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
This East Side Kids melodrama introduces Huntz Hall, one of the original Dead End boys, to this series, and quaintly casts Keye Luke, Charlie Chan's "Number One Son" as a pool hall manager (named Clancy!), but each performer plays only a small role in this story of Muggs McGinnis (Leo Gorcey) and his gang. Released before the U.S. entry into WWII (ergo the Teutonic title), the film is devoid of the customary wartime propaganda that the series featured, but it is also shorn of the snappy ad libbing that caught the Gotham flavour of most of these affairs, and we must settle for a rapidly moving but largely uninvolving account of Muggs' decision to go straight amidst the usual background of the fight game and gangsters.
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