East Side Kids: Fighters Danny Breslin and Muggs McGinnis, once boyhood chums, have drifted apart. Policeman Tom Brady - because his own former friend fell into a life of crime and got the electric chair - takes rough and tumble Muggs under his wing to turn the lad's life around, but Danny, brother of Mary Breslin (whom Tom plans to marry), is also at risk. Everyone believes studious Danny is on his way to being president someday, but while Tom's focus goes toward putting Muggs on the straight and narrow, ambitious petty criminal Monk Martin's been working slyly on steering Danny into a life of crime. Adding a little complication, racketeers get involved, trying to set up a fixed fight with Muggs. Written by
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 »
[at the police station]
We come to see Muggs McGinnis.
Now, isn't that nice! And did you bring flowers and candy?
Mmm, I got a rabbit's foot.
I brought dynamite.
I got a saw.
I got a machine gun.
Oh, you think you're smart. Maybe you'd like to stay here and spend a vacation.
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This sixth "East Side Kids" film is one of the better Bowery boy adventures. During this era, the movies focused on the characters played by Leo Gorcey (as Muggs) and Bobby Jordan (as Danny). Usually, Mr. Jordan and an adult relative provided the storyline, for leader Gorcey and the lads. Criminal activity and reform school were a part of many plots. "Bowery Blitzkrieg" has all the elements which were, obviously, very popular with young audiences (or, they wouldn't have made so many of these films).
The storyline is a "Bowery Blitzkrieg". Apparently, Gorcey and Jordan have taken up boxing (wouldn't you know it?). It's clear from shirtless Jordan's opening workout (cut from some versions of this film) that hunky Jordan is the gang's choice for champ. Instead, Jordan decides to pursue an education. Probably, this put a strain on the otherwise tight Gorcey/Jordan (Muggs/Danny) relationship. This would help explain some, but not all, of the ensuing contrived, continuity-starved events...
Jordan meets sleazy, seductive Bobby Stone (as Monk Martin), and is sucked into becoming the driver for Mr. Stone's petty thievery. Stone drives a wedge between Jordan and "The East Side Kids" by telling him that Gorcey has been talking dirty about Jordan's sister, Charlotte Henry (as Mary Breslin) and her "copper" fiancé. At the local pool hall, Jordan gets the best of his old pal, which helps land Gorcey in reform school. After becoming chummy with law enforcement, Gorcey is paroled, by Jordan's sister's policeman boyfriend, Warren Hull (as Tom Brady).
Officer Hull wants Gorcey to become law enforcement's champion boxer. Gorcey is a success at boxing, but draws criminal interest; and, he is paid to throw an upcoming "big fight". Meanwhile, Jordan continues to drive the getaway car for more of Stone's robberies. On the eve of the "big fight", policeman Hull catches up with Jordan and Stone; then, a dramatic shoot-out connects Gorcey and Jordan in life-or-death struggles
Jordan and Gorcey do very well with the script (and they can still pass for reform school age delinquents). Future regular Stone has one of his best "Bowery" roles; he and Jordan have an unusual (gay?) relationship, and their dramatic shoot-out is surprisingly well done (by director Wallace Fox), for the series' budget. Former "Dead End" kid Huntz Hall joins the "East Side" cast, happily; he's an amusingly thirsty ringside trainer. And, intelligent Ernest Morrison's "Scruno" has a great "against type" bit. Watch for some of the cast's better Bowery moments.
******* Bowery Blitzkrieg (8/1/41) Wallace Fox ~ Bobby Jordan, Leo Gorcey, Bobby Stone, Huntz Hall
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