Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

THE GAS HOUSE KIDS IN HOLLYWOOD

Wissler, Bartlett, Bond, and Switzer
THE GAS HOUSE KIDS IN HOLLYWOOD (1947). Director: Edward L. Cahn.

In the third and last "Gas House Kids" film the boys drive all the way out to Hollywood to meet their idol, movie detective Lance Carter (Michael Whalen of Blonde Ice). Along the way they encounter the weird Professor Crawford (the equally weird Milton Parsons), who seems to have some plan to revive his deceased associate in his basement. While the boys -- Alfie/Alfalfa (Carl Switzer), Scat (Rudy Wissler), Chimp (Tommy Bond of Hot Rod), and Orvie (Benny Bartlett) -- bunk with the professor, a couple of crooks are looking for loot in Crawford's creepy old house. The Kids importune Lance Carter to help them solve the case when a body turns up in the swimming pool. The Gas House Kids in Hollywood reminds one of the East Side Kids movies as well as the Bowery Boys films -- indeed Bartlett later played Butch in that series -- and is about on the same level if not worse. The one and only highlight of the film is when Rudy Wissler sings the memorable romantic ballad "I'm So in Love with You." The boys' performances are fine, and they get excellent support from James Burke [Body and Soul] as a police lieutenant, among others, but the movie is almost an effort to sit through.

Verdict: Might give you gas! *1/2.

2 comments:

angelman66 said...

LOL...I like Alfalfa, though. But a much better film he did around this time was It's a Wonderful Life--he's the devil who unlocks the swimming pool in the Charleston scene causing Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed to fall in...

Didn't he experience a lot of scandal/tragedy in his life and die young? I can't remember...
-Chris

William said...

Poor Alfafa got into an argument with a man who owed him $50 and the other guy shot him dead, supposedly in self-defense. it was ruled a "justifiable homicide." Switzer was only 31.