Let's Get Tough! (1942)

62 mins | Comedy-drama | 29 May 1942

Director:

Wallace W. Fox

Producers:

Sam Katzman, Jack Dietz

Cinematographer:

Arthur Reed

Production Designer:

David Milton

Production Company:

Banner Productions
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HISTORY

The opening title card reads "The Eastside Kids in Let's Get Tough! " Sunshine Sammy Morrison's surname was misspelled "Morrisson" in the onscreen credits. The working titles of this film were Little MacArthurs , I Am an American and Little Americans . Little MacArthurs was announced in HR as the first film title to mention General Douglas MacArthur by name. For additonal information on the "East Side Kids" series, consult the Series Index and see above entry for Flying Wild ... More Less

The opening title card reads "The Eastside Kids in Let's Get Tough! " Sunshine Sammy Morrison's surname was misspelled "Morrisson" in the onscreen credits. The working titles of this film were Little MacArthurs , I Am an American and Little Americans . Little MacArthurs was announced in HR as the first film title to mention General Douglas MacArthur by name. For additonal information on the "East Side Kids" series, consult the Series Index and see above entry for Flying Wild . More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
16 May 1942.
---
Daily Variety
16 Mar 1942.
---
Daily Variety
11 May 1942.
---
Film Daily
13 May 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Mar 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 42
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
16 May 42
p. 662.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
I Am an American
Little Americans
Little MacArthurs
Release Date:
29 May 1942
Production Date:
31 March--mid April 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
22 May 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11456
Duration(in mins):
62
Length(in feet):
5,572
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
8317
SYNOPSIS

The East Side Kids, a gang of tough but honest youth in New York City, are frustrated that their age keeps them from serving in the army during World War II, so they wage a private war at home. Their first target is a storekeeper whom they believe to be Japanese, and they pelt his store with rotten vegetables. When they enter the store to smash the curios, they discover the owner has been stabbed to death. The Kids are questioned and released by the police. Learning that the owner was actually Chinese, the Kids make a heartfelt apology to his widow. Their curiosity is then aroused when a supposed patron, Joe Matsui, steals a pen from the store's desk. After they steal the pen from Joe, the Kids discover a piece of paper hidden inside it, which reveals Japanese writing when a light is held near it. Muggs, the leader of the East Side Kids, takes the note to the Matsui tea shop and asks Joe's father to interpret it. When the elder Matsui snatches the note, Muggs grabs it back, and Matsui commits suicide. The Kids drag policeman Pop Stevens to the scene, but Joe disguises himself as his own father to allay suspicions about his father's death. Danny, a member of the gang, is surprised by the appearance of his brother Phil in the tea shop. Phil has been dishonorably discharged from the Navy for sabotage, and his covert actions now seem suspicious to the Kids. They steal a bag containing a white substance hidden in the tea shop and take it home. When the bag explodes on the stove, Stevens helps ... +


The East Side Kids, a gang of tough but honest youth in New York City, are frustrated that their age keeps them from serving in the army during World War II, so they wage a private war at home. Their first target is a storekeeper whom they believe to be Japanese, and they pelt his store with rotten vegetables. When they enter the store to smash the curios, they discover the owner has been stabbed to death. The Kids are questioned and released by the police. Learning that the owner was actually Chinese, the Kids make a heartfelt apology to his widow. Their curiosity is then aroused when a supposed patron, Joe Matsui, steals a pen from the store's desk. After they steal the pen from Joe, the Kids discover a piece of paper hidden inside it, which reveals Japanese writing when a light is held near it. Muggs, the leader of the East Side Kids, takes the note to the Matsui tea shop and asks Joe's father to interpret it. When the elder Matsui snatches the note, Muggs grabs it back, and Matsui commits suicide. The Kids drag policeman Pop Stevens to the scene, but Joe disguises himself as his own father to allay suspicions about his father's death. Danny, a member of the gang, is surprised by the appearance of his brother Phil in the tea shop. Phil has been dishonorably discharged from the Navy for sabotage, and his covert actions now seem suspicious to the Kids. They steal a bag containing a white substance hidden in the tea shop and take it home. When the bag explodes on the stove, Stevens helps them put out the fire and identifies the substance as magnesium, a valuable wartime resource which he suspects is being illegally supplied by a local storekeeper named Heinbach. Muggs gives the Japanese note to Nora, Phil's girl friend and Stevens' daughter, to be translated, but when she takes it to her old high school friend, Joe, he and Heinbach's son Fritz hold her hostage. The Kids now become convinced that a spy ring is operating in their neighborhood and break into the tea shop and infiltrate a clandestine meeting of fifth columnists wearing hoods and gowns. After Phil is revealed as a member, the Kids are discovered and a brawl ensues. Phil, who has actually been working undercover for the U.S. government, rounds up the spies, including Matsui and Heinbach, Sr., with the help of the East Side Kids, the spies are arrested by the police. Phil and Nora marry, but he is forced to report back to the Navy before they can go on their honeymoon. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.