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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?

Trivia

The first of seven movies featuring The Dead End Kids. See more »

Goofs

Bogie suddenly appears from nowhere and is leaning against a railing as the boys are fighting. 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 Angels with Dirty Faces: Whaddya Hear? Whaddya Say? (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Boo-Hoo
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Carmen Lombardo and John Jacob Loeb
Lyrics by Edward Heyman
Played at the upstairs party and sung by Huntz Hall in the street
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The prosperity gap is blurred between
16 March 2010 | by luisguillermoc3See all my reviews

One day, I accompanied a friend who wanted to show it planned to buy a house because he wanted my opinion about it. Convinced that the observation must go beyond housing to consider the environment, I took tremendous surprise when, in the midst of this humble neighborhood of steep streets and cracked, with wet and poorly constructed housing, and with difficult access for any vehicle on a plateau emerged, terribly conspicuous, an imposing mansion, flashy and full of comforts. It was not hard to imagine what kind of person could occur to such an idea, but the scenery was more bizarre and distasteful.

Seeing the movie by William Wyler "DEAD END", I find that it was not unusual that I witnessed that day. We, then, in the New York of the 30s (20th century), where some rich, attracted by the picturesque landscape of the river with its monumental bridges, opted to build their luxurious homes in the midst of extreme poverty and contrast housing. Of course, integration does not exist. They guard their homes with armed guards, demanding the constant presence of the authorities and look with complete indifference to those who are not like them.

The poor, meanwhile, are accustomed to learning their disdain and even to mock it. And occasionally, someone charged, somehow, the stingy attitude with which they treat their fellow men. It is found here a bunch of mischievous boys who skirts the crime, and between them and the sudden presence of "Baby Face" Martin, the new gangster appeared in the neighborhood, things will have a strong significance throughout a whole day.

With an uplifting script, written by Lillian Hellman (second of four collaborations that would occur between them) based on a play by Sidney Kingsley, director William Wyler lucidly recreates that atmosphere of balance and full of contrasts where the most ominous is bright, perhaps the gradual discovery of his own life, is taking the tanning Martin. Humphrey Bogart makes a secondary role effectively protagonist and his character is of greater significance and penetration throughout the film.Joel McCrea, as the man who beat her mischievous teens to become a professional candle for peace in the neighborhood, weighs much less at the deep nuances with which he recreates silk dress gangster who now finds that "flourished" at the expense of the dearest.

Attention is also drawn to the gang, represented by a group of young actors who first became known in theatrical representation, which caused such an impact with this film, which began to be called the "Dead End Kids", and as a group appear more then six films with notable success.

If you want to witness the deplorable social contradictions that still face in our society, this is the kind of movie you can not miss.


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