Dead End (1937)


“Maybe I’m wrong. We all make mistakes, boss. That’s why they put the rubber on the ends of pencils. ” – Hunk

Number of Times Seen – 1 (10 May 2017)

Brief Synopsis – In the slums of New York, everyone tries to find a way out however they can.

My Take on it – This is a film that I had never heard of beforehand yet since I’m trying to eventually see all of the Best Picture nominees, I decided to give it a try.

The story is based on a very interesting premise yet I think it tries too hard with so many characters to do things in a way where we can understand them all.

There are too many scenes that drag on a bit too much  and you just want them to get to the point already.

They do a fine job of showing how gritty the street of New York can be yet, I feel that it looks a bit too sanitized for what they are trying to show.

Had this movie been made now, I’m sure that you would feel the stink and dirt of the slums more deliberately.

I enjoyed the way that they give us a very diverse bunch of characters who all basically have the same goal yet each has their own ideas and methods on how to achieve the goal.

Their expectations and aspirations are all easily identifiable and it makes us question how and why they got into such situations in the first place.

The cast is quite good here, but the standout is clearly Humphrey Bogart who plays a pivotal role her.  It’s easy to see from this portrayal that he was destined for greater and meatier roles in the future.

Bottom Line – Interesting premise that just moves along a bit too slowly.  The grittiness of the city is truly felt yet if it was made today, it would look more realistically gritty and downtrodden.  The diverse characters work here because each of them have their own expectations and aspirations as to how to get out of the situation they all feel stuck in. Cats is quite good and it’s easy to see that Bogart had a future based on this role. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Samuel Goldwyn acquired the rights to Sidney Kingsley’s play for $165,000 – an exorbitant amount of money at the time. The play had been a huge success on Broadway (which is why it commanded such a big fee) and Goldwyn purchased it with the intention of filming it largely uncut, knowing that he would have many run-ins with the Hays Office over the content. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy

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One thought on “Dead End (1937)

  1. Notable for giving birth to the “Dead End Kids” – the young actors from this film who went on to their own careers in a series of movies featuring them and their antics.

    Liked by 1 person

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