MR. HEX (1946)
Article #1041 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-20-2004
Posting Date: 6-18-2004
Directed by Wiliam Beaudine
Featuring Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan
Slip decides to make Sach a terrific boxer by employing the art of hypnotism.
This is one of the earlier comedies featuring the Bowery Boys as such; though they had been around for years in other combinations, it wasn’t until 1946 that they began making the string of low-budget comedies under their most famous title. Having watched PRIVATE EYES recently, I thought it was interesting to compare this one in terms of evolution. Leo Gorcey was using malaprops at this point, but they weren’t taken to the extremes of the later movies, and Huntz Hall is still playing someone who resembles a human being. Hypnotism is one of those gimmicks that comedians and comedy groups loved to play with, and the Boys were in the business so long and made so many movies that they used this gimmick not only once, but twice; they would revisit it in HOLD THAT HYPNOTIST. This one is fairly decent, and features a good performance by one-time Dracula hopeful Ian Keith as well as a strange one by Sammy Cohen as a man whose bizarre eyes can break hypnotic trances. The other Boys get a little more to do than they would in later movies in the series as well.