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Humphrey Bogart is "outstanding" (Variety) as a vicious gangster on the run in this "masterful gripping drama" (Motion Picture Daily) directed by William Wyler (Ben-Hur) and written by Lillian Hellman (The Little Foxes). Nominated* for four Academy AwardsÂ(r), including Best Picture, Dead End is powerful, entertaining and a true landmark in moviemaking. On the mean streets of New York's Lower East Side, Drina (Sylvia Sidney) hopes to save herbrother from a life of crime. But notorious hoodlum Baby Face Martin (Bogart) has come back to his old haunts looking for trouble and threatening to drag the boy down with him. Drina turns to her childhood friend Dave (Joel McCrea) for help. But can he stop Martin without becoming just like him? *1937: Best Picture, Supporting Actress (Claire Trevor), Cinematography, Art Direction
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Top customer reviews
William Wyler's adaptation of this Sidney Kingsley play has the claustrophobic feel of an overpopulated riverfront neighborhood being encroached upon by luxury highrise apartments. The newly-arrived affluent disdainfully rub elbows with longtime residents and grouse that the poor should be forced to go elsewhere. Streetwise local kids see their new neighbors as so many clay pigeons to take aim at. When not loitering and/or annoying a fancily-uniformed doorman, they scheme to steal pocket change or arrange little skirmishes with a gang up the street.
Observing the goings-on of his old stomping grounds are Hugh 'Baby Face' Martin and sidekick 'Hunk,' who wisely wants to get away from here before cops figure out who Martin is behind a surgically-altered Baby Face. Martin has come a long distance to see the two women in his life: mom and girlfriend 'Francey.' Both coldly scorn him, but instead of leaving, an embitterd Baby Face decides he'll get some sort of payoff by kidnapping a rich man's son. The other stories involve infighting among boys who would in future movies be known as the Dead End Kids, plus a love triangle between would-be architect Dave Connell, rich gal Kay and Drina, a down-to-earth native who's brother is in trouble for slightly wounding a rich man that was twisting his arm at the time.
There's a logical progression to this thoroughly watchable story that resolves Dave's romantic dilemma, disposes of Baby Face and Hunk, and leaves the boys right where they started: looking to get into mischief. It's the first and best of some 80 pictures featuring Gorcey, Hall and various other gang members, also one of Bogart's finest, but not Miss Sidney's, for her character is often shrill, whining and bitter. A classic.
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.
(7.6) Dead End (1937) - Sylvia Sidney/Joel McCrea/Humphrey Bogart/Wendy Barrie/Claire Trevor/Allen Jenkins/Marjorie Main/Billy Halop/Huntz Hall/Bobby Jordan/Leo Gorcey/Gabe Dell/Bernard Punsly/Charles Peck/Minor Watson/James Burke/Ward Bond