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Wild Boys of the Road (1933)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama | 7 October 1933 (USA)
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.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (story "Desperate Youth") (as Daniel Ahearn)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Eddie
Edwin Phillips ... Tommy
... Grace
... Sally (as Dorothy Coonan)
... Ollie
... Dr. Heckel
... Lola
... Aunt Carrie
... Mr. James Smith
... Mrs. Smith
... Judge R.H. White
... 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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 October 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az utca vad kölykei  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mary Wiggins and Harvey Parry doubled Dorothy Coonan and Frankie Darro. See more »

Goofs

Noticably slimmer stunt man for Tommy as he hits his head on the RR sign post and falls on the tracks. 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 ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in Brother Can You Spare a Dime (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town
(uncredited)
Music by John Siras and Jack Little
Played when the kids scheme their way into the school dance
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User Reviews

Teenagers take on the Great Depression
14 December 2000 | by See all my reviews

One of the surprisingly realistic dramas that Hollywood created in the early 1930's has teenagers hitting the road during the hard times of the Great Depression.

With their east coast (New "Yawk?") accents, and rough around the edges "Bowery Boys"-style (harken, Leo Gorcey!), Frankie Darrow and a gang of displaced down-on-their-luck (formerly middle class?) teens band together and roam the countryside on foot or by rail, getting into hot water seemingly everywhere they go. Amazing graphic scenes for 1933 include a kid's leg being amputated by a train and an attempted rape scene.

Miserable living conditions and hunger are also depicted with kids lying cheating and stealing to stay alive, but willing to straighten themselves out when given a chance.

You'd think Warner Brothers was taking a risk financing a film that was so bleak and lacking in entertainment value for people that may have been LIVING the kinds of scenes shown, but the film also seems like a propaganda piece for Roosevelt's New Deal. There's a Roosevelt look-alike judge who places his hand, almost in a blessing, on poor Frankie's head and says "things are going to get better very soon".

Overall, Wild Boys of the Road is an interesting social drama that deserves more exposure and recognition.


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