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Wild Boys of the Road (1933)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,018 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 18 critic

In the depths of the Depression, two teenage boys strike out on their own in order to help their struggling parents and find life on the road tougher than expected.

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Title: Wild Boys of the Road (1933)

Wild Boys of the Road (1933) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Eddie
Edwin Phillips ...
Tommy
Rochelle Hudson ...
Grace
Dorothy Coonan Wellman ...
Sally (as Dorothy Coonan)
...
Ollie
Arthur Hohl ...
Dr. Heckel
Ann Hovey ...
Lola
Minna Gombell ...
Aunt Carrie
...
Mr. James Smith
Claire McDowell ...
Mrs. Smith
Robert Barrat ...
Judge R.H. White
Willard Robertson ...
Captain of Detectives
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Himself (archive footage)
Guy Kibbee ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

At the bottom of the depression, Tom's mother has been out of work for months when Ed's father loses his job. Not to burden their parents, the two high school sophomore's decide to hop the freights and look for work. Wherever they go, there are many other kids just like them, so Tom, Ed and now Sally stick together. They camp in places like 'Sewer City' as long as they can until the local authorities run them off. They travel all over the mid west and when they get to New York, Ed thinks that they may finally find work. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Girls living like boys! Boys living like savages!

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 October 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wild Boys of the Road  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mary Wiggins and Harvey Parry doubled Dorothy Coonan and Frankie Darro. See more »

Goofs

Noticably slimmer stunt man for Tommy as he hits his head on the RR sign post and falls on the tracks. See more »

Quotes

Tommy Gordon: [Just prior to the amputation] Doc?
Dr. Henry A. Heckel: Yes, don.
Tommy Gordon: [Motioning for the doctor to come closer] If I... If I cough... that means it's hurtin' too much.
[Tommy looks around but his friend look away]
Tommy Gordon: You see, I don't want the fellas to think I'm a baby.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Riding the Rails (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

High Life
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when the boys are siphoning the gasoline
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant, heart-wrenching depression gem
21 January 2003 | by (Easley, SC) – See all my reviews

Forget the Kleenex, bring the Bounty paper towels to experience William Wellman's depression masterpiece. This huge emotional epiphany packs a wallop.

Frankie Darro and Edwin Phillips portray the juvenile leads Eddie and Tommy, with Darro's performance effective and appealing. Their characters indulge in the usual teenage shenanigans until the depression overtakes their parents. As times toughen, and Eddie's father can't find work, Eddie decides to sell his jalopy to help out. This sets up the first of many splendid scenes, as Eddie's tough-guy veneer drops just long enough to share raw emotions with his father (Grant Mitchell). Zero cringe factor here, Wellman excels at emotions between men and it's never maudlin.

Hitting the (rail)road to find work, Eddie and Tommy encounter Sally, an adorable, nose-scrintching Dorothy Coonan dressed as a man. And the three set off across the country, with high ideals and optimism clashing with depression realities. Brutal and raw, this is a journey you, too, must take. A page of America's history told so expertly as to make you laugh and cry simultaneously.

Ms. Coonan (Sally) quit films after "Wild Boys" to marry director "Wild" Bill Wellman, and remain his his wife until his death in 1975. My highest recommendation.


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