23 May 2010 | wes-connors
Strangled for Laughs
Lazily entrepreneurial "Bowery Boys" leader Leo Gorcey (as Slip Mahoney) tries to sell passing pedestrians on peaks through a giant street telescope, erected outside "Louie's Sweet Shop". With Mr. Gorcey attracting no spenders, partner Huntz Hall (as Sach) hogs the viewing, but focuses on feminine figures instead of celestial orbs. When Mr. Hall aims the telescope at a nearby hotel, he is amused to see two men dancing together, and joins William "Billy" Benedict (as Whitey) for a brief two-step. Hall alerts Mr. Gorcey to the gay dancers - but, when Gorcey takes his turn to spy, the scene is revealed as a struggle, ending in murder!
Witnesses Gorcey and Hall ask rookie officer and Bowery pal Gabriel Dell (as Gabe Moreno) for assistance, but he finds no evidence any murder was committed. With Mr. Benedict, David Gorcey (as Chuck), and Benny "Bennie" Bartlett (as Butch) helping, Gorcey and Hall go undercover as a couple of hapless hotel bellhops, to investigate. Hotel manager Fritz Feld (as Andre Schmidtlapp), ex-con Lionel Stander (as Hatchet Moran), and versatile Frankie Darro (as Ben Feathers) lead the guest cast. Genuinely funny, with Gorcey quipping "he was a very extinguished man" in the morgue, and Hall strangling several laughs out of the script.
****** Trouble Makers (12/10/48) Reginald Le Borg ~ Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Gabriel Dell, Frankie Darro