7.5/10
1,561
34 user 23 critic

Wild Boys of the Road (1933)

In the depths of the Depression, two teenage boys strike out on their own in order to help their struggling parents and find life on the road tougher than expected.

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Earl Baldwin (screenplay), Daniel Ahern (story "Desperate Youth") (as Daniel Ahearn)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Frankie Darro ... Eddie
Edwin Phillips Edwin Phillips ... Tommy
Rochelle Hudson ... Grace
Dorothy Coonan Wellman ... Sally (as Dorothy Coonan)
Sterling Holloway ... Ollie
Arthur Hohl ... Dr. Heckel
Ann Hovey ... Lola
Minna Gombell ... Aunt Carrie
Grant Mitchell ... Mr. James Smith
Claire McDowell ... Mrs. Smith
Robert Barrat ... Judge R.H. White
Willard Robertson ... Captain of Detectives
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Storyline

At the bottom of the depression, Tom's mother has been out of work for months when Ed's father loses his job. Not to burden their parents, the two high school sophomore's decide to hop the freights and look for work. Wherever they go, there are many other kids just like them, so Tom, Ed and now Sally stick together. They camp in places like 'Sewer City' as long as they can until the local authorities run them off. They travel all over the mid west and when they get to New York, Ed thinks that they may finally find work. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Girls living like boys! Boys living like savages!

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Az utca vad kölykei See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry in December 2013. See more »

Goofs

Sally's piece of cake jumps from the plate into her hands between shots. See more »

Quotes

Edward 'Eddie' Smith: [to judge] I knew all that stuff about you helping us was baloney. I'll tell you why we can't go home--because our folks are poor. They can't get jobs and there isn't enough to eat. What good will it do you to send us home to starve? You say you've got to send us to jail to keep us off the streets. Well, that's a lie. You're sending us to jail because you don't want to see us. You want to forget us. But you can't do it because I'm not the only one. There's thousands just like me, and there's ...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

High Life
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when the boys are siphoning the gasoline
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant, heart-wrenching depression gem
21 January 2003 | by arthurswardSee all my reviews

Forget the Kleenex, bring the Bounty paper towels to experience William Wellman's depression masterpiece. This huge emotional epiphany packs a wallop.

Frankie Darro and Edwin Phillips portray the juvenile leads Eddie and Tommy, with Darro's performance effective and appealing. Their characters indulge in the usual teenage shenanigans until the depression overtakes their parents. As times toughen, and Eddie's father can't find work, Eddie decides to sell his jalopy to help out. This sets up the first of many splendid scenes, as Eddie's tough-guy veneer drops just long enough to share raw emotions with his father (Grant Mitchell). Zero cringe factor here, Wellman excels at emotions between men and it's never maudlin.

Hitting the (rail)road to find work, Eddie and Tommy encounter Sally, an adorable, nose-scrintching Dorothy Coonan dressed as a man. And the three set off across the country, with high ideals and optimism clashing with depression realities. Brutal and raw, this is a journey you, too, must take. A page of America's history told so expertly as to make you laugh and cry simultaneously.

Ms. Coonan (Sally) quit films after "Wild Boys" to marry director "Wild" Bill Wellman, and remain his his wife until his death in 1975. My highest recommendation.


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