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My Son Is Guilty (1939)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime  |  28 December 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 22 users  
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Honest cop Tim Kerry struggles to keep his son Ritzy from becoming involved in a crime ring.



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Julie Bishop ...
Julia Allen (as Jacqueline Wells)
Police Officer Tim Kerry
Wynne Gibson ...
Claire Morelli
Duke Mason
John Tyrrell ...
Whitey Morris
Dick Curtis ...
Dan, Bartender
Fayard Nicholas ...
Specialty Act (as The Nicholas Brothers)
Harold Nicholas ...
Specialty Act (as The Nicholas Brothers)


Tim Kerry, a cop on the beat in Hell's Kitchen, welcomes his grown son Ritzy home after a two-year prison term. Ritzy's former friends and his ex-girl Julia join with Tim in hoping he'll go straight. But local gang leader Claire Morelli (the former boss's widow) knows of Ritzy's talents from other ex-cons, and makes him an offer hard to refuse. A chain of double-crosses seems to make tragedy inevitable... Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Compelled by duty to shoot his own flesh and blood! See more »


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Release Date:

28 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crime's End  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

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Featured in The Lady with the Torch (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

The Start of quite a climb
31 October 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I don't think that My Son Is Guilty would have been in any Oscar contention had it been released intact. But the editing department thoroughly butchered this film into incoherency. My Son Is Guilty was also Glenn Ford's debut film for Columbia Pictures, but fortunately for his career he wasn't the star.

Harry Carey stars in this film as your kindly neighborhood Irish cop in Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan. His bad seed of a son Bruce Cabot is getting out of jail after a 2 year rap.

Carey thinks a little kindness will reform him. But Cabot's got no such notions of turning straight. But he does let his father use his influence to get him a job in the police radio room where at a propitious moment the radios go bad when a gang Cabot is working with pull a large payroll holdup where a cop is killed.

Glenn Ford plays a friend from the neighborhood and rival to Cabot for Julie Bishop. Later on Cabot kills Glenn Ford's mother when she recognizes the fugitive.

The idea of any police department employing Cabot with a rapsheet in a police command center really boggles the mind. I was speechless at the mere concept.

My Son Is Guilty was also the first time that Glenn Ford worked with Edgar Buchanan whom he became great friends with and always tried to use in his films. Buchanan plays a bartender here.

Best performance in the film is that of Wynne Gibson as the widow of the former head of the gang Cabot works with and she's tough, smart, and beautiful. Too bad her performance was wasted in this film.

Glenn Ford made his feature film debut in Heaven With A Barbed Wire Fence the same year for 20th Century Fox. But Darryl Zanuck passed on signing him so Ford got a contract with Columbia. He'd have to work his way up in quality of pictures so My Son Is Guilty would be the start of quite a climb.

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