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Dead End (1937)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 27 August 1937 (USA)
The lives of a young man and woman, an infamous gangster and a group of street kids converge one day in a volatile New York City slum.

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

Lillian Hellman (screen play), Sidney Kingsley (based upon the play by)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvia Sidney ... Drina
Joel McCrea ... Dave
Humphrey Bogart ... 'Baby Face' Martin
Wendy Barrie ... Kay
Claire Trevor ... Francey
Allen Jenkins ... Hunk
Marjorie Main ... Mrs. Martin
Billy Halop ... Tommy
Huntz Hall ... Dippy
Bobby Jordan ... Angel
Leo Gorcey ... Spit (as Leo B. Gorcey)
Gabriel Dell ... T.B.
Bernard Punsly ... Milty
Charles Peck Charles Peck ... Philip
Minor Watson ... Mr. Griswald
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Storyline

The Dead End Kids are introduced in their intricate East Side slum, overlooked by the apartments of the rich. Their antics, some funny, some vicious, alternate with subplots: unemployed architect Dave is torn between Drina, sweet but equally poor, and Kay, a rich man's mistress; gangster Baby Face Martin returns to his old neighborhood and finds that nobody is glad to see him. Then violent crime, both juvenile and adult, impacts the neighborhood and its people. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE GREATEST GANGSTER THRILLER THAT EVER EXPLODED FROM THE SCREEN! (1944 reissue print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 August 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead End: Cradle of Crime See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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


Quotes

Francey: You can stay, nobody will recognize your face.
Hugh 'Baby Face': Yeah,
[shows her his fingers]
Hugh 'Baby Face': but you can't change these. I've tried three times with battery acid, it doesn't work.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Every street in New York ends in a river. For many years the dirty banks of the East River were lined with the tenements of the poor. Then the rich, discovering that the river traffic was picturesque, moved their houses eastward. And now the terraces of these great apartment houses look down into the windows of the tenement poor. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Girl of My Dreams
(1927) (uncredited)
Written by Sunny Clapp
Played after Francey leaves Martin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Dead End is a multi-faceted gem
30 December 2007 | by swog85See all my reviews

Dead End is one of my personal favorites, as I watch it 10 or more times a year. The 1930's New York City setting lends itself to a host of interesting perspectives. The talent assembled for this production is why the film withstands the test of time and makes Dead End a movie which I never get tired of viewing. Greg Toland's cinematography is masterful. Max Steiner's musical score is brilliant. He perfectly blended the feel of a fast paced urban theme which then becomes a beautiful and dramatic orchestral piece. Max Steiner had a real genius for bringing the right mood to whatever the film demanded. Of so many brilliant Steiner scores, I find this to be among his finest. William Wyler's direction is awesome, as always. I particularly like the constant background flow of pedestrians going about their day throughout the entire picture. The movie's cast is stuffed with talent. Character actors like Marjorie Mane and Esther Howard fill small segments with memorable scenes. Claire Trevor's portrayal of a sweet girl who became disillusioned and wound up as a prostitute, is poignant while remaining gritty and realistic. The Dead End Kids are great throughout the movie. Ward Bond brings a plus to the movie in his role as the upscale apartment's doorman. I like Allen Jenkins and think no other actor was better suited to play the sidekick to Bogart's character as the prodigal gangster, returning to his old neighborhood. Dead End is one film that has countless elements to enjoy. The level of talent on both sides of the camera keep me watching it over and over again.


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