First there were The Dead End Kids, young actors taken from Sidney Kingsleys play Dead End for William Wyler's 1937 film adapttion: Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan, Gabe Dell, Billy Halop, and bernard Punsley. The Dead End Kids went to be featured in six more films. Cashing in on The Dead End Kids was Universal Films, who began a series about The Little Tough Guys. Eventually five of the original Dead End Kids went over to The Little Tough Guys and were billed as The Dead End Kids and The Little Tough Guys, and (sometimes) as The East Side Kids. In 1946 all of these franchises were supplanted by The Bowery Boys, who were featured in 48 movies to 1958.
Glimpy's (Huntz Hall) beautiful sister Betty (Ava Garnder in her first credited role, after a string of uncredited films) is engaged to be married to Jack (Rick Vallin, a recognizable B movie character actor with a jillion film and TV credits). The coulpe have bouoght a bargain house unseen to move into after the honeymoon. Glimpy and the gang decide to fix up the house before the coulpe move in. But, oops!, they goofed up and started fixing a "haunted" house next door. The house is actually full of Nazi spies, led by Emil (Bela Lugosi). There are the required slew of hidden panels and passages.
For this outing The East End Kids are Glimpy, Muggs (Leo Gorcey), Danny (Bobby Jordan), Scruno (Sammy Morrison), Benny (Billy Bendict), Stash (Stanley Clements), Rocky (Bobby Stone), and Sleepy (Bill Bates).
William Beaudine directed, from an original script by Kenneth Higgins.
Perhaps not the greatest in the series, but...hey, Ava Gardner!