The East Side Kids were betwixt and between their earlier roughneck characterizations and their later Bowery Boys buffoonery when Million Dollar Kid came out early in 1944. Vowing to rid the East Side of hoods and holdup men, Muggs McGinniss (Leo Gorcey) and his gang rescue wealthy John Cortland (Herbert Heyes) from a band of young thugs. When it turns out that one of Cortland's assailants was his own son Roy (Johnny Duncan), Muggs and his pals set about to reform the boy. Roy resists the gang's efforts until he receives word that his older brother has been killed in the war. Intending to confess all to the cops, Roy is abducted by his hoodlum friends, obliging Muggs, Glimpy (Huntz Hall) and the other East Side Kids to come to the rescue. The more serious aspects of Million Dollar Kid are leavened by moments of earthy humor, with some of the gags dating as far back as the Fatty Arbuckle era.