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Kid Dynamite
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Reviews & Ratings for
Kid Dynamite More at IMDbPro »

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

East Side Kids group sparkles with ad libbing.

6/10
Author: rsoonsa (rsoonsa@bandbbooks.com) from Mountain Mesa, California
21 June 2002

In this wartime (1943) East Side Kids picture, Muggs McGinnis (Leo Gorcey), East Side boxing champion, is scheduled to meet the West Side kingpin in the ring for the City title, but is kidnapped by several thugs just before the bout, resulting in Muggs' friend and fellow gang member, Danny Lyons (Bobby Jordan) replacing him and defeating the West Sider, only to have Muggs believe that Danny was responsible for the abduction in order to achieve glory. The film is marked by the clever ad libbing skills of the entourage which, while at times intentionally corny, help to propel the story rapidly along and the customary East Side mixture of boxers, gangsters, and patriotic propaganda is leavened with a dash of romance and a funny jitterbug contest featuring big band singer/comedienne Marion Miller, all competently directed by Wallace Fox.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"...keep swingin', keep swingin', case you don't hit him the breeze might give him pneumonia."

5/10
Author: classicsoncall from United States
29 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The East Side Kids films were never great cinematic achievements, but they were usually fun and had a sense of do good sentimentality. This one however seemed to be all over the place, as if it was a bunch of scenes in search of a movie. Before it's all over, you have a pool room match up, a boxing event, a jitterbug contest and Danny (Bobby Jordan) joining the Army. It's loosely held together by a running feud between Danny and Muggs (Leo Gorcey), whereby Danny inadvertently bests Muggs in each scenario. The usual camaraderie between the gang members is overshadowed by Muggs' mean spirited treatment of Danny, who happens to be romancing Muggs' sister Ivy (Pamela Blake). It's interesting how different films in the series introduced family members who never showed up again in the interest of a story line.

The latter fourth of the movie makes an unusually overt pitch for patriotism as Danny takes his employer's advice to do some serious fighting against real 'bullies called Japs and Nazis'. Nick the pool parlor owner tugs at the heart strings when he tries to inspire Muggs with his 'Bill of Rights' in their hearts speech, about all the local boys who have gone into the service to help in the war effort. Complementing the action are a host of visuals in the form of 'Buy U.S. Savings Bond' posters, and in that regard, the film serves as an excellent period piece. The same can be said of the more commercial sign work, like the plugs for Goodrich Tires, Simoniz Wax, Champion Spark Plugs, and Dr. Scholl's. Hey, how about that scene at the gas pump when the driver gives Danny his ration book to purchase three gallons of gas!

Still, there are some comedic moments to lighten things up. Glimpy (Huntz Hall) entertains with his one liners, and shows up at the jitterbug contest with a partner that looks to be about seven feet tall. For his part, Muggs is quite the dancer, showing some fancy footwork that never made it into the boxing ring.

The main thing that doesn't work in the story has to do with Muggs, in no other East Side Kids film do the boys ever do anything underhanded or illegal. However in this one, Muggs tries to enlist Danny's help in robbing Gendick's service station. That one scene is so out of character with the gang's rationale that it affected my appreciation of the movie.

However the film pulls it out at the very end, as Danny, Muggs and Glimpy all turn out wearing the military uniforms of different service branches, as does Ivy who also signed up for a hitch. Besides that, the story offered one big surprise revealing Muggs' real name - did you know he was Ethelbert?!?!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Solid Feature, & Also Interesting In Its Historical Context

Author: Snow Leopard from Ohio
29 December 2005

Although the story in this East Side Kids feature would hold up well enough on its own, it is often supplemented by scenes or lines of dialogue designed to instill support for the Allied effort in the ongoing war effort against the Axis. In itself, it's a solid feature in the series with some good scenes, and with a little more substance than usual. The wartime influence now seems overt, but it is less so than it is in many other features of the early 1940s.

The story has Leo Gorcey as Muggs and Bobby Jordan as Danny involved in a long-running misunderstanding, prompted by Muggs's jealousy, while the gang also has to contend with some outside antagonists. The hostility of Muggs towards Danny, plus Danny's burst of independence, add a dimension missing in most of the movies in the series. Whereas Muggs is usually a likable trouble-maker and scamp, here he shows a less appealing side of his personality.

