MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 20,472 this week

They Made Me a Criminal (1939)

7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,231 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 24 critic

A boxer flees believing he has comitted a murder while he was drunk.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (from a novel by), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Fall TV Premiere Week

Many of your favorite shows are coming back, along with plenty of series premieres. Here's a list of the shows premiering between Sunday, September 21 and Friday, September 26.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 4539 titles
created 11 Jan 2012
 
a list of 206 titles
created 02 Jul 2012
 
list image
a list of 445 titles
created 13 Jul 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 28 Jan 2013
 
a list of 431 titles
created 26 Jul 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: They Made Me a Criminal (1939)

They Made Me a Criminal (1939) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of They Made Me a Criminal.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Adam Lemp, the Dean of the Briarwood Music Foundation, has passed on his love of music to his four early adult daughters - Thea, Emma, Kay and Ann - who live with him and his sister, the ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Claude Rains, John Garfield, Jeffrey Lynn
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Ex-GI Nick Blake gets involved in a scheme to fleece a rich young widow, but finds himself falling for her for real, much to the displeasure of his racketeer cohorts.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: John Garfield, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Walter Brennan
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An obsessed cop tracks an elusive serial killer who strangles his victims on rainy nights.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: William Lundigan, Dorothy Patrick, Jeff Corey
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In Brooklyn, fishing is the hobby of the workers Jonah Goodwin and Olaf Johnson and they use to fish every night in their old boat. Jonah's daughter is the twenty-one year-old telephone ... See full summary »

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Ida Lupino, John Garfield, Thomas Mitchell
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Marine hero Al Schmid is blinded in battle and returns home to be rehabilitated. He readjusts to his civilian life with the help of his soon to be wife.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: John Garfield, Eleanor Parker, Dane Clark
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Blind detective Duncan Maclaine relies on his working senses to piece together an assortment of clues to solve a case of murder.

Director: Richard Whorf
Stars: Edward Arnold, Frances Rafferty, Ray Collins
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Ex-con Red O'Hara becomes a daring news photographer, but his old ways get him into trouble.

Director: D. Ross Lederman
Stars: Richard Travis, Julie Bishop, Jackie Gleason
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Sam Wilson is having a hard time making ends meet. When he asks his boss for a raise, he finds out that the company is closing down and he'll be out of a job. His boss decides to commit ... See full summary »

Director: Will Price
Stars: Martha Scott, Jeffrey Lynn, Harry Morgan
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young man just released from a reformatory moves to a new neighborhood with his sister, intending to start a new life. However, he gets mixed up with the local mob boss and corrupt ... See full summary »

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Ann Sheridan, Billy Halop, Bernard Punsly
I Was Framed (1942)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A newspaperman out to get the goods on a crooked politician winds up in jail, framed for a killing he didn't commit. He and another prisoner attempt an escape, but although the newspaperman... See full summary »

Director: D. Ross Lederman
Stars: Tod Andrews, Julie Bishop, Regis Toomey
Strange Alibi (1941)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A gambler comes into town to testify before the grand jury. He is killed by the mob before he can testify. Joe Geary (Kennedy) is fired from the police force for being soft on crime. This ... See full summary »

Director: D. Ross Lederman
Stars: Arthur Kennedy, Joan Perry, Jonathan Hale
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young girl tries to prove a man innocent of robbery and murder charges.

Director: William C. Thomas
Stars: Robert Lowery, Barbara Britton, Lola Lane
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Johnnie
The 'Dead End' Kids
...
Detective Phelan
...
Goldie
...
Grandma
Gloria Dickson ...
Peggy
Billy Halop ...
Tommy
Bobby Jordan ...
Leo Gorcey ...
Huntz Hall ...
Gabriel Dell ...
Bernard Punsly ...
Milt (as Bernard Punsley)
Robert Gleckler ...
Doc Ward
John Ridgely ...
Magee
Barbara Pepper ...
Budgie
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

ranch | detective | arizona | reporter | police | See more »

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The play opened off-broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 4 April 1933. See more »

Goofs

When "Jack Dorney" and some of the kids were trapped in the water tank, they swam to the bottom of the tank to lift a drain cap to let out the water so they wouldn't drown. Of course, the pressure of 10 feet of water in the tank would have exerted 500-600 pounds per square foot on that drain cap, making it much more difficult if not impossible for them to lift it. See more »

Quotes

Ringside Radio Fight Announcer: A right to the jaw. A left to the face. Boy, is he a killer. Is he murderous. The Bull lands a terrific right to Smith's jaw, and Smith is down! It'll be best for Smith if he stays down, because this is downright murder. Smith's face is red pulp; red, red pulp. 8, 9, 10! And Smith's out. Phew! And I'm glad that's over.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

The Whip
(1908) (uncredited)
Music by Abe Holzmann
Played at Legion Stadium before the fights
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Better Than the Original
10 January 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

They Made Me a Criminal is a remake of an earlier Warner Brothers film, The Life of Jimmy Dolan which starred Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. as the prizefighter on the lam.

Even with the restrictions now upon production by the Hays Office, this remake actually turns out to be better than the original. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., is horribly miscast as a pugilist. John Garfield with his background and style steps into a part he was born to play.

They Made Me a Criminal was directed by Busby Berkeley who Jack Warner believed in keeping busy in between musicals. Berkeley in fact would soon be leaving Warner Brothers for MGM.

Berkeley does do a fine job here, keeping the action flowing at a good pace. I particularly like the scene where four of the Dead End Kids and Garfield are swimming in a water tank and get stranded there when the water level goes down. They get it out of it quite narrowly and with some good ingenuity.

Other performances besides Garfield and the kids to remember are May Robson who runs the summer camp for the kids and Claude Rains as the obsessed detective on Garfield's trail.


15 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss They Made Me a Criminal (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?