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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful '30s Gangster Satire

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
13 February 2007

Talk about dated: get this opening graphic as we see a cop pacing in the police station: "F.H.A. (Sherlock) Homes as Flat-Foot Flanigan with a floy floy (whatever that means!) Then billed is "Ed. G. Robemsome" as "Killer Diller"

Then we see headlines: "1st National Bank Robbed by Killer" followed by the 2nd, 3rd, 4th National Bank, etc., to the headline "13th National Bank Skipped; Killer Superstitious" and then all the way up to "19th bank" until the action starts.

We see a robbery (presumably the 20th National Bank) with a cool aerial shot. At ground, the sleek automobiles and very good artwork are great to view. It is capped off by yet another headline, "87 Banks Robbed In One Day."

For the first few minutes this was really a wild cartoon, a ton of fun to watch. The imitations of Edward G. Robinson and Fred Allen were very good and I enjoyed the 1930s gangster-type satire.

It kind of pooped out in the last few minutes with either too-corny or just not funny material, but overall I wish I could see more of these 1930s cartoons. Many of them are so dated they are a hoot. This short was included in "The Roaring Twenties" DVD and also is on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 3.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Take that, you rat! Take that...and that...and that!

Author: hershey1174 from United States
8 March 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Excellent spoof of the gangster genre of its day! Very fast-paced and funny -- perhaps a bit slower in pace than, say, the "gasping-for-air-by-the-end" pace of Bob Clampett, but that in and of itself is a pace matched by few, with the possible exception of Frank Tashlin. On the whole, there are plenty of Avery trademarks and gags throughout, from the great split-screen-gag to the great audience member silhouette moments, where an apparent audience member directly addresses characters in the film. Avery's claim to fame, of course, was that he was responsible for "breaking the fourth wall," acknowledging the presence of the audience and, in many cases, trying to incorporate the audience within the actual plot via various signs and, of course, the silhouettes. I'd love to see some of these silhouette scenes on a big screen someday, as they look a bit odd on an enclosed TV screen now where proportions are concerned, but it's still brilliant.

Interestingly enough, Avery's "Gonna pin it on ya, see? Pin it on ya!"-gag resurfaces some seven years later in Clampett's "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery" -- proof positive that, long after Tex Avery was gone from the Warner Brothers studio, making the raucous MGM-cartoons he is now more famous for, he was hardly forgotten by his Warner pupils.

Very worth checking out, if one is able.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A very good Avery short which is now available on DVD

Author: Robert Reynolds ( from Tucson AZ
7 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't think Tex Avery directed a bad cartoon. While this one isn't one of my absolute favorites, it's still a very good cartoon (which basically makes it a cartoon that a lot of directors would be pleased to have considered as one of their best). I want to discuss some of the specific details here, so here there be spoilers: The title strikes me as a play on the movie title Angels With Dirty Faces, the main caricature is one of Edward G. Robinson and the short is a very good send-up of the gangster movies that were popular in the 1930s. But it's clearly a Tex Avery short first and foremost. When a police officer is shown in silhouette appearing to strike someone and saying, "Take that you rat! And that! And that!" and the picture becomes clear that he's actually throwing cheese to a rat sitting on a stool, that's an Avery moment. Then the officer says, "That's all you get-I need the rest for my lunch!" and the rat begins to throw a tantrum and cry! This short is full of those types of gags, from beginning to end, though they don't quite come quite as fast and furious as they would later on in his career. Call it a formative Avery-he was beginning to find his style a bit more around this time. Throughout the cartoon, he takes various conventions of film in general and the gangster genre in particular and turns them on their ear. Newspaper headlines spin in with headlines which are usually funny while ostensibly advancing the "plot", a movie theater patron who came in in the middle of the picture tries to get up and leave, only to be ordered back to his seat by "Killer" and then informs the police what the "Killer" has planned because he's already seen the ending! The final newspaper headline and closing gags are priceless! This short is available on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Vol. 3 and is well worth getting. Recommended.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant gangster spoof, one of Tex Avery's best

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
26 September 2016

Tex Avery was one also talented animator/director, with a style unlike any other and one that is immediately distinctive. He has also been responsible for some classic cartoons and also some memorable characters. 'Thugs with Dirty Mugs', a brilliant gangster spoof (one of the best and funniest ones in animation) is up there with his best.

