7.4/10
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59 user 39 critic

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.

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(screen play), (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:
... Drina
... Dave
... 'Baby Face' Martin
... Kay
... Francey
... Hunk
... Mrs. Martin
... Tommy
... Dippy
... Angel
... Spit (as Leo B. Gorcey)
... T.B.
... Milty
Charles Peck ... Philip
... 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:

Drama that roars fullblooded from the screen! (1944 rerelease poster) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 August 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead End: Cradle of Crime  »

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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:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Samuel Goldwyn paid $165,000 for the rights to Sidney Kingsley's play, which ran eighty-five weeks on Broadway. The review of the play in Hollywood Reporter noted that the play had the potential to make a great film. See more »

Quotes

Hugh 'Baby Face': [Hugh doesn't give a street kid money when the kid doesn't deliver] Nothing for nothing, kid.
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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Unique and absorbing
30 June 2003 | by See all my reviews

It's a dead end street in New York that ends at the river. It's here that a wide assortment of characters from different walks of life come together in a pressure cooker setting. Rich, poor, kindhearted and hardhearted all come together. In Dead End, a young woman and her teenage brother struggle to survive. An architect works for a better life. A gangster comes home to visit his mother. A well kept woman chooses between love and wealth. The rich and the poor get glimpses of one another's lives at the waters edge.

This movie draws us into a unique place and time. It gives us intimate portraits into peoples lives. It makes contrasts and it shows similarities between people. It's one of a kind and director William Wyler has given us something special here. Sylvia Sidney, Humphrey Bogart, Marjorie Main, Allen Jenkins, the Dead End Kids and Ward Bond give standout performances. The 1930's atmosphere is palpable. I rate this film 91/100. It's unique and absorbing.


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