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Crime School

4.0 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A crusading warden sets out to improve conditions at a reform school.

When sold by Amazon.com, this product will be manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media. Amazon.com's standard return policy will apply.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Gale Page Humphrey Bogart
  • Directors: Lewis Seiler
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2009
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0026ZQJ1Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,818 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Crime School" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
What a great film this was. I've always enjoyed all Dead End Kids, East Side Kids and Bowery Boys films. For some strange reason this gem is only available in a murky washed out DVD-R transferred version. What a crime in itself either release the film correctly or don't bother at all. What a tease. What a waste of my money and time. The stars are for the movie "not" the Warner Archive Collection DVD-R.
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I'm a Dead End Kids freak, and I consider this to be their best film. "Dead End" and "Angels With Dirty Faces" were and are better films overall, but "Crime School" showcases the kids more than any other. Billy Halop gets to really act here, ya know? But the DVD itself I found disappointing. 26 bucks plus shipping charges, and they didn't even use a very good-quality copy of the film for this DVD? Really, I've seen this picture on Turner Classic Movies, and they have a better copy.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
You can now order this, and all the other WB "Amazon Exclusive" DVDs directly from the Warner Brothers Archive site for $19.95. I've been very happy with the quality of this and all the other discs I've bought directly from them.
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This is a really well done crime drama & social commentary about slum life, poverty,juvenile delinquency & life inside a horribly sadistic reformatory, or "Crime School". The film does raise the question : How do you reform a bunch of incorrigible degenerates ? By "kindness" & "nice" rehabilitation or by violent corporal punishment & torture ? Do we handle them with kid gloves or do we whip & beat the daylights out of them ? What's the answer ? This movie was first seen in 1938 & 72 years later we still haven't figured that out. Look at our prisons they are filled & overcrowded.

Back in the 1960's when I was the same age as The Dead End Kids I used to get my bare butt whipped & beaten with a belt by my mother even if I came home 5 minutes late from "Crime School" so to speak. I used to get a paddle ( with holes in it ) from the principal. Crime School was the first film The Dead End Kids made for Warner Bros. After "Dead End" they were so popular they even got top billing over Humphrey Bogart who was 2nd billed under them. Despite the roaring success of "Dead End" Samuel Goldwyn sold their 2 year contract to Jack Warner after The Dead End Kids drove a truck & crashed into a sound stage during the filming of "Dead End" & caused major expensive studio damage to Samuel Goldwyn.

Unlike "Dead End" & Angels With Dirty Faces", "Crime School" gives The Dead End Kids more screen time & center stage for this movie really belongs to them. Bogart has almost as much screen time & is really very good & effective in a rare "good guy" role as deputy commissioner of corrections official Mark Braden. Also Cy Kendall turns in a great performance as the brutally tough superintendant Morgan. I mean he is downright scary !!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
BEWARE! If you are a quick shopper looking for certain DVD titles and low-priced values, you may very well miss the line farther down the page saying this is a DVD-R on demand!

The prices realized for one-off copies of movies is idiotic, and DVD-Rs are more easily damaged than pressed DVDs.

Additionally, none of the "Warner Night at the Movies" bonus features are on this disc! Pay more--get less.

BUYER BEWARE!
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"Crime School" came out in 1938 as a showcase for the "Dead End" kids, who helped make that movie a success the previous year.

A gang of six New York City teens - played by Billy Halop as the excitable leader, Leo Gorcy as the intense, bad one, and Bobby Jordan, Huntz Hall, Bernard Punsly, and Gabriel Dell as the other members - has been going around stealing items in the neighborhood and selling them to a pawn shop operator named Junkie (Frank Otto). When a dispute arises on the gang's compensation, Gorcy injures Junkie, who complains to the police. When none of the gang will tell the judge (Charles Trowbridge) anything, he sentences them all to two years of reform school.

The reform school turns out to be a beastly place, run by its superintendant, Mogan (Cy Kendall), and head guard, Cooper (Weldon Heyburn). Discipline is strict, enforced by a whip and by coal-stoking duty. Food quality is suspect. Corners are cut. Into this steps Humphrey Bogart as a new Deputy Commissioner making an inspection tour. He has already met and formed a good opinion of the Halop's character's sister, Sue (Gale Page). Bogart has a good initial run as a reformer, tossing out some of the crooks and incompetents. When he gets to the accounting records, the Old Guard tries to use Bogart's relationship with Sue as a way to destabilize the new reform school inmates and to at least discredit Bogart. How does this wind up?

The picture is a serviceably good black & white, although there is a steady stream of ignorable artifacts flowing through. The sound it good, if unremarkable. The gang acts up steadily, as people would expect from future Eastside Kids and Bowery Boys. There is no bad language or sex. Violence, drinking, and smoking are either brief or off-screen.
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