In this early East Side Kids feature, boxer Muggs (Leo Gorcey) is preparing for a fight, and manager Danny (Bobby Jordan) sends him upstate to a training camp, which turns out to be a military-style Civilian Conservation Corps. The hard labor gets Muggs in good shape, but when a fellow worker named Willie (Bobby Stone) double-crosses him, will Danny be able to bail him out? Donald Haines and David Gorcey round out the gang.
American low-budget filmmaker Joseph H. Lewis began his long screen career editing such Republic serials as The Miracle Rider (1935) and The Undersea Kingdom (1936). Lewis was elevated to director with Courage of the West, a 1937 Universal oater that also marked the debut of crooner Bob Baker. As a director, Lewis would remain in the Western field well into the television era, earning the nickname of “Wagon Wheel Joe” because of a penchant for framing shots through the spokes of a wagon wheel. The moniker was bestowed upon him by fellow B-Western expert Oliver Drake, but unlike Drake, Lewis’ oeuvre managed to stand out in a crowded field, mainly due to careful lighting and other atmospheric touches not often considered sine qua non in low-budget filmmaking. Turning increasingly to thrillers, Lewis later directed Bela Lugosi in one of the veteran screen ghoul’s better later vehicles, Monogram’s The Invisible Ghost (1941), and even more importantly… read more