Little Tough Guy (1938)

67 or 83 mins | Drama | 22 July 1938

Director:

Harold Young

Cinematographer:

Elwood Bredell

Editor:

Philip Cahn

Production Designer:

Jack Otterson

Production Company:

Universal Pictures Co.
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HISTORY

The Dead End Kids were billed above the title. MPH noted the film's episodic quality and predicted that scenes of Cyril offering champagne and cigarettes to his pals would be deleted. The film was popular, and inspired a sequel, Little Tough Guys in Society (see entry). Warner Bros. made a series of films starring The Dead End Kids. Some of "The Dead End Kids" went on to make the long-running "East Side Kids" series at Monogram and finally the "Bowery Boys" comedy series. For additional information on characters in these series, See Entry for Crime School, and consult the Series Index for "The Dead End Kids," "The East Side Kids" and "The Little Tough Guys." ...

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The Dead End Kids were billed above the title. MPH noted the film's episodic quality and predicted that scenes of Cyril offering champagne and cigarettes to his pals would be deleted. The film was popular, and inspired a sequel, Little Tough Guys in Society (see entry). Warner Bros. made a series of films starring The Dead End Kids. Some of "The Dead End Kids" went on to make the long-running "East Side Kids" series at Monogram and finally the "Bowery Boys" comedy series. For additional information on characters in these series, See Entry for Crime School, and consult the Series Index for "The Dead End Kids," "The East Side Kids" and "The Little Tough Guys."

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
7 Jul 1938
p. 3
Film Daily
11 Jul 1938
p. 7
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jul 1938
p. 3
Motion Picture Daily
18 Jul 1938
p. 4
Motion Picture Herald
25 Jun 1938
p. 35
Motion Picture Herald
16 Jul 1938
p. 58
New York Times
18 Aug 1938
p. 23
Variety
24 Aug 1938
p. 12
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
John Martin
Asst cam
Second asst cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Sd tech
Sd mixer
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr clerk
Scr clerk
Bob Lazlo
Props
Props
Prod secy
Gaffer
Best boy
E. Estabrook
Still photog
STAND INS
Stand in
Stand in
Stand in
Stand in
Stand in
Stand in
Stand in
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 July 1938
Production Date:
26 May--18 Jun 1938
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
67 or 83
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4397
SYNOPSIS

Kay Boylan convinces her younger brother Johnny not to quit school and go to work to support their impoverished family. Mrs. Boylan does not favor Kay's engagement to Paul Wilson, who is also a friend of Johnny, but she is willing to wheedle money out of him until Kay prevents it. Johnny's unemployed father, Jim, is coerced by his wife into taking a job at a factory whose workers are on strike and comes home injured one day, having been attacked by "scabs" when he tried to aid a striker. Although innocent, Jim is arrested for killing a policeman during the melee, and the other boys in school taunt Johnny over the family misfortune. When Jim is found guilty of murder, Mrs. Boylan grows despondent, while Paul stands by the family. Kay is fired from her job, and tells Paul she fears she will drag him into their unpleasant situation. The family is forced to leave their apartment and move to the slums. The thieving boys of this rough part of town are impressed that Johnny's father is considered a murderer. When Johnny starts to sell newspapers, he takes over another boy's corner, but is accepted when he beats one of the gang in a fight. Unfortunately, Johnny begins to spend all of his time with these toughs, ignoring his family and Paul. Kay, meanwhile, takes a job in a burlesque show and refuses to reunite with Paul. One day Rita Belle Warren, a girl from the old neighborhood who loves Johnny, comes to visit him. The gang disrupts a broadcast of the Young America Upward and Onward League and ...

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Kay Boylan convinces her younger brother Johnny not to quit school and go to work to support their impoverished family. Mrs. Boylan does not favor Kay's engagement to Paul Wilson, who is also a friend of Johnny, but she is willing to wheedle money out of him until Kay prevents it. Johnny's unemployed father, Jim, is coerced by his wife into taking a job at a factory whose workers are on strike and comes home injured one day, having been attacked by "scabs" when he tried to aid a striker. Although innocent, Jim is arrested for killing a policeman during the melee, and the other boys in school taunt Johnny over the family misfortune. When Jim is found guilty of murder, Mrs. Boylan grows despondent, while Paul stands by the family. Kay is fired from her job, and tells Paul she fears she will drag him into their unpleasant situation. The family is forced to leave their apartment and move to the slums. The thieving boys of this rough part of town are impressed that Johnny's father is considered a murderer. When Johnny starts to sell newspapers, he takes over another boy's corner, but is accepted when he beats one of the gang in a fight. Unfortunately, Johnny begins to spend all of his time with these toughs, ignoring his family and Paul. Kay, meanwhile, takes a job in a burlesque show and refuses to reunite with Paul. One day Rita Belle Warren, a girl from the old neighborhood who loves Johnny, comes to visit him. The gang disrupts a broadcast of the Young America Upward and Onward League and are joined by Cyril Gerrard, a young, pretentious thrill seeker of means. Later Jim's court appeal is denied and the judge rejects Johnny's attempt to plead for his father. In reprisal, Johnny throws a rock through his window and is sent to a detention home, from which the gang releases him. Johnny returns home to interrupt Kay and Paul as they are making up, then runs away. Johnny and the gang begin to live as small-time criminals but Johnny sends his ill-gotten money home and learns of the coming wedding of Paul and Kay. Cyril, now claiming he is a criminologist, turns his friends in to the police. Johnny escapes with one other boy, who is killed when police later surround them. After Kay convinces Johnny to surrender, the gang is sentenced to the Grant School for Boys. The judge has sympathy for Johnny, despite the more serious nature of his crimes and, moved by Kay and Rita Belle's affection for him, decides to send him to the school as well. There, Rita Belle, Paul, Kay and Mrs. Boylan visit Johnny.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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