East Side Kids: Boys of the City [DVD] [1940]

Joseph H. Lewis's Boys Of The City was where the East Side Kids movie series began, in the wake of the decidedly darker feature film East Side Kids (which has yet to show up on DVD, as of the spring of 2003). As with most Alpha Video titles in this series, the print is on the uneven side, with missing frames and some sharp variations in contrast and density, but there are no defects that are terribly jarring to the viewer -- apart from one short segment that looks like it was copied from a 16mm dupe, the detail and sharpness are very consistent, and the disc overall looks not much poorer than many legitimate television showings of the movie from the 1960's. The package claims a running time of 68 minutes, other sources say 65, and the actual length of the disc is 63 minutes, and since there's nothing missing here, there's no complaint on that score -- in fact, given that most of the time local stations chopped out the first 14 minutes of the movie in order to fit it into a one-hour time-slot, this disc will very likely be the first chance that many fans will have to see the complete Boys Of The City; the opening section, referring back to events in East Side Kids, is the most direct follow-up that any of the Dead End Kids/LittleTough Guys/East Side Kids/Bowery Boys movies ever had to a preceding film. The standard six-chapter Alpha breakdown is barely adequate, and there are no special features, but for $5-$7 list there needn't be. It's an hour's worth of good fun, though the solution to the mystery is sort of obvious before the killer is unmasked -- Minerva Urecal, Vince Barnett, Alden Chase, and a lot of other familiar character actor faces also make this disc a treat for old movie buffs.
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Boys of the City
In their second Monogram caper, Knuckles (Dave O'Brien) and the East Side Kids (Bobby Jordan, Leo Gorcey, Sunshine Sammy Morrison, et al.) are on their way to camp in the Adirondacks when they offer a lift to Judge Parker (Forrest Taylor) and his ward Louise (Inna Gest), who are having car trouble. Much to the boys' derision, the judge is the very same who wrongly convicted Knuckles in the previous film. And if that isn't enough, the learned jurist's secluded mansion proves to be in the haunted house category complete with sliding panels, hidden passageways, and a deranged housekeeper (Minerva Urecal). When the judge is found murdered and his ward missing, henchmen Giles (Denny Moore) and Simp (Vince Barnett) naturally accuse Knuckles, who has a motive but no alibi. In their bumbling search for the judge's missing ward, the boys stumble across a prowling detective (Alden Chase), however, and the real culprit is soon unmasked to be none other than -- well, suffice it to say, the killer is the least likely candidate, the East Side Kids, Louise, and Knuckles not included. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Bobby Jordan
    Bobby Jordan - Danny
  • Leo Gorcey
    Leo Gorcey - Muggs McGinnis
  • Dave "Tex" O'Brien
    Dave "Tex" O'Brien - Knuckles
  • Image coming soon
    George Humbert - Tony
  • Image coming soon
    Hally Chester - Buster
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