Boy of the Streets (1937)

76 mins | Drama | 8 December 1937

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HISTORY

Var called this film Monogram's most ambitious production to date. Some reviews noted similarities to Samuel Goldwyn's Dead End (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.0981), which was released a few months earlier. Har commented, "It is a sort of Dead End , in which George Kann, the producer, and William Nigh, the old reliable director, have been able to accomplish almost what Sam Goldwyn accomplished with more than twenty times the amount of money they had at their disposal....The moral is the same in the story of this picture as it is in the story of Dead End --that poverty and environment in the tenement districts of the big cities breed criminals, and that the same young boys and girls, reared in a better environment, would turn out good citizens." According to NYT , this film was awarded the Parents' Magazine medal for the best movie of the month. According to NYT , Jackie Cooper, whose contract a year earlier was not renewed by M-G-M, was signed by Monogram for two more films because of his performance in this film. This was the first film of Maureen O'Connor, a fourteen-year-old radio singer. Doris Rankin is listed as a cast member in a HR production chart, but her participation in the final film has not been ... More Less

Var called this film Monogram's most ambitious production to date. Some reviews noted similarities to Samuel Goldwyn's Dead End (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.0981), which was released a few months earlier. Har commented, "It is a sort of Dead End , in which George Kann, the producer, and William Nigh, the old reliable director, have been able to accomplish almost what Sam Goldwyn accomplished with more than twenty times the amount of money they had at their disposal....The moral is the same in the story of this picture as it is in the story of Dead End --that poverty and environment in the tenement districts of the big cities breed criminals, and that the same young boys and girls, reared in a better environment, would turn out good citizens." According to NYT , this film was awarded the Parents' Magazine medal for the best movie of the month. According to NYT , Jackie Cooper, whose contract a year earlier was not renewed by M-G-M, was signed by Monogram for two more films because of his performance in this film. This was the first film of Maureen O'Connor, a fourteen-year-old radio singer. Doris Rankin is listed as a cast member in a HR production chart, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
11 Dec 1937.
---
Daily Variety
2 Dec 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
2 Dec 37
p. 7.
Harrison's Reports
11 Dec 37
p. 198.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Oct 37
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Nov 37
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Dec 37
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
2 Dec 37
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
11 Dec 37
pp. 40-41.
New York Times
31 Dec 37
sect. II, p. 162.
New York Times
9 Jan 1938.
---
New York Times
24 Jan 38
p. 17.
Variety
1 Dec 37
p. 14.
DETAILS
Release Date:
8 December 1937
Production Date:
mid October--31 October 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
29 November 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7660
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
76
Length(in feet):
6,852
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3858
SYNOPSIS

In a predominantly Irish slum in New York, sixteen-year-old Chuck Brennan has become the leader of a gang, in emulation of his father, who, Chuck believes, has become an important leader in ward politics without working at a job. To help Norah, a neighbor whose mother is taken to a sanitarium for tuberculosis, Chuck arranges for her to sing at a nightclub, but because she is underage, women from the Children's Aid Society arrive to take her to an orphanage. Julie Stone has recently inherited the tenement in which Norah and Chuck's family live, and with the help of the neighborhood doctor, she is trying to fix it up. Julie pays to send Norah to a private girls' school. During a fight between Chuck's gang and a rival Italian gang, Spike, a young black shoeshine boy, is killed when he tries to save Chuck from getting hit by a truck. After Chuck's mother blames him for Spike's death, he goes to ward boss Olden's office looking for work, but sees that his father is only Olden's stooge. Chuck then goes to work for gambler Blackie Davis, who is trying to shake down establishments in Chuck's neighborhood, but during a break-in at a laundry warehouse, Chuck tries to prevent Blackie from shooting the neighborhood cop Rourke, and both he and Rourke are shot. In the hospital, Chuck realizes that Blackie used him for a stooge and fought unfairly without giving Rourke a chance. He tells Rourke that he feels bad for calling his father a stooge and gives Blackie's address. After he turns seventeen, Chuck says goodbye to his parents, Julie and Norah, ... +


In a predominantly Irish slum in New York, sixteen-year-old Chuck Brennan has become the leader of a gang, in emulation of his father, who, Chuck believes, has become an important leader in ward politics without working at a job. To help Norah, a neighbor whose mother is taken to a sanitarium for tuberculosis, Chuck arranges for her to sing at a nightclub, but because she is underage, women from the Children's Aid Society arrive to take her to an orphanage. Julie Stone has recently inherited the tenement in which Norah and Chuck's family live, and with the help of the neighborhood doctor, she is trying to fix it up. Julie pays to send Norah to a private girls' school. During a fight between Chuck's gang and a rival Italian gang, Spike, a young black shoeshine boy, is killed when he tries to save Chuck from getting hit by a truck. After Chuck's mother blames him for Spike's death, he goes to ward boss Olden's office looking for work, but sees that his father is only Olden's stooge. Chuck then goes to work for gambler Blackie Davis, who is trying to shake down establishments in Chuck's neighborhood, but during a break-in at a laundry warehouse, Chuck tries to prevent Blackie from shooting the neighborhood cop Rourke, and both he and Rourke are shot. In the hospital, Chuck realizes that Blackie used him for a stooge and fought unfairly without giving Rourke a chance. He tells Rourke that he feels bad for calling his father a stooge and gives Blackie's address. After he turns seventeen, Chuck says goodbye to his parents, Julie and Norah, whom he hesitatingly kisses, and ships out with the Navy. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.