7.1/10
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41 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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(screen play), (from a novel by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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The 'Dead End' Kids
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Grandma
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Tommy
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Angel
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Dippy
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T.B.
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Milt (as Bernard Punsley)
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Magee
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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:

I am a fugitive... I am hunted by ruthless men! I am shunned by decent women! I am doomed to hide forever! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

28 January 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Became a Criminal  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Featured in Bosch: Aye Papi (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

The Whip
(1908) (uncredited)
Music by Abe Holzmann
Played at Legion Stadium before the fights
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
John Garfield Gets in the Ring for Billy Halop and "The Dead End Kids"
11 April 2009 | by See all my reviews

After winning a championship fight, boxer John Garfield (as Johnnie Bradfield) celebrates with a drinking binge, which leads to the manslaughter of a pushy reporter. Although his manager killed the man, Mr. Garfield is blamed. When the manager dies in a car crash, wearing Garfield's stolen watch, authorities think the boxer is dead. Still a WANTED man, Garfield changes his identity to "Jack Dorney" and moves to an Arizona ranch. There, Garfield meets "The Dead End Kids": Billy Halop (as Tommy), Bobby Jordan (as Angel), Leo Gorcey (as Spit), Huntz Hall (as Dippy), Gabriel Dell (as T.B.), and Bernard Punsly (as Milt).

Garfield bonds with the young "Dead End" lads, who were sent to stay with sweet "Grandma Rafferty" (May Robson) as an alternative to reform school, courtesy of her brother, deceased priest "Father Rafferty". Garfield falls in love with Halop's sister, pretty "Peggy" (Gloria Dickson), who is there to keep any eye on the kids. Of course, Garfield's past comes back to haunt him…

John Garfield and The 'Dead End' Kids make beautiful (Max Steiner) music together, thanks to effective direction and photography, by Busby Berkeley and James Wong Howe. The story is predictably comfortable, with the Warner Brothers support team in fine form. Garfield and the "Dead End" kids are a winning combination; although Garfield made no further movies with the "East Side" gang, the studio had him re-team with both Billy Halop and Bobby Jordan, almost immediately, for "Dust Be My Destiny".

The boxing scenes are nicely staged. But, the most exciting sequence has Garfield and four of the New York "Kids" (Halop, Jordan, Hall, and Punsly) climbing into a giant water tank for a swim - which unexpectedly puts their lives in danger. Other, more brief, highlights include floozy Ann Sheridan (as Goldie), boozy Barbara Pepper (as Budgie), and young Ronald Sinclair (as Douglas) losing at strip poker.

******** They Made Me a Criminal (1/21/39) Busby Berkeley ~ John Garfield, Billy Halop, Bobby Jordan, Claude Rains


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