Live Wires (1946)
I recently acquired the Warner Archive collections volume 1 thru 4 of the Bowery Boys films. That’s 48 movies! As for picking one to watch……..may as well start on volume one disc one.
This time out Leo Gorcey can’t seem to hold down a job. His sister isn’t happy about it and wishes he was more reliable like number two man Huntz Hall instead of hanging out with the gang playing pinball all day.
“That’s the trouble with you. Always jumping to seclusions.”
From get rich scams as a street peddler to thinking he’s got himself a suit and tie job on a construction site, things just don’t seem to be working out for Gorcey’s character, Terrence “Slip” Mahoney. Always fast with women or his fists and quick with the temper. Not so when it comes to an honest day’s hard work.
Perhaps he could take up a job in Hall’s field. That of serving warrants for the district attorney’s office. Using his street smarts, Leo cons his way around and even pulls a fast one to snag a car for repossession from a local nightclub entertainer. All this before she can pull a con on him.
It’s the final twenty minutes of this Monogram programmer that really delivers the laughs. Leo finds himself conning his way into a swank apartment to deliver a summons to mobster Mike Mazurki. Leo’s tough guy act collapses upon seeing the giant that Mazurki is.
Mike throws Leo around the room as if he were a ping pong ball. All in good fun. He just doesn’t know his own strength and believes Leo is on the payroll of the local “boss.” When Huntz Hall catches up the con quickly begins to fall apart. Not to worry as Bobby Jordan and the gang should be along anytime to help corral the criminals and make Leo out a hero in his sister’s eyes.
These films always play fast and loose. Perhaps that’s to keep up with the rapid fire delivery that we always get from Leo Gorcey. Hall gets his special billing here as does Mike Mazurki just below the Leo Gorcey and the Bowery Boys credit that opens the film.
This film in the series was directed by Phil Karlson. Karlson gave us everything from Charlie Chan films to Walking Tall. He also did a couple of Matt Helm films with Dean Martin in the sixties.
Far from A budget films these Bowery Boys titles can grow on you. Especially if you like the slapstick style comedy of The Three Stooges. With 47 more titles in the set I am sure I’ll be posting more films starring Leo, Huntz and the Bowery Boys in the near future.