They Made Me a Criminal (1939)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this remake of The Life of Jimmy Dolan, a world-champion boxer believes he killed another man in a drunken fight, so he flees West to lie low. A bunch of troubled kids act as a kind of psychological mirror for him as he recognizes his problems and attempts self-redemption.
Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Bros.


John Garfield
as Johnnie Bradfield/Jack Dorney
Claude Rains
as Det. Monty Phelan
May Robson
as Grandma Rafferty
Ann Sheridan
as Goldie
Billy Halop
as Tommy
Leo Gorcey
as Spit
Huntz Hall
as Dippy
Robert Gleckler
as Doc Ward
John Ridgely
as Charlie Magee
William B. Davidson
as Inspector Ennis
Ward Bond
as Lenihan
Ronald Sinclair
as J. Douglas Williamson
Frank Riggi
as Gaspar Rutchek
Cliff Clark
as Rutchek's Manager
Dick Wessel
as Collucci
Raymond Brown
as Sheriff
Sam Hayes
as Fight Announcer
Irving Bacon
as Gas Station Attendant
Sam McDaniel
as Splash
Bert Roach
as Hendricks
Eddy Chandler
as Detective
Hal Craig
as Detective
Richard Bond
as Reporter
Nat Carr
as Reporter
Al Lloyd
as Man
Leyland Hodgson
as Mr. Williamson
Doris Lloyd
as Mrs. Williamson
Stuart Holmes
as Timekeeper
Bob Perry
as Cawley
Clem Bevans
as Ticket Taker
Jack Wise
as Ticketman
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for They Made Me a Criminal

All Critics (2)

Made competently enough and solidly acted so that one might forgive all the plot holes, unconvincing romance and outdated cornball antics.

Full Review… | November 26, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

There's nothing in this material that calls for [Busby] Berkeley's particular talents.

Full Review… | March 25, 2007
Goatdog's Movies

Audience Reviews for They Made Me a Criminal


They frame him and make him a wanted man, while on the lam he hides out on a farm worked by the "east side kids," they are there to be reformed.
He is the one who really goes through a tranformation as he gets less selfish becomes a lot nicer, gets a nice girl, is idolized by the boys and is let off the hook by the cop claude raines, which you see coming for miles.
sentimental, but with action, plus, i love a good boxing movie, but there is also romance and
people almost drowning, its well done, obviously great acting, a little formulaic, but not enough that this bunch doesn't make it rise ablove that formula feel it could have had.
its a keeper!

addie -
addie -

This is a remake of the life of Jimmy Dolan? No wonder I thought I's seen it already!

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Busby Berkeley directs this drama that features an element of crime mixed with drama and some humor. A feel good flick that holds interest. John Garfield plays a young champion prizefighter that is led to believe he murdered a reporter in a drunken brawl; so he high steps it out of town. He heads west and stops in Arizona taking refuge on a ranch run by Ann Sheridan and staffed by the Dead End Kids featuring Leo Gorcey and Billy Halop. The gang convinces the boxer on the run to enter a prizefight to win stakes for a future gasoline station. But spoiling a good thing is detective Claude Rains, who recognizes the champ and is set to take him back. A nice escape back to days gone by.

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

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