Cast & Crew
Joseph H. Lewis
When Muggs refuses to train for the Golden Gloves match unless he has his own private camp in the country, Danny placates his pal by enlisting members of the Vassey Street Boys' Club in the Conservation Corps. Arriving at the camp, Muggs refuses to accept the authority of Al, the leader of the boys, and treats the facility as if it was his own private property. Later, Muggs has a chance to demonstrate his true nature when he risks his own life to save Al from being crushed by a falling tree. The camp captain praises Muggs for his courage, and as a reward, Muggs requests a boxing match with Al. Norton, a small time boxing promoter, comes to watch the fight, which ends in a draw. Furious at the outcome, Muggs refuses to shake his opponent's hand, an act which earns the emnity of the other boys. When the captain fails to remove the chip from Muggs' shoulder, his daughter, Elaine, tries to reform him through kindness. Meanwhile, Willie, one of the boys, steals one hundred dollars from the camp cash box and confides to Muggs that he needed the money for his poor aunt. To get the money back for Willie, Muggs has Norton arrange a fight, and although he takes a beating in the ring, Muggs earns the one hundred dollars. While returning the money to the cash box, Muggs is caught and accused of theft. He refuses to inform on Willie, though and instead runs away. Danny then forces the truth from Willie, thus proving Muggs' true sportsmanship.
Joseph H. Lewis
Sunshine Sammy Morrison
Pride of the Bowery
Gorcey is Muggs, a name he used in dozens of pictures until he became "Slip" Mahoney with the Bowery Boys. Muggs's big ambition is to become a Golden Gloves boxing champ but he's fed up with training in a crummy slum gym. So his friend Danny tricks him into signing up for what he thinks is an upstate training camp. It turns out, however, Muggs has enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corps, a program created by President Franklin Roosevelt to give income to impoverished youth while working to reclaim land from the decimation of over-timbering and erosion. Resenting his new "job," Muggs gets into all the expected scrapes and conflicts before redeeming himself in the end.
The chief justification for the movie, which was filmed under the working title "Here We Go Again," seems to be promotion of the CCC. By the time the film went into production, the once successful project, credited with the planting of about three billion trees between 1933 and 1942, was in some trouble. By late summer 1941, months after the picture's release, lack of applicants, desertion and the number of enrollees leaving for regular jobs had reduced the Corps to fewer than 200,000 men in about 900 camps. Public opinion began to question the need for the Corps as the unemployment rate dwindled. By the end of the year, the U.S. was in World War II and priorities shifted. Though never officially disbanded, the Corps lost its funding in 1942 and passed into history.
The "Kids," however, kept going, even as the actors began looking a little long in the tooth for their roles (Gorcey was already 23 when he made this). Katzman and the boys made a total of 21 pictures together before the producer moved on to more up-to-date youth-market stories beyond the Depression-era sensibility that guided the Kids' plots. He produced Buster Crabbe serials, film adaptations of comic heroes like Batman and Superman, and youth exploitation flicks throughout the rest of the decade. By the 1950s, he really came into his own. Highly successful as a producer (of his more than 100 movies, it is said none lost money), Katzman latched on to the emerging teen culture of that decade, cranking out programmers exploiting the music and lifestyles of a new generation. Perhaps his greatest landmark was Rock Around the Clock (1956), which introduced the mainstream to rock-and-roll and helped create arguably the first rock-star band, Bill Haley and the Comets. Katzman kept the money rolling in with horror flicks, sci-fi movies and more films trading on musical fads, from Calypso to the early 60s folk hootenanny craze on the nation's college campuses. In the book Kings of the Bs (Dutton, 1975), a highly appropriate title for Katzman, film writer Richard Thompson called the producer "one of the cultural technicians who made the 1950s what they were." A popular Hollywood urban myth identifies Katzman as the man who created the term "beatnik" (another version of the story has him buying the term from beat poet Allen Ginsberg).
To helm the picture, Katzman brought in Joseph H. Lewis, who had directed the first two East Side Kids outings. Lewis later made the memorable noir films Gun Crazy (1949, a Bonnie and Clyde-inspired story titled on its initial release Deadly Is the Female) and The Big Combo (1955). Lewis was a respected craftsman who brought a distinctive sensibility to his often low-budget films. Even as early as this series, he resisted Katzman's directives to simply stamp out the pictures according to formula. "I had to shoot it my way, even though it was only six days," he later said. What Lewis couldn't fight was the lack of production values; in fact Pride of the Bowery is notable for having been shot almost entirely outdoors.
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Producer: Sam Katzman, Pete Mayer
Screenplay: George H. Plympton, William Lively, Steven Clensos
Cinematography: Robert E. Cline
Editing: Robert Golden
Cast: Leo Gorcey (Muggs Maloney), Bobby Jordan (Danny), Ernest Morrison (Scruno), David Gorcey (Peewee), Donald Haines (Skinny), Bobby Stone (Willie).
by Rob Nixon
Pride of the Bowery
The working title of this film was Here We Go Again. The camp to which the boys go in the film was loosely based on the Civilian Conservation Corps camps created during the 1930s. Although Motion Picture Herald release chart lists the release as 1940, modern sources list the film as a 1941 release, when the film opened in New York. For additional information on the series, see entries above for Crime School and East Side Kids and consult the Series Index for "The Dead End Kids," "The East Side Kids" and "The Little Tough Guys."