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
When the judge realizes the mob is trying to kill him, he decides to flee to his country home. When his bodyguard is told this, the bodyguard tries to call his mother to tell her he will be out of town. The judge stops the bodyguard by telling him the phones may be tapped and the mob will then know where the judge is. Later, when they arrive at his country home, the judge is upset that there are no lights on and that his housekeeper doesn't answer the door. He tells the others, "Where could she be? I called and told her we were coming." See more »
Where's Knuckles? Isn't he is gonna to eat?
He's takin' a bath.
That kid's gonna get sick from washin' himself so much.
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The fourteenth "Dead End"-related film introduces "The East Side Kids" as a series banner. Herein, Bobby Jordan replaces Harris Berger (as Danny Dolan), from the previous "East Side Kids" movie. Dave O'Brien (as "Knuckles" Dolan) continues as Mr. Jordan's reformed older brother. Fellow "Dead End" kid Leo Gorcey (as Muggs McGinnis) joins "Danny's Gang" (after three films, Mr. Gorcey will become the undisputed leader). The returning junior gangsters are: Hally Chester (as Buster), Frankie Burke (as Skinny), Donald Haines (as Peewee), and David Gorcey (as Pete).
This film most notably introduces former "Our Gang" member Ernest "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison (as Scruno), a new member of the Bowery "kids". Unfortunately, Mr. Morrison is included as insulting, race-based comic relief; and, the story doesn't take advantage of Joseph H. Lewis' relatively fine direction (or some good locations). Fortunately, Morrison would be allowed to bring some integrity to the "Scruno" character; in later films (like "Bowery Blitzkrieg") he plays a more dignified humorous role.
The story begins with Mr. O'Brien and well-to-do Eugene Francis (as Algy Wilkes) expressing concern about "Danny's Gang", and their propensity for trouble. Their fears prove to be well-founded, as Jordan and the "Boys of the City" decide to get relief from hot New York City streets by opening up a fire hydrant. The incident lands the lads in juvenile court - but, the judge allows them cool their heels by spending some time in the country. They wind up in a spooky old mansion, with scene-stealing Minerva Urecal (as Agnes).
***** Boys of the City (7/15/40) Joseph H. Lewis ~ Bobby Jordan, Leo Gorcey, Ernest Morrison, Minerva Urecal
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