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Wild Boys of the Road (1933)

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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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Complete credited cast:
Edwin Phillips ...
Rochelle Hudson ...
Dorothy Coonan Wellman ...
Sally (as Dorothy Coonan)
Arthur Hohl ...
Dr. Heckel
Ann Hovey ...
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)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Girls living like boys! Boys living like savages!


Adventure | Drama






Release Date:

7 October 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wild Boys of the Road  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie shown in the movie theater scene (about an hour into the film) is another Warner Bros. release, Footlight Parade (1933). See more »


There are no mountains in Columbus, Ohio. See more »


Edward 'Eddie' Smith: [Discovering that Sally is a girl] He's a she!
See more »


Featured in Riding the Rails (1997) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Teenagers take on the Great Depression
14 December 2000 | by (streamwood, Illinois) – See all my reviews

One of the surprisingly realistic dramas that Hollywood created in the early 1930's has teenagers hitting the road during the hard times of the Great Depression.

With their east coast (New "Yawk?") accents, and rough around the edges "Bowery Boys"-style (harken, Leo Gorcey!), Frankie Darrow and a gang of displaced down-on-their-luck (formerly middle class?) teens band together and roam the countryside on foot or by rail, getting into hot water seemingly everywhere they go. Amazing graphic scenes for 1933 include a kid's leg being amputated by a train and an attempted rape scene.

Miserable living conditions and hunger are also depicted with kids lying cheating and stealing to stay alive, but willing to straighten themselves out when given a chance.

You'd think Warner Brothers was taking a risk financing a film that was so bleak and lacking in entertainment value for people that may have been LIVING the kinds of scenes shown, but the film also seems like a propaganda piece for Roosevelt's New Deal. There's a Roosevelt look-alike judge who places his hand, almost in a blessing, on poor Frankie's head and says "things are going to get better very soon".

Overall, Wild Boys of the Road is an interesting social drama that deserves more exposure and recognition.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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