Cast & Crew
Much to Mugs McGinnis' dismay, everyone in his East Side Kids gang gets to smack his rear end eighteen times in celebration of his eighteenth birthday. His mother Molly then becomes distraught when she gets a letter from his "uncle" Pete, a rancher friend of his late father, stating that he will soon visit them in New York. Molly explains to her only child that ever since his father lied to Pete that he had seven children, Pete has been sending birthday checks for each child. Pete is unaware that the McGinnises are so poor that they could never afford to return the checks. Just then, Pete and his grown daughter Judy ride up to the McGinnis apartment on horseback. Mugs declares that the rest of his supposed brothers and sisters are working at a defense plant, and later, forces his gang to pretend to be his siblings. Glimpy is dressed up like a girl, and Scruno, who is black, is introduced as an adopted child. Pete is delighted by the brood and takes them all out to a nightclub for fun. The next day, local opportunist George Mooney tells Pete that he is being duped by Mugs. Pete is offended when he learns the truth about the McGinnis brood, and tells Mugs to forget he ever had an uncle. The next day, Mugs and the gang go to the hotel to return the gifts and apologize to Judy, and learn that Pete has disappeared. When George, who has arranged Pete's kidnapping, comes to the hotel for a visit, the boys hide in another room, but overhear him say that Pete has had an accident, and that he will take Judy to him. Judy pockets her gun before she leaves with George, and East Side Kid Danny hops onto the bumper of George's car. When the car stops, Danny gets off and calls Mugs to tell him the location of the kidnappers, but is then caught himself and held hostage along with Pete and Judy. The Cherry Street gang joins with the East Side Kids in fighting against the kidnappers, and when policeman Flanagan investigates the ruckus, he arrests the kidnappers. Later, the East Side Kids are guests at Pete's ranch, and try to impress each other by riding bucking broncos.
J. Farrell Mcdonald
Clancy Street Boys
Clancy Street Boys marked the first time the East Siders played strictly for laughs, and was the first episode in the series to be directed by William Beaudine, who showed a definite flair for handling the guys in several movies. The story has Gorcey as Muggs McGinnis convincing the other "Kids" to pose as his siblings when a wealthy uncle (Noah Beery, Sr.) pays a visit. The reason for the charade? Muggs' mom (Martha Wentworth) has told her uncle that she has seven children, hoping he will continue to offer financial support. Hatchet-faced Huntz Hall gets into drag to pass as sister "Annabelle," while African-American Ernest Morrison is introduced as an adopted brother. The supporting cast includes Lita Ward, who would soon become Mrs. Leo Gorcey off screen.
Producer Sam Katzman was noted for his meager budgets and fondness for single takes, which lends the "East Side" movies a relaxed, anything-goes atmosphere with frequent ad-libbing. In one of the more amusing moments of Clancy Street Boys, the boys tip their hats and, turning to the camera, say "Excuse us" to the audience before going into a huddle.
Beaudine, a prolific filmmaker from the silent era through the 1960s, had the distinction of being the film industry's oldest active director when he died at age 78 in 1970. He worked in almost every genre and earned notoriety for directing Mom and Dad (made in 1944 but not released until 1957), a controversial sex-education film that showed the actual birth of a baby.
Producers: Sam Katzman, Jack Dietz, Barney A. Sarecky (associate)
Director: William Beaudine
Screenplay: Harvey Gates
Cinematography: Mack Stengler
Art Direction: Dave Milton
Editing: Carl Pierson
Principal Cast: Leo Gorcey (Muggs McGinnis), Huntz Hall (Glimpy Freedhoff), Bobby Jordan (Danny), Bennie Bartlett (Bennie), Lita Ward (Judy), Rick Vallin (George), Martha Wentworth (Mrs. McGinnis) .
by Roger Fristoe
Clancy Street Boys
Although Leo Gorcey's character name is spelled "Mugs" in the credits, within the film it is spelled "Muggs." A Hollywood Reporter news item notes that some scenes were shot at the Hal Roach Studios. In 1942, the facility turned over its premises to the Army Air Corps' First Motion Picture Unit, which made training films, for the duration of the war. For information on the series, consult the Series Index and for Flying Wild.