6.9/10
1,822
44 user 28 critic

They Made Me a Criminal (1939)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 January 1939 (USA)
A boxer flees believing he has comitted a murder while he was drunk.

Director:

Busby Berkeley

Writers:

Sig Herzig (screen play), Bertram Millhauser (from a novel by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Garfield ... Johnnie
The Dead End Kids The Dead End Kids ... (as The 'Dead End' Kids)
Claude Rains ... Detective Phelan
Ann Sheridan ... Goldie
May Robson ... Grandma
Gloria Dickson ... Peggy
Billy Halop ... Tommy
Bobby Jordan ... Angel
Leo Gorcey ... Spit
Huntz Hall ... Dippy
Gabriel Dell ... T.B.
Bernard Punsly ... Milt (as Bernard Punsley)
Robert Gleckler ... Doc Ward
John Ridgely ... Magee
Barbara Pepper ... Budgie
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Storyline

Johnnie is a boxer. The same evening he won the world championship, he is charged for the murder of a reporter and is taken for dead. Running away from New York, he ends up in a ranch in Arizona, run by an old lady as a work farm for delinquent teenagers. He falls in love with Peggy and became the teenagers' hero. But there is that New York Detective, Phelan, that does not believe he is dead and is chasing him... An unlikely scenario, but not a so bad film. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sensational Human Drama! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 January 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Became a Criminal See more »

Filming Locations:

Palm Desert, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Johnnie and Peggy are driving back to the farm in the early evening, toward the end of the scene, Johnnie takes his eyes off the road for 17 seconds. They are going between 50 and 60 mph. This means that Johnnie drove at least 1,200 feet without looking at the road. See more »

Goofs

The newspaper reporter is killed in the boxer's room, and the boxer is passed out in the same room, but the next day the reporter is reported as being dead, so someone must have found the body - so how did they find the dead reporter but not see the sleeping boxer? He woke up the next day when the paper that mentions the dead reporter hits his door. See more »

Quotes

Johnnie Bradfield, aka Jack Dorney: If you're rootin' for me, I'll go in there and bang the ears off the biggest guy in the world.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The AFI Catalogue has a different cast ordering, suggesting that changes were made for a re-release. Ann Sheridan is billed 6th and there are other minor changes when compared with the print currently shown on Turner Classic Movies, on which the data in IMDb is based. It is uncertain which is the original print. See more »

Connections

Followed by You're Not So Tough (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

M-O-T-H-E-R, a Word That Means the World to Me
(1915) (uncredited)
Music by Theodore Morse
Lyrics by Howard Johnson
Partially sung a cappella by Bert Roach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A second chance.
5 May 2005 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

A beautiful film.John Garfield's character is a distant relative of "Les Miserables"'s Jean Valjean while detective Rains recalls Victor Hugo's Javert,the ruthless arm of law.

Like in many films noirs,the city epitomizes evil whereas the country and the nature represents sanctuary,redemption,and a second chance for those whose life seems forever doomed.But even in the luminous daylight,danger may appear suddenly,as the excellent scene at the reservoir shows.John Garfield -an actor who,as Leonard Maltin points out,should be rediscovered:I've never been disappointed by any of his films except for his supporting part in "gentleman's agreement " but it was not his fault-gives a heartfelt sensitive performance and the audience sides with him as soon as he is unjustly accused (the first sequence shows a rather unkind hypocrite person,but all his trials redeem him and how do we feel for him during the last scenes with detective Rains.Colorful characters (grandma and the kids ) add a lot of joie de vivre which is necessary .Humor is also present in the strip poker game as the Dead End brats fleece a rich kid.

I recommend this movie.


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