Boiled Mahoney is
a lukewarm film that switches uncomfortably between being a
Boys comedy and a hard boiled detective drama. When
concentrates on comedy, it's fairly amusing. When it gets
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
the wonderfully stuffy and befuddled character actor Byron Foulger,
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
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.
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."
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 cliché, 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
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.