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Fighting Fools (1949); Bowery Boys #13
Topic Started: Jan 10 2017, 07:06 AM (300 Views)
Laughing Gravy
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Three writers are credited with this one, the first Bowery Boys release of 1949 (mid-April); the second of three straight films in the series directed by Reginald LeBorg


Dead End Kids Gorcey, Hall, and Dell all return; Billy Benedict, David Gorcey, and Bennie Bartlett are Whitey, Chuck, and Butch; Bernard Gorcey is back as Louie (and particularly good in this episode), with Frankie Darro as the Bowery Boxer, Lyle Talbot as the chief villain, Anthony Warde and Ben Welden his henchmen, and Tom Kennedy very funny as the world's worst security guard.


When a pal of theirs is killed in the ring by a boxer managed by a crooked promoter, the Boys help the dead guy's brother train (above Louie's Sweet Shop) to get both the lightweight crown and revenge against the villains.

Interesting amalgam of the oft-serious earlier East Side Kids stories and the slapstick of the Bowery Boys; the film opens with a funny sequence with the guys selling (and then retrieving) snacks at the boxing arena, but once their buddy is killed, it turns quite serious (Slip and Sach have to do possibly their most dramatic scene in a Bowery Boys picture ever, breaking the news to the poor kid's aged, Irish mother, with sad music blaring from the soundtrack). This is one of the few Bowery Boys movies that works as a movie and not just another in the Bowery Boys series.

Frankie Darro (we first see him as an unshaved drunken lout) is terrific in this film as the boxer out to avenge his brother, and in the ring he looks like somebody you wouldn't want to spar with.

Million-dollar Dialog:

Slip, seeing Frankie during his down period: "I made I mistake. I got you mixed up with a guy that I thought had some guts."


All in all, one of the better and more satisfying films in the series - both comedy and drama fans would enjoy it. LeBorg did one more film with the team, which then turned to a rotation of William Beaudine and Jean Yarbrough for awhile to get those four features a year.

Fighting Fools is available in Warner Archives' The Bowery Boys Vol. 1.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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The Batman
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Sounds like a good one, and I'm a big Frankie Darro fan, thanks for the heads up.

Always be yourself! Unless you can be Batman...then always be Batman!
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