1947

Hard Boiled Mahoney     News Hounds     Bowery Buckaroos    

HARD BOILED MAHONEY

(1947)
The Boys: Leo Gorcey ("Slip"), Huntz Hall ("Sach"), Bobby Jordan ("Bobby"'), William "Billy" Benedict ("Whitey"), David Gorcey ("Chuck"), Gabriel Dell ("Gabe"), Bernard Gorcey ("Louie Dumbrowski")
With Betty Comson, Teala Loring, Dan Seymour, Patti Brill, Byron Foulger

    Hard Boiled Mahoney is a lukewarm film that switches uncomfortably between being a Bowery Boys comedy and a hard boiled detective drama.  When it concentrates on comedy, it's fairly amusing.  When it gets around to the rather dull mystery, it bogs down in a lot of talk.  If there is a highlight, it is a completely gratuitous scene where the gang disguise themselves as professors and wind up on a radio quiz show.  The Quizmaster, Professor Quizzard, is played by the wonderfully stuffy and befuddled character actor Byron Foulger, whose questions to the boys get nothing but wheezy vaudeville answers. Foulger would later return to the series, playing Satan ("Mr. Bubb") in the penultimate Bowery Boys film Up in Smoke.

    Gabe actually plays a full-fledged member of the gang this time around, wearing glasses without which he cannot see, a holdover from a character he played in the East Side Kids comedies.


NEWS HOUNDS

(1947)
The Boys: Leo Gorcey ("Slip"), Huntz Hall ("Sach"), Bobby Jordan ("Bobby"'), William "Billy" Benedict ("Whitey"), David Gorcey ("Chuck"), Gabriel Dell ("Gabe"), Bernard Gorcey ("Louie Dumbrowski")

With Christine McIntyre, Tim Ryan, Anthony Caruso, Bill Kennedy, John Hamilton
Directed by William Beaudine

    The best film yet to star The Bowery Boys, New Hounds is funny through and through, even as it plays out its serious story of Slip and the Boys attempting to expose corruption in boxing.  Leo Gorcey lays on the "Slipease" so thick throughout, there are times you literally won't know what he is talking about (one character even mentions this).  Meanwhile, Huntz Hall begins to develop his character of Sach as a lovable, cowardly, dumb as dirt sweetheart who can even be intimidated by a five-year-old boy.  The film has running gags, throwaway gags, punctuation gags, slapstick, several bushels of mangled English sentences, and a superb supporting cast including Three Stooges favorite Christine McIntyre as the owner of a newspaper and Anthony Caruso as a local gangster. 

    However, the writing was on the wall.  Despite an opening sequence featuring Chuck (how many Bowery Boys films begin with Chuck?  Ummm... there's this one and....ummm... ), Whitey and Bobby, it is clear by now that the writers are building their scripts around Gorcey and Hall, leaving the other cast members to fend for themselves.  Bobby Jordan would be the first to leave, right after the next film, Bowery Buckaroos.  

    
A SACH IN TIME

"That's what the world needs - people like you.  Humans."


BOWERY BUCKAROOS

(1947)
The Boys: Leo Gorcey ("Slip"), Huntz Hall ("Sach"), Bobby Jordan ("Bobby"'), William "Billy" Benedict ("Whitey"), David Gorcey ("Chuck"), Gabriel Dell ("Gabe"), Bernard Gorcey ("Louie Dumbrowski")
With Julie Gibson, Jack Norman, Iron Eyes Cody, Minerva Urecal
Directed by William Beaudine

    About a month after Abbott and Costello went west in The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap, The Bowery Boys did the same in Bowery Buckaroos.  Most comedians worth their salt eventually "went west", with Laurel and Hardy's classic Way Out West being the standard by which all other should be judged.

    The Bowery Boys western outing is an average picture with one gag worthy of any of the great master comedians.  In an unexpected twist of a great western clich√©, Slip, pretending to be an outlaw, makes a dramatic entrance through the swinging doors of a saloon, shoots his guns off in the air - and nobody bats an eye.  It's funnier than it reads.  Rare for a Bowery Boys film, this one has three musical numbers: Bernard Gorcey's "Louie the Lout", a production number by Julie Gibson, and all of the boys singing a tuneless takeoff on "O' Susannah!"

    Despite Leo Gorcey's non-stop malaprops, it is Iron Eyes Cody who gets the best line.  Seeing the boys up to some suspicious activity, he says to himself "This not seem kosher to me."

    This was the last Bowery Boys film for Bobby Jordan.  Eventually, most of the Boys would grow tired of being pushed to the background as Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall continued to grab all the best moments.  Gabe Dell would go next, followed later by Billy Benedict.  Even Leo Gorcey himself would exit from the series toward the end. Only Huntz Hall and David Gorcey would see it through to the end.

The Bowery Boys   1946   1948

The Age of Comedy