As is often the case, some of the best moments come when the gang is allowed to indulge themselves a little. The 'jitterbug' contest works particularly well, as an entertaining sequence that also has a point in the plot. The war-influenced message is certainly noticeable, but the movie as a whole is still worth seeing anyway. It's interesting that even the East Side Kids were seen as a vehicle for promoting patriotism during the war.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Flag Waving On the East Side

4/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
23 July 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There's a split in that old gang of mine in Kid Dynamite. Some gamblers grab Leo Gorcey and take him for a ride to prevent him from fighting in an amateur boxing match that they've got bets down on. But Bobby Jordan pinch hits for Gorcey and wins. In the process though he alienates Gorcey who might wind up his future brother-in-law as Jordan is paying court to Gorcey's sister. Well he is the only one of the East Side Kids who might possibly pass for a romantic figure.

Nothing terribly new in this East Side Kids film from Monogram. Since it's set in 1943 quite a bit was made about Bobby Jordan in real life joining the army which he does so here. In fact all the East Side gang went into the service and when they got out, in 1946 they started making films now as the rechristened Bowery Boys.

It's a Monogram feature so don't expect too much here. There is a nice jitterbug contest sequence.

But can you imagine Huntz Hall joining the Marines? He'd make Gomer Pyle look like John Cena.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Dynamite is right!

8/10
Author: Spuzzlightyear from Vancouver
20 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well, to be honest with you, I was expected to flip this one off as another boring Bowery Boys vehicle. But while watching this, I became quite enchanted with everything that was going on! Mugs (Leo Gorcey) is all set to become the amateur boxing champion. When a mafia fix of the event makes him miss the fight, Danny (Bobby Jordan) takes his place, and much to the disgust of the mafioso, wins! This puts Mugs in a bit of a jealous fix as he thinks Danny fixed the fight so that Mugs would be not able to compete just so he could win it.

The jealousy bug continues as they enter a jitterbug contest, and even though Mugs win, his partner is soon found out to be a professional dancer, and they are disqualified. Mugs is incensed, more so when Danny gets the prize instead! The movie reaches it's final zenith when Mugs finds out that Danny is joining another gang! Who? Why that little dirty double-crosser! Laugh all you want, but I found this movie touching, with the relationship between Bobby and Muggs especially. Bobby Jordan is especially good in this, you can feel he's totally growing out of gang life and becoming a man of his own (at least for this movie he was back for more in 4 other Bowery Movies that same year LOL). And Leo Gorcey!!!??! Who knew that guy was so talented?!? His dancing skills are so great here.

All in all a real surprise!

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Kid Dynamite was another pretty enjoyable East Side Kids series entry

6/10
Author: tavm from Baton Rouge, La.
2 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In this East Side Kids entry, Muggs is jealous of Danny who gets his sister-Ivy (Pamela Blake)-as a girlfriend, wins a boxing match he was supposed to attend, and a jitterbug contest since Muggs is disqualified for having a pro for his partner. There's also a bit of patriotism since this was filmed during America's involvement in World War II. Whatever funny scenes and lines that abound are usually handled by Glimpy. (Especially when he has a very tall woman for a dance partner!) Leo Gorcey's character is a bit more unsympathetic than usual here but he does get redeemed at the end. So on that note, Kid Dynamite is worth a look. P.S. The mother of Muggs and Ivy is played by Daphne Pollard who I remember from some Laurel & Hardy films. The song "Comin' Thro' the Rye" is something I remember from a hilarious M-G-M cartoon called Bad Luck Blackie and is performed here by Marion Miller. Dudley Dickerson-who I remember from some Three Stooges shorts-is Scruno's dad here. And Muggs' partner in the dance sequence is Kay Marvis who was his wife at the time. She'd later split from him and then marry Groucho Marx as well as give him a daughter, Melinda.

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Good enough

8/10
Author: SanteeFats from United States
3 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This East Side Kids movie is a little more serious than one would think. After all, most of their movies are considered comedies. In this one Leo Gorcey, aka Muggs, is a real jackass. He is set to fight against his rival, the West Side champion, for the title. Muggs gets kidnapped and held until after the fight by gangsters. His buddy, Danny, takes his place and wins the fight. This leads to Muggs, believing Danny was responsible for his kidnapping and treats Danny as an enemy, even threatening to beat him up. Danny is always backing down from any confrontation with Muggs because his mother doesn't want him to brawl in the streets. After Danny joins the Army and returns home Muggs tries to get Danny to take a garage owner for a walk so the gang can steal some new tires. Danny doesn't do it. Muggs goes after him and Danny finally cleans his clock. In the end Danny gets engaged to Muggs's sister. The very end shows Danny in an Army uniform, Muggs in a Navy uniform, and hard as it is to believe, Blimpy the perpetual coward as a Marine.

