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East Side Kids (1940)

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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 140 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 3 critic

A young street kid grows up and becomes a cop when he realizes that crime doesn't pay. One of his childhood friends is in prison for a murder he didn't commit, and the cop looks for ... See full summary »


(as Bob Hill)


(original story), (screenplay)
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Title: East Side Kids (1940)

East Side Kids (1940) on IMDb 5.9/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pat O'Day
Dennis Moore ...
Milton Franklin 'Mileaway' Harris
Joyce Bryant ...
Molly Dolan
Hal E. Chester ...
Fred 'Dutch' Kuhn (as Hally Chester)
Harris Berger ...
Danny Dolan
Vince Barnett ...
Dave O'Brien ...
Ted Adams ...
Schmidt (as Richard Adams)
Maxine Leslie ...
Robert Fiske ...
Cornwall - aka Robert Morrison
Jack Edwards ...
Algernon 'Mouse' Wilkes
Jim Farley ...
Police Captain Moran (as James Farley)
Stephen Chase ...
Joe - Detective (as Alden Chase)
Fred Hoose ...
Mr. Wilkes


A young street kid grows up and becomes a cop when he realizes that crime doesn't pay. One of his childhood friends is in prison for a murder he didn't commit, and the cop looks for evidence to free him. Meanwhile, the prisoner's brother gets mixed up with a gang of counterfeiters, and inadvertently discovers the evidence that can set his brother free, if he can only get someone to believe him. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's gang war on the streets of New York...when a bunch of half-pint racketeers go "civic-minded' to put the skids under a crime czar! (original poster) See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 February 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

East Side Kids  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (2005 DVD release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


David Durand is in casting call lists as "Butch," the role played by Hal E. Chester, who was listed as "Buster," a character not in the film. Durand was not seen in the film at all. See more »


Followed by That Gang of Mine (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

Fair Forerunner of the East Side Kids Series
20 February 2006 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This is worth seeing as the forerunner of the popular East Side Kids/ Bowery Boys comedies that used a very similar format with a different cast and characters. Despite the completely different cast, there are many obvious similarities. In itself, this feature is just fair, largely because the camaraderie and spontaneity is not nearly as strong as it would be in the main series. But of course this cast did not have the advantage of having worked together beforehand.

The story setup is much like those used for many of the later features. Leon Ames plays a police officer who takes an interest in a gang of youths, one of whom has a brother who is facing a murder charge. The main plot has the gang working with Ames to try to break up a counterfeiting ring, with numerous confrontations, frame-ups, and action sequences along the way. Most of it works all right in itself, but because the characters never quite come together, some of the scenes aren't quite as effective as they could have been.

Another interesting aspect, in comparison with the later series, is that once Leo Gorcey, Bobby Jordan, and the others started their run together, the characters were simply presented for who they were, with few apologies or lengthy explanations. But here, perhaps out of uncertainty that audiences would accept these kinds of roughnecks as sympathetic characters, the movie has several of its characters repeatedly discuss how 'these are good boys who just need something constructive to do with their time, to keep them out of trouble'.

Overall, there should be enough to make this worth seeing for anyone who liked the series that followed, or if you simply enjoy the B-movies of the era. In itself, it's OK as very light viewing.

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