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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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
Kay
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...
...
Billy Halop ...
Huntz Hall ...
Bobby Jordan ...
...
Spit (as Leo B. Gorcey)
Gabriel Dell ...
Bernard Punsly ...
Charles Peck ...
Minor Watson ...
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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)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Humphrey Bogart got the role of "Baby Face" Martin after George Raft declined it. See more »

Quotes

Hugh 'Baby Face': [Hugh doesn't give a street kid money when the kid doesn't deliver] Nothing for nothing, kid.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Little Tough Guy (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Boo-Hoo
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Carmen Lombardo and John Jacob Loeb
Lyrics by Edward Heyman
Played at the upstairs party and sung by Huntz Hall in the street
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Unique and absorbing
30 June 2003 | by (Louisville, Kentucky) – See all my reviews



It's a dead end street in New York that ends at the river. It's here that a wide assortment of characters from different walks of life come together in a pressure cooker setting. Rich, poor, kindhearted and hardhearted all come together. In Dead End, a young woman and her teenage brother struggle to survive. An architect works for a better life. A gangster comes home to visit his mother. A well kept woman chooses between love and wealth. The rich and the poor get glimpses of one another's lives at the waters edge.

This movie draws us into a unique place and time. It gives us intimate portraits into peoples lives. It makes contrasts and it shows similarities between people. It's one of a kind and director William Wyler has given us something special here. Sylvia Sidney, Humphrey Bogart, Marjorie Main, Allen Jenkins, the Dead End Kids and Ward Bond give standout performances. The 1930's atmosphere is palpable. I rate this film 91/100. It's unique and absorbing.


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