At one point in the film, the gang (Bobby Jordan, Leo Gorcey, Ernest Morrison and others) are passengers in an old open phaeton (a four-door convertible) that is driving up to an airplane on the parking ramp. The driver is going a bit too fast and cuts the wheel too sharply, and the car flips over on its side. That was really an accident, not a stunt, as the scene is shot in one continuous take, and you can clearly see Gorcey's, Morrison's and Jordan's eyes widen and a terrified look on their faces as the car begins to tip over. See more »
This is the fifth in the set of East Side Kids films that form the middle grouping of the three series wherein Leo Gorcey, playing here as Muggs McGinnis, gives the members of the mini-mob that he leads little peace, with this wartime effort having a familiar subject: patriotic East Sider engagement versus enemy agents. While the others of the gang have found employment in support of the war effort as aircraft assemblers at a local plant, indolent Muggs prefers to remain unemployed while giving aid to his pals by driving them to and from work in his battered topless jalopy, and then merely hanging about while the rest are at labour. As he is poking about near plane hangars, Muggs discovers a "Flying Ambulance" experimental craft, as well as a good-looking nurse who goes with it, Helen, played by Joan Barclay, and due to an overheard conversation, he is convinced that the physician/owner of the plane and his cohorts are spies responsible for a developing crisis involving domestic sabotage. Although Muggs is unsuccessful at an attempt to convince the factory owner that his plant is housing saboteurs, Muggs' fellow East Siders endorse his theory and the storyline arranges for a climactic conflict between them and a coterie of subversives, with test pilot Tom (Dave O'Brien), boyfriend of Helen, joining in to tangle with the Forces of Evil. A skimpy budget always worked nicely for producer Sam Katzman with his Monogram Pictures releases, but for this item, the original title of which was AIR DEVILS, dependence upon single takes gives it a threadbare look, although expressions of dismay upon the faces of Gorcey, Bobby Jordan and others in a well-known scene as the Muggs-steered jalopy unexpectedly tips completely over are well beyond value. The comical ad libbing that enhances later productions in the series, especially after the addition of Huntz Hall, is scarce during the affair but it is noteworthy that Gorcey introduces his unique malapropisms with this work that also includes an appearance in the cast of veteran B film director Robert Hill, the same who was at the helm of the first East Side Kids undertaking.
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