A gutsy, rousing blend of gangster thriller and social comment, Curtiz's brisk film follows the lives of two slum kids who take different paths into adulthood: Cagney becomes a violent hood, O'Brien a priest. Problems arise when the local street gang - played by the Dead End Kids - come to admire Cagney for his toughness, and O'Brien has to try (the ending is hauntingly ambiguous) to persuade his former pal to pretend to be terrified as he's led to the electric chair. Great performances all round, and enough pace, shadowy camerawork and snappy dialogue to make this one of Warners' most memorable '30s dramas, despite the moralising air.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||John Wexley, Warren Duff|
the Dead End Kids