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They Made Me a Criminal (1939)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,282 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 24 critic

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

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(screen play), (from a novel by), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Johnnie
The 'Dead End' Kids
...
Detective Phelan
...
...
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
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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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Busby Berkeley first made a name for himself with musical spectaculars like Footlight Parade (1933), Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) and 42nd Street (1933). He persuaded Warner Brothers executives to let him do a dramatic picture, and they assigned him to this film. He didn't shed his musical association entirely, however; the film contains an "in-joke". When "Dippy" (Huntz Hall) operates the controls of a makeshift shower, he serenades the bathing "Jack/Johnnie" with "By The Waterfall", a song from Berkeley's hit "Footlight Parade". 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 Sports on the Silver Screen (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

By a Waterfall
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Irving Kahal
Whistled and partially sung by Huntz Hall
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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