Sunday, June 08, 2003


A Video Review of "Dead End"

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

This 1937 classic directed by William Wyler and starring Humphrey Bogart, Sylvia Sidney and the Dead End Kids is a timeless story of culture clash. The lush high-rises of the rich look down on the tenements of the poor over the scenic East River in new York causing an interesting mix of folks good and evil.

You get one of everything here. An college studied architect reduced to painting signs, a seamstress on strike and her brother in a street gang, a wanted gangster come home to see his ma and his girl, a rich kid terrorized by the street gang, a society girl in love with the secretive architect – all circling in an endless cycle, eventually sucked into the bottomless toilet of the East River.

It’s almost like film noir without the detective. It is film noir, everyone is a loser in a struggle. The losers with hopes and dreams and a chance for survival you grow to love and root for. Like I said it’s a different film noir, one with hope.

For a time this was a lost film and I’m glad it was finally found. The actors are in top form and Bogart cuts his teeth here with the gangster role that would catapult him to the heights. Don’t miss this classic.

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