Keep 'Em Slugging


60m 1943

Brief Synopsis

A gang of tough street kids decide to go straight and get jobs in order to free draft-age men for the war effort. However, because of their past tangles with the law, they can't find anybody who'll hire them. Finally one of them gets a job at the department store where his sister works, but runs afoul of a store executive who is in league with a ring of hijackers.

Film Details

Also Known As
Bad Company, The Dead End Kids and the Little Tough Guys in Keep Em Slugging
Release Date
Apr 2, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
60m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,525ft

Synopsis

With summer vacation starting, teenage gang leader Tommy Banning lectures his cohorts about helping the war effort by going straight and getting legitimate jobs, rather than working the rackets. Unfortunately, due to their juvenile delinquency records, the gang has little luck in finding work. Sheila, Tommy's sister, goes to Frank Moulton, the head of the shipping department at the department store where she works, and asks him to hire Tommy, but he refuses unless she agrees to go out with him. Later, Jerry Brady, Sheila's boyfriend, arranges a job for Tommy with Moulton. Tommy immediately falls for salesgirl Suzanne Booker, but their attempt to go out on a date is sabotaged when they are joined at the cinema by his friends, Albert "Pig" Gum, String and Ape. Later, Tommy gets Pig a job working in a parking lot. After two more stock clerks are drafted into military service, Tommy suggests to Mr. Curruthers, the head of the store, that he replace them with out-of-work teenagers, so the store hires String and Ape. Meanwhile, Moulton meets with gangster Duke Redman, who complains that Moulton has not been setting him up with enough business out of the department store. Moulton suggests that Redman recruit Tommy into his gang, so the gangster arranges for the youth to meet sexy café singer, Lola Leverne. She convinces Tommy to come her café, where Redman offers him "work." Tommy refuses and threatens to expose the gangster if anything happens at the store. Moulton then frames Tommy in a jewelry theft. After Tommy is placed in jail, Sheila quits her job, which greatly upsets Jerry, who is actually Curruthers' son. After being bailed out of jail by Jerry, Tommy returns home and becomes enraged when he learns that his mother and sister think he is guilty. After meeting with his gang, Tommy goes to Lola's café to speak with Redman, and sees Moulton talking to the singer. He follows them to Redman's hideout, where they are preparing to hijack a silk shipment from the department store. After the robbery, Tommy and his gang pin the gangsters in their office with a water hose until the police arrive. Tommy is rewarded with Moulton's job at the store, while Pig, String and Ape go to work in the shipping department, and Jerry and Sheila are happily reunited.

Film Details

Also Known As
Bad Company, The Dead End Kids and the Little Tough Guys in Keep Em Slugging
Release Date
Apr 2, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
60m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,525ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Bad Company. The film's opening credits read: "The Dead End Kids and the Little Tough Guys in Keep 'Em Slugging." Hollywood Reporter reported in November 1942 that actor Gene Reynolds, who had previously been cast in the film, was being replaced in the role of "Tommy Banning" by Bobby Jordan. Hollywood Reporter also stated that actor Don Porter was given a two-week delay in his military service so that he could appear in this film. Budge Patty was an eighteen-year-old junior tennis champion at the time of this film, according to Hollywood Reporter. Keep 'Em Slugging was the final film in Universal's "Dead End Kids/Little Tough Guys" series. For additional information on these series, consult the Series Index and the entries for Crime School and Little Tough Guy in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.0873 and F3.2534.