Cast & Crew
At the Bowery Garage in New York City, Terence Aloysius "Slip" Mahoney orders his lazy assistant, Horace Debussy "Sach" Jones, to park an expensive car "right straight ahead." Sach, not knowing that the "R" on the car's steering column means reverse, believes he is putting the car into "right straight ahead" and crashes into the garage's rear wall. Even though infuriated Slip fires him, Sach is attempting to fix the car's dents with a sledgehammer when the car's owner, H. Stuyvesant Jones, arrives to claim it. Much to Slip's bewilderment, Jones's initial anger is defused upon learning Sach's name, and that he is an only child who was abandoned at birth. After promising to contact Sach soon, Jones leaves and returns to the Larchmont estate where he lives with his duplicitious niece Clarissa, her boyfriend, chauffeur Marten, and his young nephew, Terwilliger "Twig" Jones III. Jones and Clarissa have squandered their share of the vast Terwilliger fortune and are hoping to defraud Twig out of his larger portion by inventing a "lost" heir. Jones believes that they will be able to alter Sach's birth certificate to make it appear that he is the son of the family patriarch's ne'er-do-well son Pierpont, who disappeared years earlier. Clarissa worries that Frisbie the butler, who is devoted to Twig, will interfere, but Jones is undeterred. As they are discussing their plan, they are interrupted by Twig, who immediately senses that they are scheming against him yet again. Twig and Frisbie call Twig's lawyer, Sam Cosgrove, to alert him to the potential danger, but unknown to them, Cosgrove is in league with Jones. Soon after, Jones returns to the garage and there informs Sach that he has found Sach's birth certificate, which proves that he is the heir to the estate of copper magnate Terwilliger Pierpont Jones. Sach is thrilled, but the suspicious Slip insists on accompanying him to Larchmont, along with their pal Louie Dumbrowski. At the estate, Cosgrove examines the forged records and asserts that Sach's claim is legitimate, much to the dismay of Twig and Frisbie. Sach is eager to receive his half-a-million dollars, but Cosgrove states that the bank representative will not arrive until the following day to formalize the transaction. That evening, the Joneses host a musical soiree, featuring pianist Señor Palumbo, to introduce Sach to their society friends. The event is spoiled when Twig lets loose his collection of trained fleas, and afterward, Twig and Frisbie accuse Sach and Slip of attempting fraud. Upon hearing their concerns, Slip is determined to find Sach's birth certificate and learn the truth. After a few misadventures, the group finds the certificate, and Louie, who knew Sach's parents, confirms that it is fraudulent. Angered that they have been duped, Slip decides to help Twig prove that Jones is a criminal, but Sach, who misses the Bowery, wants to return home. When Jones discovers that the certificate is missing, he orders Clarissa to stall Sach while they search for it. Clarissa kisses Sach and searches his pockets while caressing him, but abruptly gives up when she determines that he does not have the paper. After Sach, covered with lipstick, returns to their room, Slip yells at him for "colluding with the enemy," but Sach refuses to believe that Clarissa is guilty. Meanwhile, Twig and Frisbie, still unaware of Cosgrove's true allegiance, have informed him of their discovery, and then report back to Slip. The group splits up, and when Sach is trapped in the library by Jones and a pistol-wielding Cosgrove, he realizes that Cosgrove is a crook. Slip, Twig and Frisbie enter the library, and despite Sach's use of Pig Latin to warn Slip, the friends are captured and Jones regains the birth certificate. Marten locks Slip, Twig, Frisbie and Louie in the attic while the others hold Sach in the library to await the bank representative, Henry Baldwin. When Baldwin arrives, Cosgrove warns him that Sach is eccentric, and then attempts to force Sach to sign the papers releasing the money to him. While Sach is doing his best to stall, Slip lowers Twig out the attic window, using electrical wire, and Twig rushes back upstairs to release them. They knock out Marten and run to the library, where they tell Baldwin that Cosgrove is crooked, and then attempt to elude Jones and the recovered Marten, who are trying to shoot them. With the aid of a toy train, toy bow and arrows and fencing equipment, Slip and his friends apprehend the criminals, and Baldwin calls the police. Later, Slip and Sach are back at their garage, which now boasts all of the latest, modern equipment, thanks to the generous Twig. Twig and Frisbie arrive to pick up their car, and Sach begins to pull it out. Not knowing that Sach was about to put the car out of reverse and into drive, Slip pulls him from the driver's seat and jumps in, then promptly drives the car into the wall again.
John C. Fuller
Jerome S. Gottler
Lester A. Sansom
Allen K. Wood
The screenplay was mistakenly nominated for an Academy Award when the Academy nominating committee confused the title with the Bing Crosby / 'Grace Kelly' musical released the following year. The writers graciously declined the nomination.
The title cards of this film read: "Allied Artists Pictures Corporation Presents Leo Gorcey Huntz Hall and The Bowery Boys in High Society." According to a September 14, 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item, storywriter Edward Bernds was originally set to direct the picture. The film was inadvertently nominated for a Best Writing (Motion Picture Story) Academy Award, which was intended for the 1956 M-G-M musical also titled High Society and written by John Patrick. At the request of the screenwriters of Allied Artists' High Society, their nomination was withdrawn from the Academy's final ballot. For more information on "The Bowery Boys" series, please consult the Series Index and the entry for Live Wires in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50.