In this "East Side Kids" escapade (the eighth in the series), the gang, led by Muggs McGinniss (Leo Gorcey), help a man load a barrel on a truck. Little do they know that the man is a crook; accused of trying to steal the truck, they are immediately and without due process sent to reform school. Meanwhile, a gang members' brother is framed for murder and sentenced to death (justice is dispensed with remarkable swiftness on the East Side). The imprisoned gang watch a newsreel which features the man whom they'd helped load the truck. The man was filmed picking up a lottery prize for the his boss, a supposedly dead gangster who committed the murder for which the boy mentioned a few sentences back was framed. With the flimsiest of evidence, Muggs and his boys figure that the barrel loaded on the truck contained the murderous gangster. They escape from reform school (almost as easily as they'd gotten in), track down the gangster's henchman, extract a confession and save the condemned boy at the last minute. Insanely illogical, Mr. Wise Guy is lifted ever so slightly from mediocrity by the supporting performance of Billy Gilbert as the gangster's stooge.
by Hal Erickson synopsis