Mob Town
Universal Pictures 

Directed by William Nigh
Written by Brenda Weisberg and Walter Doniger

A Ken Goldsmith Production

Released October 8, 1941

     One in a series Universal is turning out with some of the Dead End Kids, story has East Side toughies on the loose, the gang headed by Billy Halop who's a target for big-brother-reformation by policeman Dick Foran.

     Latter gets along pretty well until Halop ties in with a recently released
convict and gets in a jam for a kid court trial by members of the former recalcitrant gang.  Along the line, there's romance between Foran and the lovely Anne Gwynne.


 

Cast:

Billy Halop

Anne Gwynne ... Marion Barker

Huntz Hall

Gabriel Dell

Bernard Punsley

Dick Foran

Production:

Brenda Weisberg & Walter Doniger- Writers

William Nigh- Director

Ken Goldsmith- Producer

Woody Bredell- Cinematographer

Arthur Hilton- Editor

Full Storyline

At Barton's Dance Palace, a fight breaks out involving the teenage gang of Tom Barker, Pig, String and Ape. While the others are caught, Tom slips home, where he finds youngster Butch "Shrimp" Malone waiting for him. Shrimp tells Tom that his aunt has abandoned him once again, so Tom tells the boy that he can stay with him. Tom's older sister Marion (Anne Gwynne) awakens and warns the two boys not to disturb their uncle.

The uncle awakens, however, and complains that Tom has been sending cigarettes to convict Monk Bangor, a friend of Tom's late gangster brother Jim. He further states that Tom will end up in the electric chair, just like his brother. Sergeant Frank Convoy then arrives to arrest Tom, much to the delight of his uncle. In the chambers of Judge Luther Bryson, Marion pleads Tom's case, to little avail. Frank arrives and offers to organize a "Police Big-Brother" movement involving Tom and his gang.

The judge agrees, knowing that Frank was the officer who sent Jim to the electric chair. Frank is taken by the boys to their clubhouse, where he is told of the gang's plan to go "into business" with Bangor upon his release from prison. When the boys threaten the off-duty policeman, he demonstrates his mastery of judo and offers to teach it to them. The gang then offers their singing act for a local benefit talent show, and another fight breaks out. After the four are beaten up by the locals, Pig, Ape and String take Frank up on his offer and join the police gym.

After Tom arrives, Frank offers to get the boys jobs. When they refuse, Frank tells Tom that he is "too soft" to work. Thus goaded, the boys get jobs working in an auto wrecking yard. Later, the gang is met by gangsters Brick and Nutsy, who wish to hide their loot in the gang's clubhouse. Nutsy and Rick are later arrested and the loot, $20,000 worth of stolen jewelry, is discovered in the clubhouse. After they swear that they had nothing to do with the robbery, the juveniles are released.

While dining at Frank's, Tom discovers the policeman's involvement in his brother's arrest. Tom confronts the officer and falsely accuses him of tricking his brother into his arrest. Tom leaves with Shrimp, while the rest of the gang stays in support of Frank. Tom then runs into Monk, who has just been released from prison. When Tom returns home later that night, he has a fight with his sister and leaves, taking Shrimp with him.

Tom's uncle goes to the police, claiming that the boy has stolen some family jewelry. Tom attempts to pawn his mother's jewelry, only to be cornered by Pig, String and Ape. They take him to the old clubhouse, where the neighborhood boys put him on trial. Tom is found guilty by the kangaroo court and ordered to give himself up. He escapes, however, leaving Shrimp behind. The little boy confesses that Tom has joined Monk's gang and is heading west with the gangster.

Frank traces the two to a local drugstore, where he attempts to take Tom into custody. Unknown to Frank and Tom, Monk has just robbed the drugstore, and, in the ensuing shootout, Frank is wounded. Tom is forced to drive the gangster's car, which he deliberately crashes, and Monk is captured. Frank and Tom go back to the police station, where both are absolved of their previous crimes. The reformed gang then plans to go to a "Police Officers' Buddies" convention with Frank and Marion, only to have the back wheels fall off their car, as Pig forgot to put on the rear axle.

 

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