In terms of animation quality, the cartoon is quite beautifully done, with lovingly detailed backgrounds and vibrant colours, Avery's unique style all over it with all his trademarks present. The music brims with lively energy and luscious orchestration, not only being dynamic to the action and adding to it but enhancing it as well.

The writing in 'Thugs with Dirty Mugs' is witty, wonderfully silly and never less than amusing (a vast majority of it is hilarious in fact), and there are some fantastic moments in terms of humour, especially the priceless ending and an inspired imitation of Edward G. Robinson. "Take that you rat" is immensely quotable as well, somewhat iconic too.

Characters are a lot of fun, as is the voice acting from the likes of the incomparable Mel Blanc and Avery himself.

In summary, brilliant and an example of a master at his best. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

When Shakespeare wrote HAMLET . . .

Author: Edgar Allan Pooh from The Gutters of Baltimore
21 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

. . . he may have realized that his text would require a few footnotes after five or six centuries, school funding cutbacks being what they were and all. But that really doesn't excuse the Warner Brothers for producing so many "Merrie Melodies" and "Loonie Tunes" that are virtually incomprehensible without explanatory pop-up bubbles five or six DECADES later. The Merrie Melodie entitled THUGS WITH DIRTY MUGS is a case in point. The "Killer Diller" character bogs down the flow of this crime story to do an impersonation of someone named "Fred Allen." No matter how funny this may have been when there were people alive for whom Mr. Allen was a living memory, how did the Brothers not realize that this would not stand up to the test of time, UNLESS folks of the future were as diligent as Shakespeare's groupies in constantly updating the increasingly arcane topical references embedded for little reason into otherwise simple animated shorts? Just goes to show what happens when you try to create "art" to shill your sheet music library!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A classic, gag-stuffed gangster spoof with a ridiculous high hit-rate

Author: ( from Lincoln, England
3 November 2008

Tex Avery's 'Thugs With Dirty Mugs' is one of the director's great classics. Though less discussed than many of Avery's pictures, 'Thugs With Dirty Mugs' is a masterclass in parody and the visual gag. In fact, there are so many extraordinarily inventive and original sight gags on offer here that you can't quite believe Avery packs them all into seven minutes. The main concept of the cartoon is a parody of all those great Warner Bros. crime movies of the time (the main villain is a caricature of Edward G. Robinson) and this is observed wonderfully but instead of focusing on plot, 'Thugs With Dirty Mugs' quickly establishes itself as a series of spot gags with a loose cops and robbers throughline. Spot gag cartoons can sometimes be slow moving or hit and miss but 'Thugs With Dirty Mugs' has a ridiculously high hit rate and moves at such a lick that the few misses barely register. I don't want to spoil any of the gags by describing them here but 'Thugs With Dirty Mugs' features one of the best and silliest sight gags in history. Just listen out for the phrase "Take that you rat" and you'll see what I mean. One of the all-out funniest shorts in the entire Warner library, 'Thugs With Dirty Mugs' is a classic which everyone should make the effort to see.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Tex Avery's gangsters star in a hilarious cartoon, see?

Author: Lee Eisenberg ( from Portland, Oregon, USA
17 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you've seen any of Tex Avery's cartoons, then you should know what sorts of things to expect in the gangster spoof "Thugs with Dirty Mugs". Specifically, canine criminal Ed G. Robemsome - who admits to resembling Eddie Robinson, and then impersonates Fred Allen - and his men rob the First National Bank...then the Second National Bank, then the 3rd, 4th, etc., all the way up to 112th (but they skip the 13th, as Ed is one superstitious gangster). All the while, the police chief is wondering how to capture these bandits, knowing full well that he has to pin it on 'em (and you know to whom I refer). But then comes the big scene: even after the police chief couldn't make the best use of a split screen, a silhouette from the audience tells all (which a teller in an earlier scene couldn't do).

