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Angels' Alley (1948); Bowery Boys #9
Topic Started: Sep 4 2017, 09:06 AM (158 Views)
Laughing Gravy
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Angels' Alley (1948) Dir. William Beaudine
Released by Monogram Pictures Corporation
67 min. / B&W / 1.37:1
DVD Release: Bowery Boys Vol. 3 (Warner Archive)

Story

When Slip's cousin is released from prison, Slip and his mom try to rehabilitate the punk, but he falls right back in with his old crowd, a ring of car thieves. With the help of the parish priest, Slip tries to explicate his fraternitous kinsman from the clutches of the naternious gang of crooks, but ends up arrested himself. Working undercover, he infilitrates the gang.

Cast

DEKs Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall and Gabe Dell (for once not playing his usual character; he's a villain named "Ricky" in this one) but not Bobby Jordan, who'd left the series after the previous one. Billy Benedict and David Gorcey are Whitey and Chuck, and Bennie Bartlett - who'd go on to play Butch - is here, but as one of the car thieves.

The rest of the cast includes Nestor Paiva as the practical jokester head of the car ring; Frankie Darro as Slip's cousin Jimmy; Rosemary La PLanche as Gabe's moll Daisy; and Nelson Leigh as Father O'Hanlon. In the unexplained absence of Bernard Gorcey, his place is taken by Mary Gordon as Slip's mom; she'd played Gorcey's mother in the East Side Kids series.

Background

An odd entry in the series; oh, some of their early pictures are throwbacks to their "Crime School" days, but this one borders on the maudlin: Slip has several dramatic scenes with his mother, a judge, the priest, and even the gang, and that never sits well. (One of the little kids in the neighborhood, who idolizes Slip, is hit by a car, causing the film to stop dead in its tracks for a tearful hospital sequence!) As good as Mary Gordon was, dropping her into the film instead of Louie at his sweet shoppe wrests a lot of comic possibilities out of the movie. As usual, it's left to Huntz Hall to provide most of the laughs.

Million-dollar Dialog:
Slip, offering the priest a ride: "I was just going down to church. Are you going my way?"
Father O'Hanlon: "Yes, but I don't sing."

Judge to Priest: "A halo only has to drop a foot to become a noose."

Sach to Slip after an overly dramatic sequence, speaking for all of us: "This is the last time I make a picture with YOU."

Aftermath

Angels' Alley, which had a shooting schedule of only 8 days, short even for this series, was released on March 21, 1948, about three months after the last one and about three months before the next one. You know how these things go.
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