After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When producer Samuel Goldwyn visited the huge set constructed for the film (a very detailed depiction of a New York City slum) he shouted, "Why do directors always want these slums to be so dirty? Clean it up!" He was eventually persuaded by director William Wyler that very few people lived in clean slums and that it would hurt the picture's credibility if a slum were depicted as a nice place to live. See more »
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 »
i'm a huge Bogey fan, so naturally i'll watch anything with his name in the credits. however, i was not prepared for "dead end." this is one of the most brilliant films i've ever seen and i can't understand why the eberts and roepers and maltins never talk about this one. it begins as a familiar story, rich vs. poor along the east river. a gang of kids hang around outside the ritzy, new apartments in the neighborhood. tommy, it's leader and his "friends" notice a boy who has been earning pocket money as a babysitter. when tommy steals his money, a fight breaks out. off in the distance, two men in silk suits watch the fight. tommy's sister drina breaks up the fight. drina is a working class woman on strike, trying to earn the money she deserves. Dave is her on-again, off-again love interest who has done everything in the book to try to rise out of poverty, but still can't get ahead. Dave has been seeing Kay, a young woman torn between a future with a man she thinks she may love (Dave) and the comforts of wealth. we find out the two men in silk suits are gangsters, one being the famous killer, baby face martin, who has returned to his home to see his mother and old girlfriend. he is rejected by his mother, who is disgusted by his profession and track record and his girlfriend, who has become a common prostitute. their are a million intertwining story lines that add up to one incredible climax, but essentially this film is about the cycle of poverty and class issues. the performances are terrific. Sylvia Sidney (not a big name today, but a damn good actress) and Joel mccrea are perfection as the films heroes. Bogart is unforgettable. this is one of the dozens of gangsters he played, but i would rate this performances as high as duke manatee in petrified forest. he's tough and street smart, but with each disappointment we see evidence of his emotions leaking out. the gang of kids remind me of the jets in west side story- they don't like anyone, not even each other half the time. look for Marjorie main (ma kettle before she was ma kettle!) in a touching, but heartbreaking scene as Bogey's frail, aging mother and Claire Trevor (another fine, forgotten actress) as Bogey's sweetheart turned greedy streetwalker. the best thing about this film is they way each character believes he or she can overcome the way of life he or she seems fated to live with. each character tries desperately and fails. this is the way real people are. there's no Hollywood, sugar-coatedness about any of it. no over-dramatic music or made-for-the-previews lines. it's grossly realistic. this film would be on my top 50 list, maybe even my top 25. it's that good.
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