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Dead End (1937)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama | Film-Noir  -  27 August 1937 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,647 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 28 critic

The Dead End Kids, an unemployed architect, and gangster Baby Face Martin interact with an East Side neighborhood over one day and night.

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(screen play), (based upon the play by)
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Title: Dead End (1937)

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Drina
...
Dave
...
Wendy Barrie ...
Kay
...
Francey
...
Hunk
Marjorie Main ...
Mrs. Martin
Billy Halop ...
Tommy
Huntz Hall ...
Bobby Jordan ...
Angel
Leo Gorcey ...
Spit (as Leo B. Gorcey)
Gabriel Dell ...
Bernard Punsly ...
Milty
Charles Peck ...
Philip
Minor Watson ...
Mr. Griswald
Edit

Storyline

The Dead End Kids are introduced in their intricate East Side slum, overlooked by the apartments of the rich. Their antics, some funny, some vicious, alternate with subplots: unemployed architect Dave is torn between Drina, sweet but equally poor, and Kay, a rich man's mistress; gangster Baby Face Martin returns to his old neighborhood and finds that nobody is glad to see him. Then violent crime, both juvenile and adult, impacts the neighborhood and its people. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE GREATEST GANGSTER THRILLER THAT EVER EXPLODED FROM THE SCREEN! (1944 reissue print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 August 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead End: Cradle of Crime  »

Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sidney Kingsley based his story of a luxury high-rise built in a tenement neighborhood on a real area of 1930's New York. The actual "Dead End" was located on East 53rd Street on Manhattan's East Side. The luxury high-rise depicted in the film is based on The River House, a 26-story Art Deco high-rise erected on 52nd Street in 1931, when the area surrounding it was still a tenement neighborhood. As depicted in the play and film, the rich tenants of The River House looked down on (and occasionally clashed with) the poorer residents of the neighboring tenements. The 53rd Street tenements were torn down in the late 1940's to make way for the United Nations complex. The River House still stands today. See more »

Quotes

[the police are looking for Tommy after he has a fight with Philip Griswald and then injures Philip's father]
Dave Connell: Don't worry, Drina. He knows his way around - he can take care of himself.
Drina Gordon: He can take care of himself too well. How can he have done such a thing? Where does he learn about knives and...
Dave Connell: He had an expert teacher.
[refers to Martin]
Dave Connell: Anyway it's not hard to learn in a place like this.
Drina Gordon: But he's not a bad kid - not really bad. He never has been.
Dave Connell: The famous 'Baby Face' Martin used to live on ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Followed by Little Tough Guys in Society (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Girl of My Dreams
(1927) (uncredited)
Written by Sunny Clapp
Played after Francey leaves Martin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The film turned out to be Bogart's most significant film since "The Petrified Forest."

It offers a vivid portrait of people caught up in a continual fight to somehow satisfy themselves despite the oppressive environment that seemed to quiet their every attempt…

Joel McCrea is a frustrated architect who dreams of tearing down the slums and Sylvia Sidney portrays a shopgirl struggling for identity and meaning in her life, a life made even more complicated by having to look after her brother (Billy Halop). The boy idolizes the decadent Bogart, an excessive admiration shared by the rest of the Dead End Kids, here recreating their original Broadway roles with noisy good humor…

Opposing these idealists is their real threat, Bogart, an assassin named Baby Face Martin… Bogart is impolitely rejected by a mother (Marjorie Main) who hates him and an ex-girl friend (Claire Trevor) who leaves him bitter and disillusioned when he discovers that she has become a hooker…

Rebuked by those he had been sentimental enough to want to visit, he rapidly reverts to represent beforehand and plans a kidnapping in order to rescue something from the consumed affair…

"Dead End" remains one of Bogart's best films, where the actor proves that he is capable of handling difficult material with considerable skill…


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Bogie without top billing ? viaggio1
Favorite member of the kids? greaser_gal
Dead End [ Alley scene] xpd108
The play AK-18
How about Bogart at the end........awesome! CoolBrz
DEAD END 1937 marn727
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