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Boys of the City (1940)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 441 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 6 critic

Street kids get sent to the country, where they get mixed up in murder and a haunted house.

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(original story), (screenplay)
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Title: Boys of the City (1940)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bobby Jordan ...
Leo Gorcey ...
Hal E. Chester ...
Buster (as Hally Chester)
...
Skinny
Vince Barnett ...
Simp
Inna Gest ...
Louise Mason
Dave O'Brien ...
Knuckles Dolan (as David O'Brien)
Ernest Morrison ...
Scruno (as Sunshine Sammy)
Minerva Urecal ...
Agnes
Dennis Moore ...
Giles
Donald Haines ...
David Gorcey ...
Pete
Eugene Francis ...
Algy Wilkes
Forrest Taylor ...
Judge Malcolm Parker
Stephen Chase ...
Jim Harrison (as Alden Chase)
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Storyline

It's been two weeks of unrelenting New York City summer heat. Sooner or later the boys are apt to get into mischief, so Knuckles takes the load of 'em to Algy's father's camp in the mountains. The trip gets sidetracked when they cross paths with Judge Parker' party on the road. The Judge, hiding from the mob, is desperately heading to his mountain manor when he runs the boys' vehicle off the road, nearly disabling it right before his own car conks out. With only the boys' car barely able to travel, they all wind up at the judge's manor where ghostly sightings, spooky organ music, death threats and a creepy housekeeper await them. Judge Parker is the very judge who once nearly put Knuckles on death row for murder. When the judge turns up dead, Knuckles is in trouble again, with little brother Danny and the gang ready to help him out. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Story Of Men In The Making By Just Plain American Boys!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 July 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Ghost Creeps  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film when the boys are driving at night in a station wagon up the mountains to a lodge, they turn a corner on a dirt road in the forest. Speeding close behind them is the judge's car which also turns the same corner, overtaking them and forcing them off the road. The judge's car continues on about 30 yards and is seen going around the same corner both cars had already passed. When the camera returns to the boy's station wagon, they come back onto the road and, even though it is supposedly the same road, this time there is no corner, the road is straight and trees are only on one side of the road. See more »

Quotes

Giles: You'd like for something to happen to Louise, wouldn't you? With Louise out of the way, your slow embezzling of her fortune would never be found out.
Judge Parker: And with me out of the way you could get ahold of her and her money.
See more »

Connections

References The Thin Man (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Formative East Sides Kids feature
23 May 2004 | by (Oakland CA) – See all my reviews

The pieces weren't quite all there yet (paging Huntz Hall!), but this erratic poverty row feature set the parameters for the long running Bowery Boys series. Additionally, the film was directed by Joseph H. Lewis, who did his best to add interesting camera angles and spooky lighting to this low budget affair. Unfortunately, TCM's print is in very rough condition and a lot of Lewis' work has been washed out by decades of mishandling. Nonetheless, this is well worth a look for fans of the noir director as well as those who enjoy the teenage antics of the East Side Kids.

If there's one regrettable element in Boys of the City, it's the appalling racism of screenwriter William Lively's script. One of the most commendable things about the later films in this series is the (generally) colour blind approach to Sammy Morrison's character, but in this effort, poor Sammy was burdened with jokes about spooks, watermelon, the ol' plantation, and his beloved Mammy. Still and all, he does a good job with the material and remains (after Gorcey and Hall) the most memorable of the series' characters.


3 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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