|Keep 'Em Slugging|
|Directed by||Christy Cabanne|
|Written by|| Brenda Weisberg (screenplay)|
Edward Handler (story)
Robert Gordon (story)
|Produced by||Ben Pivar|
|Starring|| The Dead End Kids |
|Cinematography||William A. Sickner|
|Edited by||Ray Snyder|
|Music by|| Hans J. Salter |
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Keep 'Em Slugging is a 1943 American film starring the Little Tough Guys and directed by Christy Cabanne for Universal Pictures. This was the final film in Universal's Little Tough Guys series, and although Universal still billed the group as "The Dead End Kids and The Little Tough Guys", none of the Little Tough Guys appeared in this film.
Teenage gang leader Tommy Banning is preparing for the Summer vacation by telling his members about the importance of doing their share to help out during the war. The best way to do this, according to Tommy's advice, is to end the gang activities and instead take legitimate useful jobs. But this seems to be a greater task than they could imagine, since most gang members have criminal records for juvenile delinquency, and they fail getting regular jobs. When Tommy's sister Sheila asks her boss, Frank Moulton, at the Carruthers' department store where she works, he agrees to hire Tommy only if she goes on a date with him. Sheila has a boyfriend and won't do that, but her boyfriend Jerry Brady instead gets Tommy the job at the department store. Upon starting his new job, Tommy is smitten by a sales girl, Suzanne Booker, and they go on a movie date together. At the cinema, some of Tommy's gang, Albert "Pig" Gum, String and Ape, turn up and ruin the date. Soon enough Pig, String and Ape all have jobs, the latter two in the same store as Tommy. What Tommy and the gang are unaware of is that Moulton is in cahoots with a gangster, Duke Redman, and meet with him to discuss their dealing. It turns out Redman is disappointed in Moulton for not giving him enough business, and to remedy this Moulton give him the names of Tommy and his gang. After using the sexy singer Lola Laverne as bait, Tommy meets with Redman, but refuses to come work for him stealing goods from the department store. Because of this, Tommy is framed for stealing a piece of jewelry and sent to jail. In protest, Sheila quits her job, and it turns out her boyfriend Jerry is the son of the owner. Jerry gets Tommy out of prison, but his family still think he is guilty of the theft. Tommy decides to act against Moulton and Redman, and meets with his gang. After following Moulton to Redman's headquarters, the gang learn that Redman plans to rob a silk shipment to the department store. Tommy and the gang manage to hold the Redman gangsters enclosed in a room using a fire hose, until the police arrives. As a reward for catching the gang and stopping the robbery, Tommy gets Moulton's job at the store, the rest of the gang start working in the shipping department and Jerry and Sheila reconcile. Thus the gang is disbanded and the members all go legitimate. 
Billy Halop and Bernard Punsley, stars of prior films in the series, were both drafted prior to this film. As a result, their usual roles were respectively taken over by Bobby Jordan and Norman Abbott. With Halop gone, Huntz Hall graduated to top billing for this one film. Similarly, co-star Don Porter was also drafted, but was allowed to complete the film.
Dave Durand, a member of the concurrent running East Side Kids series, appears as an extra in this film, and Jane Frazee and Robert Paige make uncredited appearances as stars in the movie house film.
An idea of how quickly the picture was shot can be seen in a blooper that found its way into the finished film. When Jordan arrives home from jail, his sister (Ankers) rushes to hug him and trips on the carpet. The actors' reactions make it clear that this was not scripted, and Jordan, thinking quickly, ad-libs, "I been meaning to fix that rug."
Dead End is a 1937 crime drama film directed by William Wyler. It is an adaptation of the Sidney Kingsley 1935 Broadway play of the same name. It stars Sylvia Sidney, Joel McCrea, Humphrey Bogart, Wendy Barrie, and Claire Trevor. It was the first film appearance of the acting group known as the Dead End Kids.
The Dead End Kids were a group of young actors from New York City who appeared in Sidney Kingsley's Broadway play Dead End in 1935. In 1937, producer Samuel Goldwyn brought all of them to Hollywood and turned the play into a film. They proved to be so popular that they continued to make movies under various monikers, including the Little Tough Guys, the East Side Kids, and the Bowery Boys, until 1958.
Robert G. Jordan was an American actor, most notable for being a member of the Dead End Kids, the East Side Kids, and The Bowery Boys.
William Halop was an American actor.
The Little Tough Guys were a group of actors who made a series of films and serials released by Universal Studios from 1938 through 1943. Many of them were originally part of The Dead End Kids, and several of them later became members of The East Side Kids and The Bowery Boys.
The Bowery Boys are fictional New York City characters, portrayed by a company of New York actors, who were the subject of 48 feature films released by Monogram Pictures and its successor Allied Artists Pictures Corporation from 1946 through 1958.
The 'Dead End' Kids "On Dress Parade" is a 1939 Warner Bros. film that marked the first time The Dead End Kids headlined a film without any other well-known actors.
Junior G-Men of the Air is a 1942 Universal film serial starring the Dead End Kids and the Little Tough Guys. A group of youthful flying enthusiasts join the "Junior G-Men" to help break up a planned attack on the United States.
Junior G-Men is a 1940 Universal film serial. It was Universal's 116th serial of their total of output of 137. The serial is one of the three serials starring "The Dead End Kids and Little Tough Guys" who were under contract to Universal at the time. The plot of Junior G-Men is a pre-World War II G-Man story about fifth columnists in the United States, with the FBI joining forces with youth to save the country.
Let's Get Tough! is a 1942 film and the ninth film in the East Side Kids series, starring Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan, and Robert Armstrong. Released in early 1942, it was directed by Wallace Fox, and features the gang caught up in World War II and fighting the Black Dragon Society, an enemy sabotage ring.
Mr. Wise Guy is a 1942 American film starring The East Side Kids and directed by William Nigh.
Call a Messenger is a 1939 Universal Studios film that starred Billy Halop and Huntz Hall of the Dead End Kids and several of the Little Tough Guys. It was directed by Arthur Lubin.
You're Not So Tough is a 1940 Universal Studios drama film directed by Joe May and starring Dead End Kids and the Little Tough Guys and was the first in the series where Billy Halop and Huntz Hall weren't billed in the opening credits before the Dead End Kids name.
Give Us Wings is a 1940 Universal comedic film starring the Dead End Kids and the Little Tough Guys. Several members of the casts of those series were also featured in "The East Side Kids" films.
Hit the Road is a 1941 crime comedy film featuring the Dead End Kids and Little Tough Guys.
The East Side Kids were characters in a series of 22 films released by Monogram Pictures from 1940 through 1945. Many of them were originally part of The Dead End Kids and The Little Tough Guys, and several of them later became members of The Bowery Boys.
Dead End is a stage play written by playwright Sidney Kingsley. It premiered on Broadway in October 1935 and ran for two years. It is notable for being the first project to feature the Dead End Kids, who would go on to star, under various names, in 89 films and three serials. These names include Dead End Kids, Little Tough Guys, the East Side Kids and the Bowery Boys. The original play and the 1937 film adaptation were grim dramas set in a poverty-stricken riverside neighborhood in New York City, where the boys look on reform school as a learning opportunity. They played similar characters in several films; their later pictures are comedies.
Mob Town is a 1941 Universal film starring the Dead End Kids and the Little Tough Guys.
Tough as They Come is a 1942 Universal film directed by William Nigh and starring the Dead End Kids and the Little Tough Guys.
Mug Town is a 1942 Universal film starring the Dead End Kids and the Little Tough Guys.