So basically, it's what a 1930s gangster flick would be if it starred Leslie Nielsen. I almost never stopped laughing. It just goes to show that there will never be a cartoon genre like this one, and that Tex Avery was truly one of a kind. And above all, if you work in the Worst National Bank, just be careful.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Great Parody!

Author: conductor_mtm from Kansas City, Missouri
19 June 2004

I never knew movie parody was developed this well in 1939, but this was a great send-up on gangster films of the era. This was shown on TCM before an airing of Edward G. Robinson's classic of 1931, Little Caeser. This cartoon complimented the film very well. Of course, this cartoon is a tour de force for Tex Avery. Very little of the humor seems dated in 2004, or is sophisticated enough to still have lots of appreciation. One exception was the imitation Fred Allen. However, this one needs to be seen more often as it is one of Tex Avery's best! It gets a 9/10. This is humour you didn't see in the 1970's, much less the late '30's.

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"Reserved for Gangsters"

Author: slymusic from Tucson, AZ
3 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Directed by Tex Avery, "Thugs with Dirty Mugs" is an excellent cartoon parody of film noir. Plenty of sight gags and laughter abound as the vicious gangster "Killer Diller" (a bulldog caricature of Edward G. Robinson) and his mob become involved in a bank crime wave. Only the meekest little character can assist police dog "Flat-Foot Flanigan with a Floy Floy" (the name being a takeoff of a popular song) in cracking the case.

Here are my favorite sequences from "Thugs with Dirty Mugs" (don't read on if you haven't yet seen this cartoon). Characteristic of director Tex Avery, Killer Diller and his gang angrily acknowledge a meek little man (wonderfully voiced by Mel Blanc) in the "theatre" audience, and Flanigan literally breaks through the split line separating himself and a secret agent while they converse by telephone. I also love how Killer sticks up a telephone and utilizes the Worst National Bank as a pinball machine. Not to mention the hilarious "Take that, you rat!" scene, as well as the scoring of the popular song "Jeepers Creepers" in a minor key while the gang robs the Worst National Bank and then rubs out the numerical figure on the bank assets sign.

"Thugs with Dirty Mugs" is a terrific cartoon that can be found on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 3 Disc 2, with an insightful commentary by contemporary animation director Greg Ford.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The REAL "Art of the Deal" is selling America . . .

Author: Hot 888 Mama from Jacksonville, FL
21 July 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

. . . out to China, Warner Bros. warns us with the "Easter Eggs" hidden amid THUGS WITH DIRTY MUGS, a 77-year-old Looney Tune. It is well known that President-Elect Trump fancies himself a reincarnation of U.S. WWII Gen. Patton, who viewed HIMSELF as Roman Emperor Caligula (or "Little Boots") come back in the flesh. Just as THUGS WITH DIRTY MUGS reincarnates ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES, Emporer-for-Life Trump is currently working on a deal to unload U.S. debt--including trillions of dollars owed to China--by making America a wholly-owned Chinese subsidiary. China, in turn, will complete its transition to a Market Economy by replacing Mao's Little Red Book with the Common Cortex of Trump University. Plagiarism runs rampant throughout THUGS, portending that Trump will fire his third spouse for committing that offense, clearing his decks to take on an Empress of Chinese extraction. THUGS does a spot-on Caricaturization of "The Donald" as "Ed. G. Rob-Em-Some" (or "Killer Diller" to family and friends). Since it's Cagney who gets fried in ANGELS for offing Bogart and NOT Robinson, clearly THUGS has more to say about Trump than Little Boots.

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