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 ...
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Bobby Jordan ...
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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>

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Drama that roars fullblooded from the screen! (1944 rerelease poster) See more »

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

This was the first appearance of the Dead End Kids who later evolved into the East Side Kids and later the Bowery Boys. Producer Samuel Goldwyn brought the boys - who had appeared in the original Broadway production of the play - to Hollywood to appear in the movie. He later regretted the decision, as the boys ran wild through the studio, destroying property and crashing a truck through the wall of a sound stage. Afterwards, Goldwyn decided not to use the boys again and sold their contract to Warner Brothers. See more »

Quotes

Hugh 'Baby Face': [in disgust, finding out what Francey's profession is] Why didn't you get a job?
Francey: They don't grow on trees.
Hugh 'Baby Face': Why didn't you starve first?
Francey: Why didn't YOU?
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Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) 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

 
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…


17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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