Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
Originally known as the "Dead End Kids," the tough and rowdy Bowery Boys were the creation of playwright Sidney Kingsley from his play Dead End, a keen-edged, socially-conscious look at life in the New York slums. The play, featuring youngsters Billy Halop, Bobby Jordan, Huntz Hall, Bernard Punsley, Gabriel Dell, and Leo Gorcey as a gang of street-hardened toughs was a hit, leading William Wyler to buy the rights to the play and adapt it into a film in 1937. As an ensemble, the kids appeared in a total of six Warner Brothers features including the James Cagney film Angels with Dirty Faces and Bogart's Crime School. In their first B-movie series, the fellows appeared as The Dead End Kids and the Little Tough Guys for Universal -- based on the film Little Tough Guy. They next appeared in a trio of Universal Saturday afternoon serials and then, billed as the East Side Kids, staffed a low-budget comedy drama series for Monogram Pictures. In 1946, the series became strictly comedy and called the Bowery Boys, starring Leo Gorcey (who was responsible for the changes) as Slip and Huntz Hall as his buddy Sach. The series continued through the late '50s, and though by that time "the Bowery Boys" had become middle-aged men, they continued playing teens. Gorcey left the series in 1956 following the death of his father Bernard Gorcey, who played a storekeeper. He was replaced by Stanley Clements who remained with the series until its demise in 1958.
drug-smuggler, father, gangster, group, leader, scheme, teenagers