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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Robert Osborne, film historian, stated that Joel McCrea had a tough time working with Humphrey Bogart, especially during the scene "...on the rooftop, guns ready, and standing very close to each other. During the filming of that scene, McCrea kept flinching and the director William Wyler had to keep doing more takes. Finally, Wyler pulled McCrea aside, and he asked him what was wrong. McCrea, embarrassed to tell him, explained that Bogart kept spitting in his face when he was speaking. Not exactly what Wyler was expecting to hear or to be the problem. Happens with actors more than you can imagine." See more »
Hugh 'Baby Face':
[Hugh doesn't give a street kid money when the kid doesn't deliver]
Nothing for nothing, kid.
See more »
Opening credits prologue: Every street in New York ends in a river. For many years the dirty banks of the East River were lined with the tenements of the poor. Then the rich, discovering that the river traffic was picturesque, moved their houses eastward. And now the terraces of these great apartment houses look down into the windows of the tenement poor. See more »
Excellent drama of the New York tenements of 1937 where the rich people
live along the same street as the poor people. Movie focuses on two
young lovers (Sylvia Sydney, Joel McCrea), killer Baby Face Martin
(Humphrey Bogart) and the Dead End Kids (later to become the Bowery
Boys). From the incredible opening shot it basically focuses on the
kids--it shows the harrowing lives the kids have to live through and
how Sydney and McCrea try to keep them good while Bogart teaches them
how to rob and kill. Pretty graphic for its day and still strong.
Excellent performances by all, especially Bogart, Sydney and Billy
Halop (as one of the kids). Also Marjorie Main, Claire Trevor and Ward
Bond shine in supporting roles.
This had huge censorship problems--it was adapted from a play and was
HEAVILY cut (the language was MUCH stronger in the play and when the
kids went swimming they weren't wearing bathing suits!) and Warner
Bros. had to fight to keep it strong. Aside from a nice, moral ending
this is pretty gritty. A must-see and seeing Bogart, Sydney and McCrea
so young is amusing.
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