7.5/10
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33 user 23 critic

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

About 15 minutes into the movie, the main character Eddie says to his father "I guess I'm just like my cousin Hoogo." This is a reference to a character from the 1920s and 1930s created by actor Jack Pearl. The character he created was Baron Munchausen. Munchausen told fanciful stories about his life, and they often involved his fictional cousin Hugo (pronounced Hoogo). Pearl played the character in musical reviews in the 1920s, and then in radio shows in the early 1930s. See more »

Goofs

There are no mountains in Columbus, Ohio. See more »

Quotes

Tommy Gordon: Shucks, what do I care about an old leg? Just think, from now on, when i get a pair of new shoes, I'll only have to break in one of them.
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Connections

Featured in Riding the Rails (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Forty-Second Street
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played on harmonica when Tommy and Sally are panhandling in New York
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User Reviews

 
Brilliant, heart-wrenching depression gem
21 January 2003 | by See 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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