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Fighting Trouble

USA 1956
produced by
Ben Schwalb for Allied Artists
directed by George Blair
starring the Bowery Boys (= Huntz Hall, Stanley Clements, David Gorcey, Danny Welton), Thomas Browne Henry, Adele Jergens, Queenie Smith, Tim Ryan, Joe Downing, Laurie Mitchell, William Boyett, Rick Vallin, Joe Bleifer, Paul Brinegar, Benny Burt, Clegg Hoyt, Michael Ross, Charles Williams
written by Elwood Ullman, music by Buddy Bregman

Bowery Boys, formerly Dead End Kids, East Side Kids

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The Bowery Boys (Stanley Clements, Huntz Hall, David Gorcey, Danny Welton) need money really badly to pay the rent, so Mr Know-it-all Duke (Clements) and dim-witted inventor Sach (Hall) become photo reporters for a newspaper, promising their editor to bring him photos of big bad mobster Frankie Arbo (Thomas Browne Henry) - and before they know it, they have kidnapped one of his associates, Handsome Hal (Joe Downing) and pose as Hal and his sidekick themselves ... and wouldn't you know it, Arbo buys their story - until the real Handsome Hal shows up after all, which puts our heroes on the spot a bit. Then Handsome Hal's ex (Laurie Mitchell) shows up, and since she wants Hal dead, she identifies Sach to be the real McCoy. So they're saved - until Sach reveals he's carrying a hidden camera.

Of course, in the end the police shows up, saves our heroes and puts the baddies behind bars - and our boys got the photo they've been sent out to shoot ... until Sach destroys the negative.

 

Fighting Trouble is a film of interest for Bowery Boys fans inasmuch as it's the first film in which Stanley Clements (who has previously had a brief stint with the East Side Kids) is replacing Leo Gorcey (who never really got over the death of his father and frequent co-star Bernard Gorcey). And on one hand, Clements works fine as a comedy partner to Huntz Hall, there is some instant chemistry there and he is able to hold his own next to Hall's antics. Thing is, he isn't half as funny as Leo Gorcey: While Gorcey always came across as a bumbling leader guy, something that was only accentuated by his difficulties to correctly remember and pronounce words with more than one syllable, Clements it reduced to playing Hall's straight guy, with no comic shtick of his own.

But that doesn't say all that much about Fighting Trouble as such, now does it? The movie is pretty much your typical Bowery Boys fare, cheaply made, with jokes of the hit-or-miss variety, a bit of rather sloppily realized slapstick, and a script that could have done with a bit of polishing up. If you're into the Bowery Boys (and don't insist they have Leo Gorcey as their leader), you'll probably like it (sort of, anyways), but this is hardly a film that will give them a whole lot of new fans.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD