East Side Kids (film)

East Side Kids is a 1940 film and the first in the East Side Kids film series. It is the only one not to star any of the original six Dead End Kids.

East Side Kids
DVD Cover
Directed byRobert F. Hill
Produced bySam Katzman
Written byWilliam Lively
StarringLeon Ames
Dennis Moore
Joyce Bryant
East Side Kids
Music byJohnny Lange
Lew Porter
CinematographyArt Reed
Edited byEarl Turner (film editor)
Distributed byMonogram Pictures Corporation
Release date
  • February 10, 1940 (1940-02-10) (U.S.)
Running time
62 minutes
CountryUnited States


The film was released by producer Sam Katzman. This was also his first project at Monogram Pictures, which he joined shortly after the folding of his company Victory Pictures.


Police officer Pat O'Day (Leon Ames), a former child of the tenements, tries to reform a gang of street kids by involving them in a boys' police club. When club member Danny Dolan (Harris Berger)'s brother Knuckles (Dave O'Brien) is sentenced to death row for killing a treasury agent, Pat vows to help Danny clear his brother, whom he believes is innocent, but before he can begin his investigation, the police commissioner demotes him to walking a beat. Meanwhile, a counterfeiting ring composed of Mileaway Harris(Dennis Moore), a former tenement kid, Morris, and his girl friend May (Maxine Leslie) sets up shop in shopkeeper's Schmidt (Ted Adams)'s, basement. Feeling threatened by Pat, Morris schemes to discredit the policeman by posing as a businessman who wants to hire Pat's boys to distribute advertising leaflets. Unknown to Pat, Morris places bogus five dollar bills in the pay envelopes, and when the boys are caught passing fake money, Pat is implicated in the counterfeiting scheme. To prove his innocence, Pat takes to the streets, and Danny, still unaware of Morris' involvement in the counterfeiting ring, agrees to deliver a suitcase for him to May. A policeman follows Danny to May's apartment, where they are greeted by Mileaway, who kills the policeman and takes Danny hostage. As they drive across town, Danny learns that it was Mileaway who killed the treasury agent and framed Knuckles. Pat tracks down Mileaway's car, and in the ensuing chase, Mileaway escapes and kills Schmidt. Pat and the kids chase Mileaway to a rooftop, where Dutch (Hal E. Chester), Danny's friend, struggles with Mileaway. When they both fall to the sidewalk, Dutch is killed; but Mileaway lives to confess to the agent's murder, and all ends happily as both Knuckles and Pat are exonerated.


The East Side Kids

Remaining Cast


  • Directed by: Robert F. Hill
  • Screenplay by: William Lively
  • Produced by: Sam Katzman
  • Music composed by: Johnny Lange, Lew Porter
  • Film editing by: Earl Turner
  • Cinematography by: Arthur Reed
  • Production Management: Ed W. Rote
  • Assistant Director: Glenn Cook
  • Sound: Glen Glenn

Home media

The film was originally released on DVD by Alpha Video on June 24, 2003 and has since been re-released multiple times by a variety of manufacturers.

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