16 user 8 critic

Dust Be My Destiny (1939)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 16 September 1939 (USA)
Embittered after serving time for a burglary he did not commit, Joe Bell is soon back in jail, on a prison farm. His love for the foreman's daughter leads to a fight between them, leading ... See full summary »


Lewis Seiler


Robert Rossen (screenplay), Jerome Odlum (novel)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Garfield ... Joe Bell
Priscilla Lane ... Mabel Alden
Alan Hale ... Mike Leonard
Frank McHugh ... Caruthers
Billy Halop ... Hank Glenn
Bobby Jordan ... Jimmy Glenn
Charley Grapewin ... Pop
Henry Armetta ... Nick
Stanley Ridges ... Charlie Garrett
John Litel ... Prosecutor
Moroni Olsen ... Slim Jones - Defense Attorney
Victor Kilian ... Doc Saunders
Frank Jaquet ... Abe Connors
Ferike Boros ... Delicatessen Proprietress
Marc Lawrence ... Venetti


Embittered after serving time for a burglary he did not commit, Joe Bell is soon back in jail, on a prison farm. His love for the foreman's daughter leads to a fight between them, leading to the older man's death due to a weak heart. Joe and Mabel go on the run as he thinks no-one would believe a nobody like him. Written by Ian Harries <ih@doc.ic.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

16 September 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cruel é o Meu Destino See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Tucson Sunday 16 September 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9); it first aired in Los Angeles Monday 1 October 1956 on KNXT (Channel 2), in Cincinnati Friday 9 November 1956 on WKRC (Channel 12), in Portland OR Monday 17 December 1956 on KLOR (Channel 12), in Wichita Tuesday 1 January 1957 on KAKE (Channel 10), in Bloomington IN Wednesday 23 January 1957 on WTTV (Channel 4), and in Chicago Sunday 24 March 1957 on WGN (Channel 9). See more »


When Joe and Mabel are caught by Charlie embracing in the barn, she removes her hand from Joe's shoulder. But, in the next shot, her hand is back on his shoulder. See more »


References On Your Toes (1939) See more »


My Wild Irish Rose
Written by Chauncey Olcott
Played at the diner and sung by Nick
Also played when Mabel and Joe say goodbye to Nick
See more »

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User Reviews

John Garfield in a familiar role but a well made yarn.
28 August 2017 | by alexanderdavies-99382See all my reviews

The reputation of John Garfield has suffered somewhat on account of his being accused of Communism by that bigoted lunatic Joseph McCarthy. It changes nothing in that John Garfield was a fine actor, one of the best of his generation. He was an actor who could modify his style of that from the theatre, so that he could be natural and convincing on screen. "Warner Bros" didn't really appreciate the value of such a talent and the films Garfield was forced to do, were not worthy of him at all. However, "Dust Be My Destiny" is a very watchable movie. Even though Garfield is playing the kind of character he was stuck with for a while, he is nevertheless very good. For years, he was always cast as those people who found themselves on the wrong side of the law, usually down to bad luck rather than being criminally inclined. In this film, Garfield is a man on the run with a young lady by his side. Her drunken stepfather is dead due to an accident and Garfield has been innocently implicated. He and his girlfriend take to the countryside, barely staying one step ahead of the authorities. They hop onto freight trains, hitchhike along the highway. It is a tense yarn where you don't know what is going to happen next and I found the experience exciting. Frank McHugh is totally wasted in a cameo appearance as a rather insistent wedding photographer but Alan Hale does well as a newspaper editor who takes the wanted youngsters under his wing. Two of the Dead End Kids make an appearance but they are written out quite early on. Very enjoyable.

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