25 January 2016 | redryan64
Detective Story Send-up
FOLLOWING THE TRADITION and almost obligatory foraying into the realm of the Detective Story, THE BOWERY BOYS made their contribution to the comic parody of the genre. To be sure, this sort of a send-up had been done before. Its history dates back to the days of the Silents with the likes of Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Laurel & Hardy. It continued with the advent of the "Talkies" with people like both the Brothers Ritz & Marx, the Stooges, Red Skelton and even Bob Hope.
IN TAKING THIS foray into these heretofore uncharted waters for the Bowery Boys series, all stops were pulled out. The story had the office of the gumshoe that would have doubled for that of either Sam Spade or Phillip Marlowe. A weeping and partially veiled, weepy female victim brings a sad story which is obviously not wholly the truth.
THE NOTION OF having Leo Gorcey's "Slip" Mahoney becoming the tough was not such a stretch. Anyone who's seen Leo's dramatic abilities as "Spit" in the film version of DEAD END certainly would not have been surprised. He possessed an intensity that was both totally believable and natural.
HOWEVER, WE DIGRESS, as we are supposed to be putting the comic aspects of the movie under a sort of microscope, OF COURSE, WE have rounding out the action sleuth spoofing from the boys (Bobby Jordan, Gabriel Dell, David Gorcey). Proper and atmospheric characters provided by the likes of Pierre Watkin, Dan Seymour, Byron Folger and Noble Johnson provide the necessary mysterious and menacing characters befitting a Dashell Hammitt or Raymond Chandler story.
OH, DEAR ME! How could we forget the 'subtle' performance of Huntz Hall, comic relief supreme. In this outing he sports a calabash pipe and a deerstalker hat. Now, Schultz, who do you suppose that he was lampooning here? No Schultz, Basil Rathbone is incorrect!