schoolchildren, led by Curley (Olsen), playing pranks on their teacher, Ms. Johnson (Rafferty).

Our Gang was known for its integrated cast of black and white children, and Curley followed suit. The Memphis, Tennessee Censor Board banned Curley for showing black and white children in school together and playing together. Lloyd Binford, head of the censor board, gave this rationale to Roach's distributor, United Artists: "[The board] was unable to approve your 'Curley' picture with the little Negroes as the south does not permit Negroes in white schools nor recognize social equality between the races, even in children."

When Hal Roach sold Our Gang to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1938, he was contractually bound not to produce any more children's comedies. When Roach decided that he wanted to produce Curley, he got MGM's permission by giving up his right to buy back the name Our Gang. Curley and its sequel, Who Killed Doc Robbin, performed mildly at the box office.