17 April 2016 | Michael_Elliott
Familiar Story But Entertaining
On Dress Parade (1939)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Slip Duncan (Leo Gorcey) is a street-tough kid from New York who does what he wants when he wants. The father he never knew had a dying wish that he go to military school and he's eventually tricked into going. Once there he keeps his rebel ways until it nearly costs someone their life.
ON DRESS PARADE was the seventh and final film in The Dead End Kids series. If you've seen the previous entries then you should know that the tone to these films were a lot darker than future version of the kids under The East Side Kids and The Bowery Boys. While this entry isn't the greatest film in the world it's at least entertaining enough for fans.
I will start off with the biggest flaw and that's the fact that there's really nothing shocking or too uncommon. In other words, all of the films followed the same basic formula so once the movie gets going you'll know exactly where it's going. Slip is a jerk to everyone, something bad happens and then he changes his way. There are some good moments scattered throughout including the fact that Slip gets pushed around quite a bit.
Gorcey certainly deserves a lot of credit here as he delivers a nice performance and there's no doubt that he was perfect at playing this type of obnoxious jerk. The supporting cast includes nice turns by Gabriel Dell, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan, John Litel and Billy Halop among others. The direction is good enough to keep the 61 minute running time running smoothly and there are a couple nice laughs to go along with the drama.