Cast & Crew
Mary Beth Hughes
In the Bowery in New York City, longtime friends Horace DeBussy "Sach" Jones, Terence Aloysius "Slip" Mahoney, Butch and Chuck regularly gather at Louie Dumbrowski's soda shop. One day, Sach brings in another old friend, Shifty Robertson, who claims he is now a wealthy uranium mine owner. Although Shifty offers no explanation, he is anxious to sell the deed to his Little Daisy mine. Slip pressures Louie into buying the deed, after which Shifty runs from the shop. Some time later, the Bowery friends arrive in Panther Pass, Nevada, where their jalopy breaks down. Local henchmen Joe Hody and Frank Loomis shoot at the New Yorkers from the hotel, hoping to dissuade them from remaining in town. Slip, Sach and the others unwittingly flee for safety into the town's sole hotel. Hotel owner Ron Haskell, who has hired Hody and Loomis to discourage prospective prospectors, tells them there are no vacancies. When Slip, Sach, Louie, Butch and Chuck have lunch at the hotel restaurant, the waitress, Jeannette, overhears Sach bragging about their lucrative mine. After Sach unintentionally spills Loomis' drink at the bar Loomis insists Sach drink "Old Vesuvius," a powerful liquor. A brawl then ensues as Slip, Butch and Chuck defend their friend. Meanwhile, Jeannette reports to Haskell what she heard about the mine. As a result, Haskell breaks up the fight and is suddenly solicitous, explaining there are new vacancies in the hotel. Slip agrees to rent one room for all of them, unaware that Haskell is plotting to steal the mine. That night, Jeannette attempts to seduce Sach, who unwittingly reveals that Louie has the Little Daisy mine deed with him. After telling Sach to leave, Jeannette reports the information to Haskell, who invites Louie to join him, Hody and Loomis in a poker game. Although they attempt to cheat Louie in order to force him to stake the deed as collateral, he intercepts the cards they are surreptitiously passing under the table to each other. To Haskell's dismay, Louie wins the game. The next day, the auto mechanic explains that he has improved the speed on the car's reverse gear, and after paying him for his work, the Bowery Boys drive to the mine in Bearclaw Canyon. Sach uses the Geiger counter but detects no uranium, so Slip tries to take it from him. Hody and Loomis observe them through binoculars, and believe that they are arguing because they have found uranium. After Hody and Loomis leave to report to Haskell, the Bowery Boys encounter an old prospector named Hank "Mac" McKenzie, who informs them they have not found uranium because the Little Daisy is actually an old silver mine. Slip blames Sach and hits him on the head, and they later realize they are too poor to return home. When a rock is thrown through their hotel room window, the attached note warns them to stay away from Bearclaw Canyon. Slip concludes this means there is actually uranium in the area and they decide to set up camp in the desert to continue prospecting. The next day, Butch and Chuck return from their first foray with nothing but Mac, who is welcomed. To encourage the weary men to persevere, Mac tells a story about the rugged old West and an outlaw named Pecos Pete. While he is talking, Sach closes his eyes and imagines Mac's story with Hody and Loomis as the outlaws, himself and Slip as heroic Rangers, and their friends as the other characters: Pecos Pete and his partner Idaho burst into a saloon and demand a drink from the bartender Louie. When the rebellious saloon girl, Jeannette, tells Pecos he could not bully them if the Rangers were present, Pecos kisses her. Moments later, the Rangers, Sach and Slip, enter the saloon and confront Pecos and Idaho, who draw their weapons. The Rangers disarm the outlaws by firing at them, and Pecos and Idaho flee after arranging for a showdown at dusk. That night, Pecos and Idaho bring reinforcements to the shoot-out, but the Rangers handily dispatch four of the men, leaving Pecos and Idaho. Believing that only Pecos is alive, Slip approaches his hiding place. Jeannette warns Sach that Idaho is still alive, and Sach saves Slip by killing Idaho, after which Slip kills Pecos. Sach awakens as Mac finishes his story, and they are all inspired to renew their search in the morning. The next day, Hody and Loomis report to Haskell that there is no uranium at the Little Daisy, prompting him to believe that Slip and his gang have tricked him into searching in the wrong place. Shortly afterward, Sach finds uranium nearby and alerts Mac, but they are attacked by Haskell and his men, who have been watching them. Mac flees on his burro, Josephine, but Sach appears to be hit by a bullet and falls over a cliff. After Mac reports back to camp, everyone piles into the jalopy to find Sach. Sach awakens and discovers that he is unharmed and has landed on a ledge, and soon after, his friends rescue him with a rope. However, Haskell stops them before they can leave the area, and threatens to kill them. Invigorated by the encounter, Sach infuriates Slip by suggesting to Haskell that the most convenient method of killing them would be to send them over a cliff in their own car. Haskell likes the idea, and orders Slip at gunpoint to drive, while he and his henchmen follow in another car. However, Slip uses the supercharged reverse installed by the mechanic to elude Haskell and his men. After a lengthy chase, Haskell's car sails off a cliff and crashes. Sach, Slip, Louis, Butch and Chuck discover that the crash dislodged some earth by the Little Daisy Mine, revealing uranium. Moments later, they are confronted by an Indian tribe, which claims the mine because it is part of their reservation. A disappointed Slip rejects the chief's offer of flowers. However, Sach gratefully accepts Spring Wildflowers, who is actually a beautiful Indian maiden.
Mary Beth Hughes
Lester A. Sansom
Allen K. Wood
This was the last film for Bernard Gorcey, who played Louis.
The working title of this film was Operation Uranium. The opening title card reads, "Allied Artists Pictures Corporation presents Leo Gorcey Huntz Hall and The Bowery Boys in Dig That Uranium." Although Ellsworth Fredericks is credited as director of photography on the CBCS, Harry Neuman is credited onscreen and in all other contemporary sources. Fredericks' contribution to the final film has not been determined. The character played by Raymond Hatton is referred to as "Slim McKenzie" in a synopsis in copyright records, but he was called "Hank McKenzie" in the viewed print. According to the press book, Dig That Uranium was shot on location in the Santa Susana Mountains near Los Angeles, CA.
Dig That Uranium marked the final screen appearance of actor Bernard Gorcey, father of series star Leo Gorcey and David Condon [Gorcey], who died on September 11, 1955. For more information on "The Bowery Boys" series, consult the Series Index and the entry for Live Wires in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50.