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Live Wires

USA 1946
produced by
Lindsley Parsons, Jan Grippo for Monogram
directed by Phil Karlson
starring the Bowery Boys (= Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan, William 'Billy' Benedict, William Frambes), Mike Mazurki, Claudia Drake, Pamela Blake, John Eldredge, Patti Brill, Bernard Gorcey, Bill Christy, Nancy Brinckman, Robert Emmett Keane, Earle Hodgins, Gladys Blake, William Ruhl, George Eldredge, John Indrisano, Jack Chefe
story by Dore Schary, screenplay by Josef Mischel, Tim Ryan

Bowery Boys, formerly Dead End Kids, East Side Kids

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Mary (Pamela Blake) is deeply disappointed that her brother Slip (Leo Gorcey) is fired from one job after another - and while Slip was never one for working and didn't mind his financial shortcomings too much even, he does care about his sister and her opinion of him. So when everything's pretty low, he accepts a job at the company his (idiotic) best friend Sash (Huntz Hall) works at - as a runner, handing out summonses for the DA. At first he gets into a lot of mix-ups, but finally he gets his hands on a big gangster (Mike Mazurki) ... and suddenly, he and Sach find themselves in a real jam, which only their gang (Bobby Jordan, William 'Billy' Benedict, William Frambes) can get them out of. And in the very end, Slip can even prove himself to his sister when he reveals her boss (John Eldredge) to be a crime kingpin ...

 

Live Wires was the first film of the Bowery Boys, and certainly one of the best: Now while the gang (as the Dead End Kids and later the East Side Kids) had been together for quite a while in 1946, they were only now allowed to finally drop their juvenile act, and their style of comedy had come to full bloom without having outlived itself. Plus Gorcey's and Hall's chemistry is at its best here. And apart from all of this, real life wrestler Mike Mazurki gives a hilarious performance as the couple's main foil.

Sure, in all this is not a great comedy as such, just a better film of a formulaic comedy series - but it sure is worth more than a few chuckles.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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directed by
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written by
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