The ambitious criminal Rico moves from the country to the big city in the east and joins Sam Vettori's gang with his friend Joe Massara. Sooner he becomes the leader of the gangsters and ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.,
Three time loser Duke Berne risks life in prison with one more armored car robbery. His attorney's wife Lorna, Berne's old sweetheart, keeps him from it but he goes to jail anyway. Duke and... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
In order to get past the censors, all references to Francey's "profession" were veiled (although it was mentioned in the original play on which the film was based), even the fact that she was suffering from the late stages of syphilis, which was never mentioned by name. See more »
[the police are looking for Tommy after he has a fight with Philip Griswald and then injures Philip's father]
Don't worry, Drina. He knows his way around - he can take care of himself.
He can take care of himself too well. How can he have done such a thing? Where does he learn about knives and...
He had an expert teacher.
[refers to Martin]
Anyway it's not hard to learn in a place like this.
But he's not a bad kid - not really bad. He never has been.
The famous 'Baby Face' Martin used to live on ...
[...] See more »
I recommend watching "Dead End" and the later "Angels With Dirty Faces" as a double bill. Both are highly enjoyable; and they have a lot of parallel elements. Also, Humphrey Bogart and the future Bowery Boys appear in both films.
"Dead End" often gets short shrift in comparison, which I think is totally unfair. It is a social drama, sure, which some people will find "preachy," but the points it makes still resonate today. What really makes it stand out, though, are the fine individual performances. Bogart's role is much bigger than the one he plays in "Angels With Dirty Faces," and is extremely intense as a gangster coming home to his mother and his true love. Sylvia Sidney is absolutely luminous in her portrayal of a young woman who would have a promising future if she lived anywhere else, but is a frustrated, trapped animal in the slums of New York. Joel McCrea stands with one foot in each world, having grown up rough in the neighborhood, but without turning gangster, and still able to dream of better things for himself and the people around him. Look also for a couple of brilliant, though brief, appearances--Marjorie Main's chilling delivery as Bogie's exhausted and distraught mother, and Claire Trevor's bittersweet portrayal of his old girlfriend.
It's not as heavy as it sounds, though. There is a lot of humor sprinkled throughout, partly because "Dead End" features the first screen appearance of the future Dead End Kids/East Side Kids/Bowery Boys. If you're a fan, it's a lot of fun to watch them here with their rough edges still on, as tough young punks. Billy Halop, Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall are terrific in this, a little grittier than in "Angels With Dirty Faces."
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