Friday 5 January 2007

Bowery Blitzkrieg (1941)

From 1937 to 1958, a collection of recurring characters went through a number of incarnations, from the Dead End Kids through the Little Tough Guys and the East Side Kids to the Bowery Boys. Many of the actors stayed consistent throughout most of the almost unbelievable 48 movies these characters made in total, especially Leo Gorcey, Bobby Jordan and Huntz Hall. These three appear here too as Muggs McGinnis, Danny Breslin and a dumb sidekick called Limpy respectively, regular characters all of them. They're East Side Kids at this point for the sixth time and as usual they're in trouble but trying to fight their way out.

These movies are formula stuff and this one is no exception, sixty minutes in length and doing little more except keeping us aware of the storyline for that hour. Danny is an up and coming boxer, representing the Police gym, but he's been sidetracked off the straight and narrow by a low expectation crook called Monk Martin. One local cop with a heart is engaged to Danny's sister, but he has better luck helping out Muggs to become his replacement. There's plenty of bluster, fights and lowlifes, as always, but Muggs comes good in the end.

Having seen a number of these movies, mostly courtesy of the wonderful value of Treeline Films DVD box sets, from our introduction to them in Dead End to a whole bunch of East Side Kids and Bowery Boys pictures, it's easy to see a lot of the same ol' same ol'. There's little here compared to some of the others but nothing really dumb either that tends to slip in there. It's literally just another East Side Kids movie, mostly focusing on Muggs but with a little bit of Danny too. A stunningly average entry for die hards only or viewers happy to spend a safe and forgettable hour in front of the screen. It worked perfectly for my lunch hour.

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