|Thugs with Dirty Mugs|
|Directed by||Tex Avery|
|Story by||Jack Miller|
|Produced by||Leon Schlesinger|
|Starring|| Mel Blanc |
|Music by||Carl W. Stalling|
|Animation by||Sidney Sutherland|
|Distributed by|| Warner Bros. Pictures |
The Vitaphone Corporation
Thugs with Dirty Mugs is a 1939 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon directed by Tex Avery.The short was released on May 6, 1939.
The title is derived from the Warner Bros.' 1938 acclaimed feature film, Angels with Dirty Faces . It is similar to Avery's later MGM crime/detective-oriented cartoon Who Killed Who?
The film takes place in the fictional New York town of Everyville, which is home to a vast total of 112 banks.
The title card and technical credits are followed by introductions of the two lead characters: "F.H.A. (Sherlock) Homes" as police chief "Flat-Foot Flanigan with a Floy Floy," and "Edward G. Robemsome" (a caricature of Edward G. Robinson) as notorious gang leader "Killer Diller." After these introductions, Killer and his gang are seen robbing every bank in the town in numerical order (except that they skip the 13th bank out of superstition) — with the newspaper Telegraph Post reporting the criminals' every move, and even declaring that they have robbed 87 banks in a single day. Despite the criminals' predictability and their endless sight gags (in which Killer does everything from causing one bank to behave like a casino machine to picking up a pay phone and inserting his gun into the speaker, resulting in the operator shrieking in terror and giving him many coins), the police are unable to arrest them. However, after so much bafflement, Flanigan himself gets help from an unlikely source: a man in the front of the theatre who had been sitting through the whole picture; he tells him that Killer is making plans to go to the estate of Mrs. Lotta Jewels at 10:00 in the evening. While Killer and his gang are spending time in said estate, listening to "The Lone Stranger" on radio, Flanigan and his men find the criminals and fire at them. Thus, Killer is captured, convicted, and given a long sentence — which is revealed to be a prison term in which he must write standards ("I've been a naughty boy") on a blackboard one thousand times, much like schoolkids of that era. The imprisoned Killer blows a raspberry as the cartoon irises out.
The cartoon was banned in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1939, because censors "felt the film was just an excuse to show criminal activity."
Animation historian Greg Ford calls Thugs with Dirty Mugs "an Avery treatise on movie gangsterdom that insightfully satirizes the live-action crime thrillers being made at the Warner Bros. studios during this period... The real secret behind Thugs with Dirty Mugs' durability lies in the spot-on accuracy with which the cartoon reconstructs the trappings of Warner's gangster films."
Thugs with Dirty Mugs was released uncut and restored on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 3 .
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Merrie Melodies is an American animated series of comedy short films produced by Warner Bros. starting in 1931, during the golden age of American animation, and ending in 1969. As with its partner series, Looney Tunes, it featured cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Elmer Fudd. Between 1934 and 1943, the Merrie Melodies series were distinguished from the black-and-white, Buddy or Porky Pig–starring Looney Tunes shorts by an emphasis on one-shot stories in color featuring Warner Bros.–owned musical selections. After Bugs Bunny became the breakout recurring star of Merrie Melodies, and Looney Tunes went to color in the early 1940s, the two series gradually lost their distinctions and shorts were assigned to each series more randomly.
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Thugs with Dirty Mugs at IMDb