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Ewald André Dupont,
The 'Dead End' Kids,
A street kid has dreams of becoming a jockey. He gets his chance when he and his gang discover a poor old man who has a championship race horse. The man agrees to let the boy ride his horse in a race, but first the gang must get enough money to pay for the race's entry fees. Written by
Streetwise Muggs Maloney (Leo Gorcey) has dreams of becoming a world class jockey and finally gets his chance after befriending a kindly old poor black man named Ben (Clarence Muse) who just happens to possess and take care of a championship thoroughbred race horse.
This movie proves far more dramatic than most East Side Kids films with a fine performance from Clarence Muse as wise old Ben, who acts as a sort of adviser/mentor for Muggs and shows considerable care for him, something which is not lost on Leo Gorcey's Muggs either. The type of friendship displayed here was arguably ahead of its time in many respects. Leo Gorcey too does surprisingly well in this more dramatic role displaying the inner struggle going on in Muggs when he has to try and come to grips with his fear of racing and also his fear of letting everyone down.
While no doubt some may be a bit disappointed the humor more or less takes a back seat to the drama in this one, it actually proves a far more effective drama, and director Joseph H. Lewis does manage to keep an exciting focus on the horse racing too, than I thought was possible from many involved.
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