Allen Jenkins - Rotten Tomatoes

Allen Jenkins



The screen's premier "comic gangster," Allen Jenkins studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and worked several years in regional stock companies and on Broadway before talking pictures created a demand for his talents in Hollywood. One of his first films was Blessed Event (1932), in which Jenkins played the role he'd originated in the stage version. This and most subsequent Allen Jenkins films were made at Warner Bros., where the actor made so many pictures that he was sometimes referred to as "the fifth Warner Brother." As outspoken and pugnacious off screen as on, Jenkins was a member in good standing of Hollywood's "Irish Mafia," a rotating band of Hibernian actors (including James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Matt McHugh and Jimmy Gleason) who palled around incessantly. Popular but undisciplined and profligate with his money, Jenkins was reduced to "B" films by the 1940s and 1950s, including occasional appearances in RKO's Falcon films and the Bowery Boys epics at Monogram; still, he was as game as ever, and capable of taking any sort of physical punishment meted out to his characters. TV offered several opportunities for Jenkins in the 1950s and 1960s, notably his supporting role on 1956's Hey Jeannie, a sitcom starring Scottish songstress Jeannie Carson, and 30 weeks' worth of voice-over work as Officer Dibble on the 1961 animated series Top Cat. Going the dinner theater and summer stock route in the 1960s, Jenkins was as wiry as ever onstage, but his eyesight had deteriorated to the point that he had to memorize where the furniture was set. Making ends meet between acting jobs, Jenkins took on work as varied as tool-and-die making for Douglas Aircraft and selling cars for a Santa Monica dealer. Asked in 1965 how he felt about "moonlighting", Jenkins (who in his heyday had commanded $4000 per week) growled, "I go where the work is and do what the work is! Moonlighting's a fact. The rest is for the birds." Towards the end of his life, Jenkins was hired for cameo roles by directors who fondly remembered the frail but still feisty actor from his glory days; one of Jenkins' last appearances was as a telegrapher in the final scene of Billy Wilder's The Front Page (1974).

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
73% The Front Page
  • Telegrapher
1974
No Score Yet Doctor, You've Got to Be Kidding!
  • Joe Bonney
1967
43% Easy Come, Easy Go
  • Actor
1967
44% Robin and the Seven Hoods
  • Vermin
1964
No Score Yet For Those Who Think Young
  • Cronin's Business Associate
1964
No Score Yet I'd Rather Be Rich
  • Fred
1964
75% It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
  • Police Officer
1963
92% Pillow Talk
  • Harry
1959
No Score Yet Behave Yourself
  • Detective
1951
No Score Yet Oklahoma Annie
  • Bartender
1951
No Score Yet Chained for Life (1951)
  • Hinkley
1951
No Score Yet The Big Wheel
  • George
1949
No Score Yet Wild Harvest
  • Higgins
1947
No Score Yet The Hat Box Mystery
  • Harvard
1947
No Score Yet The Senator Was Indiscreet
  • Farrell
1947
No Score Yet Hat-Box Mystery
  • Actor
1947
No Score Yet Case of the Babysitter
  • Actor
1946
No Score Yet Lady on a Train
  • Danny
1945
100% Wonder Man
  • Chimp
1945
No Score Yet Stage Door Canteen
  • Stage Door Canteen Star
1943
No Score Yet Eyes in the Night
  • Marty
1942
No Score Yet They All Kissed the Bride
  • Johnny Johnson
1942
No Score Yet The Falcon Takes Over
  • Jonathan 'Goldy' Locke
1942
No Score Yet Tortilla Flat
  • Portagee Joe
1942
No Score Yet A Date with the Falcon
  • Actor
1942
No Score Yet Go West, Young Lady
  • Deputy Hank
1941
No Score Yet The Gay Falcon
  • Actor
1941
No Score Yet Dive Bomber
  • Lucky Dice
1941
No Score Yet Footsteps in the Dark
  • Wilfred
1941
100% Ball of Fire
  • Garbage Man
1941
No Score Yet Tin Pan Alley
  • Casey
1940
No Score Yet Brother Orchid
  • Willie The Knife
1940
100% Destry Rides Again
  • Bugs Watson
1939
No Score Yet Five Came Back
  • Peter
1939
No Score Yet Going Places
  • Droopy
1939
No Score Yet The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse
  • Okay
1938
No Score Yet Gold Diggers in Paris
  • Duke Dennis
1938
No Score Yet Fools for Scandal
  • Dewey `Dew' Gibson
1938
No Score Yet A Slight Case of Murder
  • Mike
1938
No Score Yet Swing Your Lady
  • Shiner Ward
1938
No Score Yet Hard to Get
  • Roscoe
1938
No Score Yet Racket Busters
  • `Skeets' Wilson
1938
No Score Yet Sh! The Octopus
  • Dempsey
1937
89% Dead End
  • Hunk
1937
No Score Yet Marry the Girl
  • Specs
1937
No Score Yet Ever Since Eve
  • Jack Edgall
1937
100% Marked Woman
  • Louie
1937
No Score Yet Ready, Willing and Able
  • Jay Van Courtland
1937
No Score Yet Three Men on a Horse
  • Charley
1936
No Score Yet The Singing Kid
  • Joe Eddy
1936
No Score Yet Cain and Mabel
  • Dodo
1936
No Score Yet The Case of the Lucky Legs
  • Spudsy
1935
No Score Yet Page Miss Glory
  • Petey
1935
No Score Yet The Irish in Us
  • Car-Barn Hammerschlag
1935
No Score Yet The Case of the Curious Bride
  • Spudsy
1935
No Score Yet While The Patient Slept
  • Jackson
1935
No Score Yet The St. Louis Kid
  • Buck 'Bucky' Willets
1934
No Score Yet The Case of the Howling Dog
  • Sgt. Holcomb
1934
No Score Yet Jimmy the Gent
  • Louie
1934
No Score Yet I've Got Your Number
  • John
1934
No Score Yet The Big Shakedown
  • Lefty
1934
No Score Yet Happiness Ahead
  • Chuck
1934
No Score Yet Havana Widows
  • Herman Brody
1933
No Score Yet Tomorrow at Seven
  • Dugan
1933
No Score Yet The Mayor of Hell
  • Mike
1933
No Score Yet The Silk Express
  • Rusty
1933
No Score Yet Professional Sweetheart
  • O'Connor
1933
No Score Yet The Keyhole
  • Hank Wales
1933
95% 42nd Street
  • Mac Elory
1933
No Score Yet Blondie Johnson
  • Louis
1933
No Score Yet Hard to Handle
  • Radio Announcer
1933
No Score Yet Lawyer Man
  • Issy Levine
1933
No Score Yet The Mind Reader
  • Frank
1933
No Score Yet Employees' Entrance
  • Sweeney
1933
No Score Yet Bureau of Missing Persons
  • Detective Joe Musik
1933
100% I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang
  • Barney
1932
No Score Yet Three on a Match
  • Dick
1932
No Score Yet Blessed Event
  • Frankie Wells
1932

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Batman
1966-1968
  • Little Al

Quotes from Allen Jenkins' Characters