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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 3,642 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)

Dead End (1937) on IMDb 7.5/10

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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
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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)
 »

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

William Wyler originally wanted to film on location on the streets of New York, but producer Samuel Goldwyn insisted that it be made in the studio. Art director Richard Day was assigned to design the sets, and made one of the most convincing and elaborate sets in film history. 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

Referenced in Summer of Sam (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

The Prisoner's Song
(1924) (uncredited)
Written by Guy Massey
Played on a kazoo by Bobby Jordan and sung by the boys
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Oh, Those Kids!
6 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a great film about which much has been written, and there are many such thoughtful comments included on this website. I don't really need to add any comments about what a true American classic it is.

Instead, I will comment on the character actors, always my favorite part of a Hollywood movie. Once I've seen the picture, and appreciated the stars and understood the plot, I like to watch it for the supporting players --I don't think there were ever any better character actors than those in the Hollywood studio system in the 1930s through 1950s.

In this case, I am thinking of the young men who were known as the Dead End Kids. I grew up in New York City with just such kids. They are portraying the real thing, and they do it so well. It's unfortunate that they devolved into those silly characters called the Bowery Boys (still true to life as the neighborhood slackers) in those silly movies made in the 1940s and 1950s. They deserved better, although I suppose it was a living.

My particular favorite kid in Dead End is Leo Gorcey. That Spit -- what a little punk. I think he plays the part with just the right mix of teenage bravado, danger and insecurity, and I think he is actually pretty sexy. I could see him playing smooth, urban (not necessarily urbane) villains in other films, but that never happened. Too bad. He would have been very interesting.


15 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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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