I don't know why I watched this one....but at least it was different!
The Bowery Boys made 48 films...48! And that's not even counting the films they made as the Dead End Kids, the East Side Kids and other variations on the group of young jerks. So it's not at all surprising that by the latter films, the formula had gotten very, very old. In fact, Leo Gorcey (after the death of his father) quit the films and yet they still continued making them with Huntz Hall the star of these craptastic pictures. Even for fans of the films, these last few pictures were pretty limp and unappealing...though this one is a bit of an improvement...surprisingly.
While it is their second to last film, at least "Up in Smoke" is a bit of a departure for the gang...such as it is. As usual, the boys are out of money but this time Sach says, offhandedly, that he'd sell his soul to the Devil to know the winners of horse races. Well, wouldn't you know it but Satan immediately appears and offers him a deal...one week of long-shot horse race winners for Sach's miserable soul. The problem is that Sach is a total idiot and again and again and again he keeps screwing up and missing out on the big money. In the process, they get the attention of some gamblers...and these gamblers are pretty nasty.
The best thing about this film is seeing Byron Foulger playing the Devil. This very familiar character actor is excellent as a very nice and dapper Devil. I also enjoyed the ending...but I also think the filmmakers missed a golden opportunity. Think how wonderful it would have been to make this the last film AND it ended with Sach going to Hell!!
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