In the third screen adaptation of his best-selling 1916 novel, acclaimed writer Booth Tarkington focuses on the mischievous Penrod (Billy Mauch) and his pal Sam (Harry Watson) in this junior league detective caper that pits the boys against dangerous murderers.
Penrod and Sam spring into action after a member of their junior G-Men Club loses his mother in a bank shoot-out. Since the club is pledged to solve crimes and bring crooks to justice, the boys set out to capture the killers -- but are instead captured when the killers hide out in their clubhouse. After Penrod's rival, Rodney, is also captured, the three boys join forces to hatch a daring plot and outsmart their captors.
This popular film inspired two sequels: Penrod and His Twin Brother and Penrod's Double Trouble, both of which starred Billy Mauch and his twin sibling, Bobby.
PENROD AND SAM was the third (and least faithful) screen version of the same-named Booth Tarkington novel. Billy Mauch, the more talented of the Mauch twins, stars as troublesome pre-teen Penrod, up to his usual mischief with his usual gang (including former "OUR GANG" members George Billings and Jerry Tucker). Most of the original story is thrown out the window in favor of an up-to-date "gangster" angle, with Penrod vowing to round up a gang of bank robbers after his young pal Verman (Phillip Hurlic) is orphaned during a shoot-out. Having gleaned their expertise from "G-Man" movies and detective novels, Penrod's gang manages to capture the crooks, who have conveniently taken refuge in the kids' clubhouse. PENROD AND SAM did well enough to engender two sequels, PENROD AND HIS TWIN BROTHER and PENROD'S DOUBLE TROUBLE, both of which teamed Billy Mauch with his look-alike sibling Bobby.
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