Pride of the Bowery (December 15, 1940)
Released on December 15, 1940: The East Side Kids are at it again - Muggs joins a C.C.C. camp to train for boxing, but his bad attitude quickly gets him into trouble.
Produced by Sam Katzman
Directed by Joseph H. Lewis
Written by Steven Clensos, WIlliam Lively and George H. Plympton.
The Actors: Leo Gorcey (Muggs Maloney), Bobby Jordan (Danny), Kenneth Howell (Allen), Mary Ainslee (Elaine White), Bobby Stone (Willie), Donald Haines (Skinny), David Gorcey (Peewee), Ernest Morrison (Scruno), Kenneth Harlan (Captain Jim White), Nick Stuart (Thumb Butte Ranger), Lloyd Ingraham (camp Doctor), Steven Clensos (man), Eugene Francis (Algy), Carleton Young (Norton, fight promoter).
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Growing Up . . . The Hard Way
I remember when I was a young kid riding in the family car on the way to visit relatives, and passing a park band stand gazebo with a large stone foundation, and on one of the stones was engraved "CCC' and the date that it was built. It was explained to me that 'CCC' stood for Civilian Conservation Corps, which was a Federal Government program to employ many of the young men that couldn't find any work during the Great Depression that began in 1929. At that time there was no program of welfare, no unemployment insurance - nothing from any Federal, State or local government to aid people out of work. Starvation and homelessness were at a very high level, and ways were being sought by the Roosevelt administration to aid the folks that were impoverished by the Great Depression. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt got Congress to fund the program in 1933, and it ran until 1942, when there was a labor shortage. In 1941, after Pearl Harbor, the U.S. entered WWII with everything it had, and between all of the men that enlisted in the armed forces, and all of the factory jobs created to support the war by building everything from ships to planes, there was no longer a need for the program.
This East Side Kids movie takes us to a C.C.C. camp in 1940, near the end of the program. Our Bowery Boys are trying to find a way to train Muggs as a boxer, but they have no funds to set up a proper boxing camp, and cannot afford to join a boxing gym in the city. So one of the boys spots a CCC truck taking a fresh batch of young men out of the city to start their six month stretch with the Corps. He decides that the CCC is the answer to their need for a training camp, and he gets all of the gang to join up for six months. But Muggs doesn't know that they are signing up for a work camp, but rather believes that he is being taken to a private boxing camp set up just for him. His cocky attitude guarantees that all of the other guys at the camp stay away from him and ostracize him from the group. While Muggs is not liked by any of the other fellows, he befriends Willie, a lad that has big problems. Willie stole a hundred dollars from the Captain's office, and is afraid now that he will get caught. He tells Muggs that he stole the money to send it to his impoverished Aunt, and Muggs feels sorry for him. Muggs goes into the nearby town and arranges to box for a promoter who promises to pay him a hundred dollars for the fight. But when Muggs tries to put the money back in the Captain's office he is caught by the Captain, and the Captain believes that Muggs is in the process of stealing the money. Muggs won't rat on Willie, and is kicked out of the camp. It looks like even the CCC can't teach a street tough how to get along in today's world . . . Muggs may be the Bum of the Bowery instead of the Pride of the Bowery? Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Bobby Jordan and Bobby Stone
Bobby Jordan and Leo Gorcey
Bobby Jordan and Mary Ainslee
Bobby Stone and Leo Gorcey
Ernest Morrison and Leo Gorcey
Kenneth Harlan and Leo Gorcey
Kenneth Harlan and Mary Ainslee
Kenneth Howell and Kenneth Harlan
Kenneth Howell, Leo Gorcey and Bobby Jordan
Leo Gorcey and Bobby Jordan
Leo Gorcey and Kenneth Harlan
Leo Gorcey and Kenneth Howell
Leo Gorcey and Lloyd Ingraham
Lloyd Ingraham and Bobby Jordan