This film was initially telecast in Los Angeles Friday 24 January 1958 on KTTV (Channel 11), followed by Philadelphia Tuesday 25 March 1958 on WFIL (Channel 6) and by San Francisco 13 December 1958 on KGO (Channel 7); in New York City it finally aired 30 September 1961 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »
Carry Me Back to Old Virginny
Written by James Allen Bland
Sung by an unidentified woman in the casino, with piano accompaniment See more »
Jackie Cooper leads a cast of young actors in "Gallant Sons," from 1940. A group of friends (Cooper, Leo Gorcey, Gene Reynolds, Bonita Granville, William Tracy, Tommy Kelly) set out to prove that Johnny's (Reynolds) father (Ian Hunter), who runs a gambling house, did not murder a woman. He was caught by the police standing over the body holding the murder weapon and was convicted. Byron's (Cooper) dad (Minor Watson) is a newspaper man and naturally covers it in the paper. Johnny and Byron are then on the outs.
Byron asks Johnny, if they can find out what really happened the night of the murder, can they just shake hands and forget it, no matter the outcome? Johnny agrees.
The kids soon become involved in what turns out to be a case with some interesting clues that also expose a long-held secret that Kate's (Granville) mother (Gail Patrick) knows, which concerns Johnny.
Ultimately they take a page out of Hamlet's book in order to solve the case.
It's a good story, given energy by the young talent. Jackie Cooper, who was a beautiful little boy and effective actor, made the transition to adult actor, as well as directing and producing and continued until retirement in 1990. In his grown-up years, he played likable men who did not seem to have a lot of angst,as opposed to the roles he played in childhood, and he was always very natural.
Leo Gorcey gives the film his "Dead End Kids" performance, and Bonita Granville is her usual pretty and vivacious self. Gail Patrick, with her beautiful speaking voice, is elegant and lovely. Both Granville and Patrick are known for off-camera work -- Granville being the owner of TV's Lassie, and Gail Patrick as the producer of TV's Perry Mason.
Enjoyable. I admit to loving Jackie Cooper - my mother used to talk about seeing him in the movies when she was a child, and I watched him faithfully on "The People's Choice" and "Hennessy."
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