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Mar 5, 2019

After a long winter’s recording layoff, the Red Time For Bonzo crew reassembles to discuss Hell’s Kitchen, a Warner Dead End Kids programmer powered by the studio’s characteristic Late New Deal fervor. The Gipper doesn’t have a whole lot to do in this remake of 1933’s The Mayor of Hell, but he once again finds himself playing a mediating role as the collegiate consiglieri to gangster-cum-reformer Stanley Fields.

Scripted by correctional connoisseur Crane Wilbur, the film traces folk hero gangster throwback Buck Caesar’s efforts to bring the light of democracy and economic justice to the benighted boy-residents of a fascistic Father Flanagan-style charity workhouse.  Along the way, we get some bravura mugging from daemonic delinquents Leo Gorcey, Billy Halop, Bobby Jordan (et al); a little perfunctory romance between Reagan and Margaret Lindsay; some stirring speeches about the country’s destiny now that Republican nihilism has been thoroughly overcome; and some Simon Legree level villainy from stuffed shirted white collar criminal Grant Mitchell (whose agonizing pup poaching scene will leave lesions on your heart).

Novel suggestion:

Peter Delacorte's Time on My Hands

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