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Wild Boys of the Road (1933)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,123 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 19 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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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
...
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:

Az utca vad kölykei  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original story both Sally and her aunt were prostitutes, and Sally hanged herself after being ravaged by the brakeman, who was thrown to his death by the boys after trying him in a kangaroo court. 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

Edward 'Eddie' Smith: [to judge] I knew all that stuff about you helping us was baloney. I'll tell you why we can't go home--because our folks are poor. They can't get jobs and there isn't enough to eat. What good will it do you to send us home to starve? You say you've got to send us to jail to keep us off the streets. Well, that's a lie. You're sending us to jail because you don't want to see us. You want to forget us. But you can't do it because I'm not the only one. There's thousands just like me, and there's ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Riding the Rails (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town
(uncredited)
Music by John Siras and Jack Little
Played when the kids scheme their way into the school dance
See more »

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User Reviews

Vivid social drama from Warner Bros...fine performances...
17 October 2004 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

FRANKIE DARRO and EDWIN PHILLIPS play depression-era buddies with great chemistry and natural vigor and charm. They are the key ingredients in keeping the story firmly in the realm of believability throughout. An intriguing slice of life for depression weary audiences--one has to wonder what the initial effect was upon release in 1933.

Whatever, it all plays out extremely well except for what appears to be a tacked on ending that gives a positive spin to the tale.

Grant Mitchell does fine work as Darro's depressed out-of-work father who shows his love and respect for his son when Darro sells his jalopy (for a mere $22!!) to help out the family. Interesting to note Ward Bond in an unsavory role as a railroad official who is brutally punished after taking advantage of a stowaway girl.

All of the vivid railroad scenes have been expertly photographed and the incident involving the unfortunate Phillips and his leg accident is powerfully depicted. William Wellman's direction keeps things moving swiftly and satisfactorily for a tense and gripping little social drama told in little more than an hour.

Highly recommended, especially because it's a product of its time and reveals all of the societal ills rampant in the early '30s.


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