7.0/10
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39 user 24 critic

They Made Me a Criminal (1939)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 January 1939 (USA)
A boxer flees believing he has comitted a murder while he was drunk.

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Writers:

(screen play), (from a novel by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Johnnie
The 'Dead End' Kids
...
Detective Phelan
...
Goldie
...
Grandma
...
Peggy
...
Tommy
...
...
...
...
...
Milt (as Bernard Punsley)
Robert Gleckler ...
Doc Ward
John Ridgely ...
Magee
...
Budgie
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Storyline

Johnnie is a boxer. The same evening he won the world championship, he is charged for the murder of a reporter and is taken for dead. Running away from New York, he ends up in a ranch in Arizona, run by an old lady as a work farm for delinquent teenagers. He falls in love with Peggy and became the teenagers' hero. But there is that New York Detective, Phelan, that does not believe he is dead and is chasing him... An unlikely scenario, but not a so bad film. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

YOU'D GIVE A DOG A BETTER CHANCE! (re-release print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 January 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Became a Criminal  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The fourth of seven movies featuring The Dead End Kids. In the original film, The Life of Jimmy Dolan (1933), the kids are played by Mickey Rooney and several cast members of the our "Our Gang" comedy shorts--a much younger crowd. See more »

Goofs

At 38minutes into the film Gloria Dickson's "Peggy" calls John Garfield's character "Johnnie" when he in fact is still under the guise & alias persona of "Jack Dorney"! She could not know that since he has not told anyone at that point of the film. See more »

Quotes

J. Douglas Williamson: You think you're smart, don't you?
Spit: They call us "the Six Geniuses."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kleingeistganoven (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Spirit of Independence
(1912) (uncredited)
Music by Abe Holzmann
Played as Jack enters the ring for his fight
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Effortlessly entertaining.
17 July 1999 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

This is breezy highly entertaining drama with an excellent cast. Garfield is fine as a boxer hiding from the police with that motley crew the Dead End Kids. Most notable of these is the beautiful Billy Halop who has some very moving moments. Gloria Dickson, who in real life died very young in a house fire, is strong and very attractive as Halop's sister, and in the early scenes Ann Sheridan, on the brink of stardom, is a knock-out. May Robson is very funny as a crusty old granny, but Claude Rains proves here that even a great actor can flounder if mis-cast (whoever thought of casting him as a tough New York cop?).

Busby Berkeley proves here that he was a fine director with or without musical numbers. The film moves at a terrific pace and the water tower sequence is very suspenseful and well photographed. The ending is contrived, and the plot nothing startling or original, but I still found this a highly enjoyable experience.


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