Boys of the City
is a 1940 black-and-white comedy/thriller film directed by Joseph H. Lewis. It is the second East Side Kids film and the first to star Bobby Jordan, Leo Gorcey, and Ernest Morrison.
To escape the heat of the city and a court sentence for malicious mischief, the East Side kids agree to visit a summer camp in the Adirondacks. En route, their car breaks down and they are reluctantly given accommodations in the home of Judge Malcolm Parker (Forrest Taylor). The Judge, under indictment for bribery, has much to fear. His life, as well as that of his niece Louise (Inna Gest) has been threatened by a gang of racketeers; his companion, Giles (Dennis Moore (actor)), has accused him of embezzling Louise's fortune; and his sinister housekeeper, Agnes, blames him for the death of her mistress, Leonora. The Judge's fears are compounded when he meets Knuckles Dolan (Dave O'Brien (actor)), the boys' guardian, whom he had unjustly sentenced to death, only to have his verdict reversed and Knuckles exonerated. Later that night, when Louise is kidnapped and the Judge found strangled, Giles and Simp (Vince Barnett), the Judge's bodyguard, accuse Knuckles of the murder, but the boys capture Simp and Giles and determine to find the murderer themselves. Muggs (Leo Gorcey) and Danny (Bobby Jordan) discover a secret panel in the library wall and enter a passage where they find Louise's unconscious body and glimpse the figure of a fleeing man. Knuckles captures the man, who identifies himself as Jim Harrison (Alden 'Stephen' Chase) of the district attorney's office. Amid the confusion, the real killer takes Louise captive, but the boys track him down and unmask Simp. Harrison then identifies the bodyguard as the triggerman seeking revenge on the Judge. With the crime solved, the boys can finally leave for their summer camp.
This film was a direct follow-up to East Side Kids (film).
After completing the pilot film for the series, producer Sam Katzman was able to convince former Dead End Kids Bobby Jordan and Leo Gorcey to join the series. Katzman also brought in Gorcey's younger brother David Gorcey, and former Our Gang star and Vaudeville entertainer Ernest Morrison. Morrison had already known Katzman prior to joining the series.
While this film is technically a sequel to the previous film, some unexplained changes are made (namely the addition of "Muggs", "Scruno", and "Buster").
Most of the cast from the previous film did not return. Bobby Jordan replaced Harris Berger in the role of "Danny", and would retain the role for a large portion of the series' run. Jack Edwards was originally slated to return as "Algernon Wilkes", but immediately declined after being offered a part
in another movie. Eugene Francis took his place.
Hal E. Chester returned, but as his character was killed off in the previous film, he plays a different character here. This would be his last East Side Kids film.
In addition to Chester, Frankie Burke, Donald Haines, and Dave O'Brien (actor) all returned, and each reprised their role from the previous film. This would be Burke's last East Side Kids film. After his departure, the character of "Skinny" was given to Haines, while "Peewee" was given to David Gorcey.
Cast and characters
=The East Side Kids=
- Bobby Jordan as Danny Dolan
- Leo Gorcey as Muggs
- Hal E. Chester as Buster
- Frankie Burke as Skinny
- Ernest Morrison as Scruno
- Donald Haines as Peewee
- David Gorcey as Pete
- Eugene Francis as Algy Wilkes
- Vince Barnett as Simp
- Inna Gest as Louise Mason
- Dave O'Brien (actor) as 'Knuckles' Dolan
- Minerva Urecal as Agnes
- Dennis Moore (actor) as Giles
- Forrest Taylor as Judge Malcolm Parker
- Alden 'Stephen' Chase as Jim Harrison
- Jerry Mandy as Cook
- George Humbert as Tony
Category:Bowery Boys films
Category:Haunted house films
Category:Films directed by Joseph H. Lewis
Category:Comedy thriller films
Category:Monogram Pictures films