6.5/10
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10 user 2 critic

Little Tough Guy (1938)

PG | | Crime, Drama | 22 July 1938 (USA)
The son of a man sentenced to death for a murder he didn't commit vows to become a criminal himself. He starts his own street gang, and their crime spree is financed by a mysterious young ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Paul Wilson
... Kay Boylan
... Mrs. Boylan
... Cyril Gerrard
... Rita Belle
... Mrs. Wanaker
... Jim Boylan (as Ed Pawley)
... Baxter
Pat C. Flick ... Adolphus
... Johnny Boylan
... 'Pig'
... String
... Ape
Hal E. Chester ... Dopey (as Hally Chester)
... 'Sniper'
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Storyline

The son of a man sentenced to death for a murder he didn't commit vows to become a criminal himself. He starts his own street gang, and their crime spree is financed by a mysterious young man--who turns out to be the son of the District Attorney who sent the boy's father to the electric chair. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HERE AGAIN...TO JOLT YOU FROM YOUR SEATS! (original ad - all caps)

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

22 July 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En hård negl  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Follows Dead End (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Universal version of the East Side Kids....
4 August 2016 | by See all my reviews

This film is one of the earliest incarnations of The Dead End Kids--a group of lovable tough teens who were first introduced in the play "Dead End" and who appeared in several films for Warner Brothers AND Universal. The Warner films were more popular (as well as better) and included "Dead End" (the movie version of the play) and "Crime School". As for Universal, they hired some of these boys away from Warner for a few films and serials. Not only the composition of the Dead End Kids changed over the years but so did their name--being renamed 'The Little Toughguys' (for Universal), then The East Side Kids and ultimately The Bowery Boys. Lovers of these films will no doubt recognize Huntz Hall, Billy Halop and even David Gorcey (Leo's brother) in "Little Tough Guys" but many of the other regulars of the era are missing (Bobby Jordan and Leo Gorcey were not signed by Universal and would return later after the Little Toughguy films ended). In total, they'd make 89 films and three serials for four different studios! Confusing? A bit...but is "Little Toughguys" any good? That IS the important thing as far as this review goes.

Johnny Boyland (Billy Halop) is mad. His father was convicted of murder. The family is evicted and Johnny's sister is fired because of her father...even though she'd done nothing wrong. The family is clearly in crisis. Not surprisingly, Johnny vows to be bad and lead a life of crime. So, he assembles a gang which turns out to be financed by the teenage son of the District Attorney who convicted Johnny's father! What gives? What's really going on here?!

This is pretty typical of these earlier films featuring the boys--with a strong emphasis on crime and rehabilitation. In other words, they have a strong social conscience. Later the boys would be less criminal...more just knuckleheads! All in all, entertaining and very similar to other early films from these boys.


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