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Little Tough Guy (1938)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 22 July 1938 (USA)
The son of a man sentenced to death for a murder he didn't commit vows to become a criminal himself. He starts his own street gang, and their crime spree is financed by a mysterious young ... See full summary »

Director:

Harold Young

Writers:

Gilson Brown (screenplay), Brenda Weisberg (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Wilcox ... Paul Wilson
Helen Parrish ... Kay Boylan
Marjorie Main ... Mrs. Boylan
Jackie Searl ... Cyril Gerrard
Peggy Stewart ... Rita Belle
Helen MacKellar ... Mrs. Wanaker
Edward Pawley ... Jim Boylan (as Ed Pawley)
Olin Howland ... Baxter
Pat C. Flick Pat C. Flick ... Adolphus
Billy Halop ... Johnny Boylan
Huntz Hall ... 'Pig'
Gabriel Dell ... String
Bernard Punsly ... Ape
Hal E. Chester Hal E. Chester ... Dopey (as Hally Chester)
David Gorcey ... 'Sniper'
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Storyline

The son of a man sentenced to death for a murder he didn't commit vows to become a criminal himself. He starts his own street gang, and their crime spree is financed by a mysterious young man--who turns out to be the son of the District Attorney who sent the boy's father to the electric chair. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HERE AGAIN...TO JOLT YOU FROM YOUR SEATS! (original ad - all caps)

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 July 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Little Tough Guy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Film Breaks: The Dead End Kids (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Universal version of the East Side Kids....
4 August 2016 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This film is one of the earliest incarnations of The Dead End Kids--a group of lovable tough teens who were first introduced in the play "Dead End" and who appeared in several films for Warner Brothers AND Universal. The Warner films were more popular (as well as better) and included "Dead End" (the movie version of the play) and "Crime School". As for Universal, they hired some of these boys away from Warner for a few films and serials. Not only the composition of the Dead End Kids changed over the years but so did their name--being renamed 'The Little Toughguys' (for Universal), then The East Side Kids and ultimately The Bowery Boys. Lovers of these films will no doubt recognize Huntz Hall, Billy Halop and even David Gorcey (Leo's brother) in "Little Tough Guys" but many of the other regulars of the era are missing (Bobby Jordan and Leo Gorcey were not signed by Universal and would return later after the Little Toughguy films ended). In total, they'd make 89 films and three serials for four different studios! Confusing? A bit...but is "Little Toughguys" any good? That IS the important thing as far as this review goes.

Johnny Boyland (Billy Halop) is mad. His father was convicted of murder. The family is evicted and Johnny's sister is fired because of her father...even though she'd done nothing wrong. The family is clearly in crisis. Not surprisingly, Johnny vows to be bad and lead a life of crime. So, he assembles a gang which turns out to be financed by the teenage son of the District Attorney who convicted Johnny's father! What gives? What's really going on here?!

This is pretty typical of these earlier films featuring the boys--with a strong emphasis on crime and rehabilitation. In other words, they have a strong social conscience. Later the boys would be less criminal...more just knuckleheads! All in all, entertaining and very similar to other early films from these boys.


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