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Butch Minds the Baby (1942)

Approved | | Comedy | 20 March 1942 (USA)
The Broadway citizen Aloysius 'Butch' Grogan is known far and wide to be involved with criminal activities. Butch is motivated to pursue a life of crime in order to provide the lovely widow... See full summary »


Albert S. Rogell


Leonard Spigelgass (screenplay), Damon Runyon (story)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Virginia Bruce ... Susie O'Neill
Broderick Crawford ... Aloysius Grogan, alias 'Butch'
Dick Foran ... Dennis Devlin
Porter Hall ... Brandy Smith
Richard Lane ... Harry the Horse
Shemp Howard ... Blinky Sweeney
Rosina Galli Rosina Galli ... Mrs. Talucci
Joe King ... Police Lieutenant
Fuzzy Knight ... Wyoming Bill
Frank Moran ... Jack the Beefer
Grant Withers ... Cactus Pete
Russell Hicks ... J. Wadsworth Carrington
Tom Kennedy ... Philly the Weeper
Eddie Foster Eddie Foster ... Hot Horse Herbie
Jimmy O'Gatty ... Spanish John


The Broadway citizen Aloysius 'Butch' Grogan is known far and wide to be involved with criminal activities. Butch is motivated to pursue a life of crime in order to provide the lovely widow Susie O'Neill with the funds to support herself and her little son. Butch is the lookout for a gang of safe crackers. One of them is forced to bring his squalling baby son along with him on the job. Butch is obliged to mind the baby while the safe is being knocked over. Written by Robert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hard-Boiled Yeggs with Soft-Boiled Hearts!




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Production number 1217. See more »


'Blinky' Smith: Hey, I see in the funny papers Flash Gordon is doing alright.
Harry the Horse: You see, with your eyes?
'Blinky' Smith: Yeah, the doctor told me in five years I'll be able to see as good as before.
Harry the Horse: Before what?
'Blinky' Smith: Before prohibition, before I sampled my own gin, before I went blind. He says I only got acute "stink-matism".
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User Reviews

A Third-rate Runyon-imitation screenplay!
12 January 2007 | by JohnHowardReidSee all my reviews

Although produced by Damon Runyon himself, this movie by no means a satisfactory transcription of his short story, completely missing the verve and vitality, and above all the signature characterizations, language and mise-en-scene of the original. Yet Spigelgass has gone out of his way to add a whole host of new people with flashy Runyonesque names. But unfortunately, that's all they are: Names, not believable people.

The original story has only nine characters to speak of: the unnamed narrator, Butch and his baby, Harry the Horse, Spanish John, Little Isadore (who has not a single word of direct dialogue), a watchman, a fat police sergeant and an eager-beaver copper.

More Broadway identities milling around do not necessarily a better motion picture make, though it must be admitted that Shemp Howard's "Blinky" is more inspired than all the other additions. On the other hand, Broderick Crawford is simply not sufficiently Runyonesque to play the title role. In fact, as stated, all the film's characters are sketchily drawn, one-dimensional figures that have neither been filled in nor rounded out. (Considerably handicapped as they are, it's no wonder that few of the players make any impression). Nor is this the limit of the screenplay's defects. The plot now seems too weak to hold an audience's interest for 75 minutes. For a two-reeler, the one-themed story would suffice, but it has been quite inadequately strengthened for a feature-length film.

Rogell's heavy-handed and ponderously slow-moving direction doesn't help either. And even Woody Bredell's photography seems several notches below his usual standard, while the sets too have a distinctly grade "B" aura about them.

All told, a very disappointing and mediocre effort.

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Release Date:

20 March 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La mascotte dei fuorilegge See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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