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Edward G. Robinson,
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Brooklyn youth Frank Cusack, good son and brother by day, is a gang member by night. The Dukes, seemingly likable dead-end-kids, are dangerously involved with racketeer Gaggsy Steens. Despite the efforts of Franks's parents, he and pal Benny get involved in a serious crime. Can Stan Albert, head of the community center, prevent them from becoming full-time crooks? Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Dreary by-the-numbers juvenile delinquency with opening narration that sets the tone for sledgehammer righteousness. Peter Fernandez is never even remotely likable in the main role, and his cohorts are like overgrown Dead End Kids without the energy. The humour, such as it is, is provided by an over-acting Joshua Shelley who plays a knife-wielding member of the Dukes gang. Tony Curtis completists will be disappointed since he has so little to do. Thelma Ritter also has few lines as the over-worked, ever-suffering mother. The only thing that saves this from total turkeydom is the cinematography, by Maury Gertsman, which is noir-styled in on-location Brooklyn. Imagine a 90-minute episode of Dragnet with the thinnest characterisation for the police. When these twenty-something teenagers cry, you just want to give them a good slap and then lock them up for wasting precious movie time.
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