The East Side Kids (AKA: The Bowery Boys) return for the third film in their long running series (22 in all). This middling entry suffers from the absence of Huntz Hall, but if you’re an indiscriminate fan of the Kids, you’ll want to check it out.
This time out, Muggs (Leo Gorcey) dreams of being a big time thoroughbred jockey. After practicing by riding on a sawhorse, Muggs convinces a down and out African American horse owner named Ben (Clarence Muse) to let him ride his prized horse, Blue Knight. Ben likes the kids, so he trains Muggs to be a jockey. Even after an initial poor showing, an interested backer decides to finance the horse, but he wants to fire Muggs and hire a crass jockey to ride the horse. Muggs doesn’t like it and makes a fuss, but he eventually caves in so that Ben can make a buck on his horse.
Director Joseph H. (The Big Combo) Lewis keeps things moving at a steady clip (the film runs barely an hour) and captures some pretty exciting race footage but the laughs are few and far between. Muse gives a fairly dignified performance and even gets to belt out a Negro spiritual. Even though the comedy is kept to a bare minimum, Gorcey hams it up appropriately, but it’s fellow East Side Kid Bobby Jordan who gets the best line of the movie: “He doesn’t look like the FRONT end of a horse!”