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Bowery Bugs (1949)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 405 users  
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When Steve Brodie jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge in 1886 he needed a rabbit's foot for good luck. He wanted one of Bugs'.

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(story), (story) (as William Scott)
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Title: Bowery Bugs (1949)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Bugs Bunny / Old Man / Little Pool Hall Man (voice)
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Storyline

Bugs Bunny tells an old man the story of Steve Brodie, who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge in 1886 and survived. Brodie was a down-on-his luck gambler, who decided to get himself a rabbit's foot for good luck. Happening upon Bugs, Brodie is instead convinced by the cagey rabbit that he needs a different type of good luck charm. Unfortunately for Brodie, each suggestion by Bugs results in more bad lack for the Irishman. Finally driven crazy by the site of Bugs in so many disguises, the goofy gambler takes his plunge off the bridge. At the end the old man, satisfied by the story, agrees to buy the Brooklyn Bridge from Bugs! Written by Mike Konczewski

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 June 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Väiski ja onnenonkija  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only cartoon starring Bugs Bunny that was directed by Arthur Davis. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bugs Bunny: This is the famous Brooklyn Bridge. 133 feet high, 1,500 feet long. Contains hundreds of miles of cable. From it, Steve Brody made his sensational leap into the East River.
Old Man: [chuckling] What in tarnation did he do that for?
Bugs Bunny: I'm glad you asked that, friend. It happened in 1886, when Steve Brody had a terrific run of luck...
[laughs]
Bugs Bunny: ... all bad! Then one day, an idea - he needed a good luck charm. But what? Right, a rabbit's foot! But where to find a rabbit in the big city? Nope, ...
See more »

Connections

Edited into Brooklyn Bridge (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Frankie and Johnny
(uncredited)
Music by Bert Leighton
Played when Bugs rolls the dice and plays the slots
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not just the one Art Davis Bugs Bunny cartoon, it's also Davis's near-masterpiece!
4 February 2006 | by (Florida, USA) – See all my reviews

To paraphrase what kev keefe has already observed in his comment, Art Davis's one Bugs Bunny cartoon is funnier than all of Bob McKimson's Bugs cartoons combined. It was one of the worst errors in judgment on the part of the people running Warner Brothers that, when the 50s started and they could no longer afford four animation units, they dissolved Davis's unit instead of McKimson's.

"Bowery Bugs" was one of the last cartoons Davis directed for Warners, and it shows that he was just starting to hit his stride. This cartoon is both hilarious and beautifully crafted. It's a darkly funny re-telling of a New York City urban folk tale about Steve Brody, an Irish roughneck whose run of bad luck led him to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge in the late 19th Century. In this version, Bugs Bunny gets involved after Brody threatens him, thinking a rabbit's foot will bring him good luck. Quick-thinking as ever, Bugs talks Brody out of it and sends him on a wild ride of deeper and deeper misfortune, with Bugs using his disguise abilities to pose as everyone from a Middle Eastern fortune-teller to a gambler to a lady to a baker to a gruff Irish cop. The suicidal implications (although in real life, Brody survived his jump) would make a cartoon like this impossible to get made these days, and that's a sad sign of how much this nation has lost its sense of humor.

Mel Blanc is in his usual fine form as Bugs, but a special mention must be made of the uncredited voice performance of Billy Bletcher as Brody. Bletcher is one of the unsung heroes of cartoons from the early-to-mid 20th Century, the voice behind countless ruffians with deep, loud, raspy voices, including Papa Bear from Chuck Jones's Three Bears cartoons from Warners and Peg-Leg Pete a.k.a. Black Pete for Disney cartoons.

The cartoon is filled with wonderful details, from Bugs narrating over imitation woodcuts, to a bouncer who's nickname is Gorilla because he really IS a gorilla, to a little puppy who licks Brody's face out of sympathy, but then acts disgusted. And overlying the cartoon is native New Yorker Davis's sincere but sardonic affection for his gritty hometown.

Davis never again directed a cartoon this good, but if he had been able to continue directing for Warners, I think he would have rivaled Chuck Jones as the studio's best cartoon director of the 50s. As reality turned out, Davis spent the 50s demoted to an animator for Friz Freleng's unit, but at least his final Warners' credit was as a director, for 1961's "Quackodile Tears." That one's nothing special, but it's good by Warners' early 60s standards. In the late 60s, Davis joined De Patie-Freleng as a director and made a couple of the best Pink Panther cartoons, "In the Pink of the Night" and "Pinkcome Tax", but "Bowery Bugs" will always be his finest achievement.


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