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They Made Me a Criminal


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They Made Me a Criminal + Dead End (DVD) + Crime School
Price for all three: $30.04

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Garfield, Claude Rains, The 'Dead End' Kids, Ann Sheridan, May Robson
  • Directors: Busby Berkeley
  • Writers: Bertram Millhauser, Beulah Marie Dix, Sig Herzig
  • Producers: Benjamin Glazer, Hal B. Wallis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alpha Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 30, 2002
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006G8F8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,142 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "They Made Me a Criminal" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

John Garfield, Claude Rains. A boxer goes on the lam when he thinks he has murdered a reporter-but a detective who thinks he knows the truth comes after him. 1939/b&w/92 min/NR.

Customer Reviews

It is a good story with a nice message.
CelticWomanFanPiano
On the downside, the plot has a lot of holes, the ending is unconvincing and the Dead End Kids, well, they are the same as always - awful really for this viewer.
Douglas M
Interesting, corny story of professional boxer John Garfield who takes it on the lam after being wrongly charged with murder.
Steven Hellerstedt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By James McDonald on September 3, 2003
Format: DVD
This is the fourth Dead End Kids film. (Dead End [1937], Crime School [1938], Angels With Dirty Faces [1938]). A boxer (John Garfield) has a little party after his fight. In an apartment, Johnnie trys to swing a punch at a nosy reporter, but he is so drunk he misses and ends up passed out in a chair. Another man hits the reporter over the head with a whiskey bottle. The reporter McGee ends up dead. Later, they decide to make Johnnie take the fall. Johnnie is innocently drunk-sleep. The bad man and woman try to make their getaway, but with the police catching them, they go off the road and instantly die. They think it is Johnnie who is dead. But one detective is on the hunt. Johnnie runs away and he comes across a farm where the delinquent Dead End Kids (Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Billy Halop, Bobby Jordan, Gabriel Dell, Bernard Punsly) have been sent to work. There he meets the boys who are trying to reform. Also a woman at the date farm, Peggy (Gloria Dickson), softens his heart too. Meanwhile a detective (Claude Rains) is close on the trail.
This is a good film for Billy Halop, who practically steals the film. Great acting from Halop. Good performances by May Robson who played the Grandma on the farm. Filmed at Palm Desert, California. Great ending. Get a hankercheif. On this DVD version, Alpha Video only offers an "index" which is a chapter selection. Very good print of film.
John Garfield & Leo Gorcey also appear together in Out Of The Fog (1941).
John Garfield & Billy Halop also appear in Dust be My Destiny (1939).
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Tesi on July 15, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
They Made Me A Crimminal is not remembered as a classic drama, but the film still provides predictable entertainment sixty-one years after its theatrical release. Busby Berkeley's direction is excellent as the sequences involving the car crash, Garfield's train ride, and the water tower appear realistic. The fight scenes in the ring are a bit histrionic, but at least Berkeley used enough extras to create a boxing arena type atmosphere- John Avildsen (Rocky) are you reading this? The film contains a credible cast with John Garfield in the lead as Johnny a prize fighter on the run. Gloria Dickson as Peggy gives a Sylvia Sydney type performance as a reformer intent on reabilitating juvenille deliquents. Huntz Hall, Leo Gorcey, Gabriel Dell, and the rest of the Dead End Kids are the NYC teens who idolize tough Johnny, but respect Peggy. Cluade Rains plays a newspaperman who wants to rip the veil of deceit from Johnny's persona. Ann Sheridan receives top billing over Gloria Dickson and for no good reason. Sheridan's role as Goldie is brief and totally unconvincing as a drunken floozie riding the coat tails of Johnny's ring success. For those that enjoy happy endings with morality values, this 90 minute film will not disappoint you.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 13, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
One of the original six DEAD END KIDS films, this "The Fugitive"-style story involves a world-class boxer(John Garfield) who is thought to be dead (but he's not) and also a murderer (but he's not). On the lam with a new identity and little money he hobos his way to an Arizona date farm where the Dead End Kids are on rehabilitation off of New York's East Side and being taken care of by a gorgeous farmer (Gloria Dickson). Garfield is a bad influence on the kids but somehow he is where he belongs. When a boxing promoter offers $500 a round for anyone who can stay in the ring with his champion, Garfield can't resist coming out of hiding to go for the prize. There is an investigation sub-plot (with Claude Rains doing what Tommy Lee Jones did in "The Fugitive") but here it is totally useless and just doesn't work. The ending is even more useless. Regardless, there is much to like due to great direction (Busby wasn't very good at telling the story but boy did he know where to put the cameras and how to fill up the screen), great acting (John Garfield brings compassion to a dislikable character, the reliable Dead End Kids are in top form, and Gloria Dickson is very appealing).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rah on January 17, 2013
Format: DVD
This was one of Garfield earliest movies. In it, he portrays the style that movie fans came to love about him. Cocky,brash,confident with a vulnerable and caring heart . Nothing really to add to other posts other than to say I've spent many a night growing up watching his,along with the other greats late nite movies on the Bijou. I love all the old time actors. They sure don't make them like they used to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alfred Johnson on January 3, 2013
Format: DVD
...some guys, yah, some guys are just born palookas, accumulating woes, travails, trials and tribulations, flotsam and jetsam (if that can happen, cling to happen, to a guy) without working up a sweat just while breathing. You know beat angel guys from the wrong side of the tracks, trying, rolling the rock uphill trying, and having the damn thing coming rolling right back on them. Take Johnny in They Made Me A Criminal (played by John Garfield and his blues), Johnny the boxer, the world champ boxer, a guy who was sitting on top of the world, but who couldn't leave the booze, the dames, or the con alone. The con (hell, maybe the booze and frails too) is what got him on top but when you play with the big boys, the big boy fellow con artists there is only so much room at the top. And thus the rolling of that damn rock uphill again.

Let me tell you about old Johnny just so you know, know if you go on the con, what you are up against. Yah, Johnny could fight, fight like a whirling dervish, could fight, did I tell you, as a south paw, a leftie, so that maybe should have been a tip off the guy was screwy and a prime guy for a frame. Well Johnny bopped out the beat down, beat around, beat six ways to Sunday champ and took the throne, for a minute. Like I said Johnny liked his booze, liked his women, and so he decided to celebrate his big win with a honey, some scotch, and his manager among others.

Problem was that one of the invitees turned out to be a newspaper guy and Johnny unaware, although never very discreet anyway, blabbed about his conned public image as Sunday choir boy. The newspaper guy sensing a Pulitzer or something wouldn't play ball to keep things hushed though.
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