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A lesson on how to fix a bully.

4/10
Author: mark.waltz from United States
1 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Several years before the comedy of the Bowery Boys, the same cast pretty much roamed around lower Manhattan as the East Side Kids, dealing with more serious themes. While a tinge of comedy is present in this film, the basic structure is dramatic, dealing with the soul-destroying deadly sin of envy. Leo Gorcey's Mugs is resentful of gang member Bobby Jordan who seems to get everything that Gorcey desires. He's thrust to the limelight of prize-fighting when Mugs is sidetracked from making the fight he's schedule to compete in, wins a Jitterbug contest after Mugs is disqualified, and has the effrontery to fall in love with Mug's sister. (Mugs would probably be resentful if Jordan's character died before he did, he's that petty....) It's all told in a fast and direct way, not nearly as light as the later series (1946-1957) or nearly as classic as their earlier "Dead End" kids (1937-1939). The plot wraps up too neatly, throwing in a bit of early patriotism as World War II erupts and the boys are encouraged to enlist. "B" film favorite Minerva Urecal shows up in an amusing cameo as a judge, highly resembling Marjorie Main's judge in the same year's "We Were Dancing".

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"The East Side Kids" Catch the Jitterbug

5/10
Author: wes-connors from Los Angeles
15 March 2009

"East Side" boxing star "Mr. Dynamite" Leo Gorcey (as Ethelbert "Muggs" McGinnis) is kidnapped by thugs, in order to throw a championship fight to New York City's rival "West Side". But fellow "East Side Kid" Bobby Jordan (as Danny Lyons) takes Mr. Gorcey's place, and wins the fight. Gorcey is convinced Mr. Jordan, who is dating his sister, had him waylaid on purpose. To make matters worse, Jordan wins a TKO over Gorcey in "The East Side Amateur Jitterbug Contest", with pretty partner Pamela Blake (as Ivy McGinnis).

This is a poorly scripted entry in "The East Side Kids" series. Gorcey's "Muggs" veers too far away from his established character; especially, in the way he treats Jordan's "Danny"; yet, Gorcey and Jordan perform the roles well enough to make it work. The jitterbugging contest, with Huntz Hall (as Glimpy McGleavey) and his TALL partner, is a highlight. To beef up the team, Benny Bartlett (as Bennie Miller) and David Durand (as Joe "Skinny" Collins) join returning Ernest Morrison (as Scruno Jackson) and Bobby Stone (as Harold "Stoney" Stone). The film ends on a patriotic note.

***** Kid Dynamite (2/5/43) Wallace Fox ~ Bobby Jordan, Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall

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0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Muggs is so unlikable and nasty, it's surprising this didn't kill off the franchise!

3/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
2 January 2016

I've seen about a dozen Bowery Boys/East Side Kids films and would have to say that this one is the most difficult of them to watch for me--mostly because the usually pugnacious Muggs is so downright hateful in this one. Normally, he's a blustering jerk---but here he repeatedly goes over the top and made me want the other members of the club to work him over with a tire iron! The writing really was bad in this one and the made Muggs about as likable as Tojo!

When the film begins, Muggs is refusing to pay a guy on a bet made fair and square. Later, some gamblers kidnap Muggs so he can't fight in the city boxing championship---and Danny (Bobby Jordan) is forced to fight instead. Danny unexpectedly wins and after Muggs is released by the gamblers, Muggs treats Danny like dirt--blaming him for the kidnapping even though it's soon proved Danny had nothing to do with it. Then, repeatedly throughout the film, Danny is treated like dirt by Muggs and none of the gang does anything but follow Muggs' lead. When Danny wins a dance contest, Muggs steals the money. When Danny joins the army because of the war, Muggs throws him out of the gang and badmouths him. Eventually, Danny has enough and beats the stuffing out of Muggs....but it sure took a long, long time until this happened...too long.

As I said, usually Muggs is pugnacious and a bit of a jerk--I expected that. But here he simply is a boorish little crook that needs his skull beaten in...and that's a sign of bad writing. Rule number one in writing a screenplay should be to make your characters likable or at least not Satan (unless, of course, your film is about Satan!).

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