17 user 8 critic

Boys of the City (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Mystery, Thriller | 15 July 1940 (USA)
Street kids get sent to the country, where they get mixed up in murder and a haunted house.


Joseph H. Lewis


William Lively (original story), William Lively (screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Bobby Jordan ... Danny Dolan
Leo Gorcey ... Muggs McGinnis
Hal E. Chester Hal E. Chester ... Buster (as Hally Chester)
Frankie Burke ... Skinny
Vince Barnett ... Simp
Inna Gest ... Louise Mason
Dave O'Brien ... Knuckles Dolan (as David O'Brien)
Ernest Morrison ... Scruno (as Sunshine Sammy)
Minerva Urecal ... Agnes
Dennis Moore ... Giles
Donald Haines Donald Haines ... Peewee
David Gorcey ... Pete
Eugene Francis ... Algy Wilkes
Forrest Taylor ... Judge Malcolm Parker
Stephen Chase ... Jim Harrison (as Alden Chase)


It's been two weeks of unrelenting New York City summer heat. Sooner or later the boys are apt to get into mischief, so Knuckles takes the load of 'em to Algy's father's camp in the mountains. The trip gets sidetracked when they cross paths with Judge Parker' party on the road. The Judge, hiding from the mob, is desperately heading to his mountain manor when he runs the boys' vehicle off the road, nearly disabling it right before his own car conks out. With only the boys' car barely able to travel, they all wind up at the judge's manor where ghostly sightings, spooky organ music, death threats and a creepy housekeeper await them. Judge Parker is the very judge who once nearly put Knuckles on death row for murder. When the judge turns up dead, Knuckles is in trouble again, with little brother Danny and the gang ready to help him out. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Story Of Men In The Making By Just Plain American Boys!


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Did You Know?


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 »


Early in the film when the boys are driving at night in a station wagon up the mountains to a lodge, they turn a corner on a dirt road in the forest. Speeding close behind them is the judge's car which also turns the same corner, overtaking them and forcing them off the road. The judge's car continues on about 30 yards and is seen going around the same corner both cars had already passed. When the camera returns to the boy's station wagon, they come back onto the road and, even though it is supposedly the same road, this time there is no corner, the road is straight and trees are only on one side of the road. See more »


Scruno: [seeing a graveyard at the Judge's estate] G-g-ghosts!
Judge Parker: That graveyard has stood there for centuries. All my wife's ancestors are buried there. So is she. It's exclusively for the family.
Scruno: Mister, you has my word, I-I won't intrude on your family.
See more »


Follows East Side Kids (1940) See more »

User Reviews

Boys of the City was a partly amusing East Side Kids debut of former Our Gang member Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison as an adult
26 January 2015 | by tavmSee all my reviews

The same year, 1940, that former silent Our Ganger Mary Kornman made her last film appearance in Monogram's On the Spot, her series co-star from the same period, in fact one of the original members of which he was the first picked, Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison, appeared in his first films since leaving Our Gang sixteen years previous of which this one marked his first appearance in an East Side Kids feature entry-from the same studio as the one I mentioned concerning Mary's final movie-as Scruno, the only black member of this particular gang. His character here displays some of the unfortunate stereotypes of his race such as his loving watermelon, wanting to go back to the plantation, mockingly getting called "boy" while being ordered by one of the gang, and getting scared quite a bit though that last characteristic does provide some funny lines and a funny scream from him. As for the rest of the picture, well, there's quite a few good scares and leading players Leo Gorcey and Bobby Jordan provides some laughs as well. So on that note, I say give Boys of the City a shot of you're curious about one of the original Our Gang members as he looked and acted as an adult.

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Release Date:

15 July 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ghost Creeps See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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