Smart Alecks is a black and white 1942 American film directed by Wallace Fox and produced by Sam Katzman for Monogram Pictues. It features an early performance by Gale Storm and and brief cameo by Marie Windsor as a nurse and was the tenth film produced in the East Side Kids series.
April 1, 2015 Subject:
One Of The Best Of Series
The Eastside Kids formula was perfectly solidified in this little film, which aided by very tight editing to cram it all in at just over an hour, is full of the slapstick, off the wall ad-libs, and mangled word play they would long be noted for in this series and the following franchise "The Bowery Boys" as well. Most Of the usual guys are here in support of Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall and the addition of ex-boxer/comedian Maxie Rosenbloom as a minor league gangster is the perfect mix of funny and straight man for the boys as well. The set piece with the birthday cake is classic.
Other casting notes, 17 year old Stanley Clements makes his film debut here and he shows promise. He would actually close out the "Bowery Boys" series in 1958 and became a well used character actor after WWII throughout a long career.
A cute young Gale Storm, under contract to Monogram, in one of her fist films is sweet and perky and cute as Bobby Jordan's nurse sister.
Marie Windsor in two small bits as a nurse gives no clue to the character actress and leading lady she would become on films at RKO and Republic and others for a very long time and on television as well, but she did have those expressive eyes and makes her nothing part memorable in her only appearance for Monogram.
I've seen most if not all of the various series entries over the years and this is one of the best and in re-release over the years made a ton of money for the company.
One minor quibble on my part, the pathos towards the end of the film is a little thick, but you knew under all that tough exterior these heroes were mostly mush anyway.
One other thing, check out the product placements in this film right down to the comic book, way ahead of its time.
It's all a ton of laughs so watch and enjoy.