Clancy Street Boys (April 23, 1943)
Released on April 23, 1943: Mugs is turning 18 today, and the gang gives him a motley group of presents. He discovers that he may be in line to get a fortune, but only if he can produce 6 brothers and sisters for his visiting wealthy uncle.
Directed by William Beaudine
Written by Harvey Gates.
The Actors: Leo Gorcey (Ethelbert 'Mugs' McGinnis), Huntz Hall (Glimpy Freedhoff), Bobby Jordan (Danny), Noah Beery (Pete Monahan), Amelita Ward (Judy Monahan), Benny Bartlett (Benny), Rick Vallin (George Mooney), William 'Billy' Benedict (Butch, Cherry Street leader), J. Farrell MacDonald (Police Sergeant Flanagan), Jan Rubini (nightclub violinist), Martha Wentworth (Mrs. Molly McGinnis), Ernest Morrison (Scruno), Dick Chandlee (Stash), Eddie Mills (Dave), George DeNormand (Williams), Symona Boniface (dress saleslady), Gino Corrado (fresh pedestrian), Johnny Duncan (Cherry Streeter), William Frambes (Cherry Streeter), Bernard Gorcey (liquor store owner), Artie Ortego (driver henchman), Jimmy Strand (Cherry Streeter).
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You might remember them as the East Side Kids, or the Bowery Boys, but in this movie about a gang of New York teenagers on the loose they are the Clancy Street Boys. I grew up in small towns, and was never exposed to big city life, so I watched these old movies with rapt attention. Life in big and crowded New York City seemed like a foreign country to me. When my dad would watch one of these movies with me, he would rightly predict, "There will be a lot of murder in this movie, son. Leo Gorcey will be murdering the King's English all through the movie." Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn and put lots of melted butter on top and get ready to laugh your way through this adventure on Clancy Street in 1943 New York City.
It is Mugs' birthday, he is turning 18 years old, and all of the Clancy Street boys are looking for him, and all of the Cherry Street boys are looking for him, and even the local beat cop is looking for Mugs. When they find him, they all give him 18 good whacks on the back-end with a board to celebrate his birthday. But there is bad news when Mugs gets home to his mamma. She is crying over a letter that just arrived. It seems that Mugs' dad had a best friend that worked with him, but then went west and earned a fortune in Texas. Mugs' dad always liked to brag to his friend in Texas, and evey year for about seven years he would write to his friend that he and his wife had another child. So rich 'uncle' Pete Monahan believes that there are 6 McGinnis boys and one McGinnis girl. No problem as long as 'uncle' Pete is far away in Texas, but alas he is coming to New York to visit the McGinnis family and show off his daughter Judy.
Now you know that Mugs is going to get his gang to pretend to be his brothers, and he gets Glimpy, his side-kick to dress as a girl and pretend to be his sister. When Texas Pete Monahan and his daughter arrive on Clancy Street and ask in their Texas drawl for the McGinnis place, the Irish neighbors direct them, and then exclaim, "These foreigners, can't even speak English."
Anyway, the ruse works pretty well and we get a lot of laughs until a local gangster spots their deception and decides to crash their party and con the Texan out of a big chunk of money. The gangsters kidnap Texas Pete and hold him ransom, and it is up to our mis-fit teenagers from Clancy Street to put things right, and get the respect of 'uncle' Pete again.