AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Mr. Muggs Steps Out
Director: William Beaudine (Dir)
Release Date:   10 Dec 1943
Premiere Information:   New York opening: week of 7 Dec 1943
Production Date:   mid-Aug--late Aug 1943
Duration (in mins):   54 or 63
Duration (in feet):   5,683
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Cast:   Leo Gorcey (Muggs)  
    Huntz Hall (Glimpy)  
    Gabriel Dell ([Dips] Nolan)  
    Billy Benedict (Pinkie)  
    Joan Marsh (Brenda [Morgan])  
    Stanley Brown (Virgil)  
    Halliwell Hobbes (Charney)  
    Eddie Gribbon (Grogan)  
    Noah Beery Sr. (Judge)  
    Nick Stuart (Diamonds)  
    Patsy Moran (Maisie)  
    Betty Blythe (Margaret [Morgan])  
    Emmet Vogan (John Morgan)  
    Dave Durand (Danny)  
    Bobby Stone (Speed)  
    Bud Gorman (Skinny)  
    Jimmy Strand (Dave)  
    Lottie Harrison (Dowager)  

Summary: Much to the despair of her husband John, wealthy New York socialite Margaret Morgan hires former criminals to be her house servants. When she goes to court because her daughter Brenda has been arrested for reckless driving, Margaret is moved to hire Muggs, leader of the East Side Kids gang, who has been arrested for vagrancy and being a public nuisance, after the judge insists that he get a legitimate job. Now a chauffeur, Muggs brings the whole gang with him and puts them to work polishing cars. Muggs is instructed on proper etiquette, and when an engagement party is held for Brenda and her conservative fiancé Virgil, Muggs and the gang serve the food. At the end of the evening, one of the guests discovers that her diamond necklace is missing, and John accuses the East Side Kids of the theft. However, everyone recalls seeing a stranger at the party, whom the Morgans' regular maid Maisie now remembers as someone she met at Danceland, a dance hall on the lower East Side. Muggs convinces John not to call the police until he and the boys have had a chance to investigate. Maisie goes downtown to Danceland with Brenda, who dresses up like a gangster's moll in order to fit in. They meet with gangster Dips Nolan and learn that he plotted the jewelry heist with Diamonds, who was the stranger at the party. Nolan becomes suspicious when naïve Virgil, who has followed Brenda to the dance hall, uses her real name and asks him to throw a fake fight so that he can prove his manhood. Nolan instead knocks Virgil out and kidnaps Brenda. Muggs and Glimpy, meanwhile, see Diamonds leave for the dance hall and search his apartment. Although they find nothing, Diamonds and Nolan return with Brenda, and the entire East Side Kids gang captures the criminals and retrieves the diamonds. Later, Brenda is pleased to find that Virgil's East Side adventure has transformed him into a more confident and adventurous person. 

Production Company: Banner Productions  
Distribution Company: Monogram Pictures Corp.  
Director: William Beaudine (Dir)
  Art Hammond (Asst dir)
Producer: Sam Katzman (Prod)
  Jack Dietz (Prod)
  Barney Sarecky (Assoc prod)
Writer: Wm. X. Crowley (Orig story and scr)
  Beryl Sachs (Orig story and scr)
Photography: Marcel LePicard (Photog)
Film Editor: Carl Pierson (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Ernest Hickson (Set des)
Music: Edward Kay (Mus dir)
Sound: Gilbert E. Meloy (Sd eng)
Country: United States
Language: English
Series: The East Side Kids

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Monogram Pictures Corp. 29/10/1943 dd/mm/yyyy LP12341

PCA NO: 9589
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA Sound System

 
Genre: Comedy
 
Subjects (Major): Charity
  Gangs
  Jewel thieves
  Servants
  Transformation
  Upper classes
 
Subjects (Minor): Chauffeurs
  Class distinction
  Engagements
  Fistfights
  Impersonation and imposture
  Judges
  Kidnapping
  Mothers and daughters
  New York City
  New York City--Park Avenue
  Parties
  Socialites

Note: For more information on the "East Side Kids" series, consult the Series Index, and see the entry below for Flying Wild . Actor Halliwell Hobbes's name is misspelled in the opening credits as "Holliwell." 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   25 Dec 1943.   
Hollywood Reporter   20 Aug 43   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Aug 43   p. 23.
Motion Picture Herald   25 Dec 1943.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   25 Sep 43   p. 1555.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   25 Dec 43   p. 1686.
Variety   15 Dec 43   p. 20.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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