That Gang of Mine (1940)
That Gang of Mine
Film / Comedy
Directed by Joseph H. Lewis
Cast: Leo Gorcey, Clarence Muse, Bobby Jordan and The East Side Kids
This is a solid East Side Kids feature that combines their familiar style with an equally familiar story setup about a young man's dream, producing something slightly different from either. It successfully avoids being predictable, while offering Leo Gorcey, Bobby Jordan, and the rest plenty of chances to display their boisterous style. The story has Gorcey, as Muggs, dreaming of becoming a famous jockey. This seemingly unsuitable choice of profession sets up an interesting story that even has a few thoughtful moments. Clarence Muse does quite a good job as Muggs's kindly, wise mentor (and as a side-note, it's one of the better roles for an African-American to be found in the B-movies of the era). While the other adult characters are mostly one-dimensional, they each serve a purpose in the way that things turn out. Along the way there are a number of chances for Gorcey, Jordan, and the rest to engage in some amusing silliness, yet director Joseph H. Lewis maintains a decent balance between that and more substantial material. As a result, it's not bad at all, and is worth seeing, at least for those who like the East Side Kids and their style.
Actors: Leo Gorcey, Bobby Jordan