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Boys of the City (1940)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 442 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

Muggs: I think this organ has sumpin' t' do with the secret. You know, we heard it moanin' just before that ghost showed up. Then Agnes says "not to touch it." And Knuckles said Miss Mason was to meet him in this room. She vanished from this room. I'll betcha there's a secret panel.
Danny: You're crazy. You've been seein' so many movies.
Muggs: Movies - that's it! Say, what's The Thin Man got that I ain't got?
Danny: Myrna Loy.
See more »

Connections

Followed by 'Neath Brooklyn Bridge (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Importance of Being Ernest Morrison
28 March 2009 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

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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