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They Made Me a Criminal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

They Made Me a Criminal
Theatrical poster
Directed byBusby Berkeley
Screenplay by
Based onSucker
1933 play
by Bertram Millhauser
Beulah Marie Dix
Produced by
CinematographyJames Wong Howe
Edited byJack Killifer
Music byMax Steiner
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • January 28, 1939 (1939-01-28)
Running time
92 min.
CountryUnited States

They Made Me a Criminal is a 1939 American crime-drama film directed by Busby Berkeley and starring John Garfield, Claude Rains, and The Dead End Kids. It is a remake of the film The Life of Jimmy Dolan (1933). The film later was featured in an episode of Cinema Insomnia. Portions of the film were shot in the Coachella Valley, California.[2]

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  • They Made Me a Criminal (1939) Crime, Drama, Sport, Film-Noir | Full Length Movie
  • They Made Me a Criminal 1939 | Hollywood Full Movie | John Garfield, Claude Rains, The Dead End Kids
  • They Made Me A Criminal | Full Classic Movie In HD | Crime Drama Film-Noir | The Dead End Kids



Johnnie Bradfield is a southpaw world champion boxer falsely accused of murder. He disappears and is presumed dead. The only witnesses who could have exonerated him were his manager and girlfriend, both of whom have died in an automobile accident. Detective Monty Phelan believes that Johnnie is still alive and hasn't given up on searching for him. Johnnie, meanwhile, is hiding out on Grandma Rafferty's farm in Arizona. There, he meets with some juvenile delinquents, who are under the guardianship of Tommy's sister Peggy.

Johnnie, using the fake name of Jack Dorney, takes Tommy under his wing and encourages him to go in business for himself by buying a gas pump for the farm. He helps the kids raise money by returning to the boxing ring for a match against an up-and-coming boxer. Johnnie sees Phelan arriving at the fight and decides not to fight, disappointing the kids and Peggy. However his determination to help the kids overcomes him and he decides to fight. He tries to hide who he really is by not using his trademark stance in the ring, but not being a good right handed fighter, he is on the verge of losing. Because of this, Johnnie reveals who he really is, but he still is defeated in the fifth round. He surrenders to Phelan assuming he will be arrested, but the detective allows him to remain in Arizona instead of returning to New York.


Main cast

The Dead End Kids

References to other films

When Dippy is operating the shower controls for Jack, who is showering, he serenades him with the song By a Waterfall, which was a hit song from the director's earlier film Footlight Parade.


This film also contains the first malapropism of the Dead End Kids/East Side Kids/Bowery Boys series when Jordan says "Regenerate, ya dope" when Hall used the word degenerate. Malapropisms became a staple of these films, with Gorcey using them on a regular basis throughout the series.

Home media

As this film is in the public domain, there have been several DVD releases from a variety of companies over the years. The Alpha Video DVD was released on July 30, 2002.

See also


  1. ^ Hayes, David (1982). The Films of the Bowery Boys. Secaucus, NJ: The Citadel Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0806509310.
  2. ^ Palm Springs Visitors Center. "Coachella Valley Feature Film Production 1920-2011". Filming in Palm Springs. Palm Springs, CA. Archived from the original on October 1, 2012. Retrieved October 1, 2012.Download[permanent dead link] (Downloadable PDF file)

External links

This page was last edited on 9 June 2024, at 11:32
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