They Made Me a Criminal Reviews

  • Jul 29, 2019

    Fine Garfield vehicle featuring the Dead-end kids.

    Fine Garfield vehicle featuring the Dead-end kids.

  • Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
    Oct 22, 2018

    While directed by Busby Berkeley there actually is little for him to do but to choreograph a couple of fights in this standard Warner Bros. B-feature about New Yorkers hiding out out-in-the-sticks. Can wise-to-it-all street hustlers give up what they know for some of that folksy middle Americanism old Hollywood loved to pretend it revered? The Dead End Kids do well backing up John Garfield's streetwise tough play, while Ann Sheridan and Claude Rains are advertised but in reality hardly onscreen at all. Still, at least it ain't no cheap gyp of a film.

    While directed by Busby Berkeley there actually is little for him to do but to choreograph a couple of fights in this standard Warner Bros. B-feature about New Yorkers hiding out out-in-the-sticks. Can wise-to-it-all street hustlers give up what they know for some of that folksy middle Americanism old Hollywood loved to pretend it revered? The Dead End Kids do well backing up John Garfield's streetwise tough play, while Ann Sheridan and Claude Rains are advertised but in reality hardly onscreen at all. Still, at least it ain't no cheap gyp of a film.

  • Mar 19, 2016

    A very well-shot film that feels longer than it is.

    A very well-shot film that feels longer than it is.

  • Dec 06, 2014

    Director Busby Berkeley wanted to show he could direct something besides musicals and he got his shot and does a good job with this lightweight though entertaining crime story. John Garfield is a NYC boxer who thinks he's accidentally killed a reporter, so he goes out west to hide out from the law. Out west he hooks up with Huntz Hall, Leo Gorcey and the other Dead End Kids, who I've always found irritating. Despite the presence of the annoying antics of the Dead End Kids, Garfield's story is interesting enough, especially when a boxer comes to town offering $500 to anyone who can stay standing after two rounds. It's a pretty corny film and the oddball casting of Claude Rains as a NYC cop best described as a "mug" doesn't help either (reportedly Rains at first refused the part but was under contract and was threatened with suspension if he didn't take the part). Despite the film's drawbacks, it's an entertaining film that owes much to Garfield's strong performance.

    Director Busby Berkeley wanted to show he could direct something besides musicals and he got his shot and does a good job with this lightweight though entertaining crime story. John Garfield is a NYC boxer who thinks he's accidentally killed a reporter, so he goes out west to hide out from the law. Out west he hooks up with Huntz Hall, Leo Gorcey and the other Dead End Kids, who I've always found irritating. Despite the presence of the annoying antics of the Dead End Kids, Garfield's story is interesting enough, especially when a boxer comes to town offering $500 to anyone who can stay standing after two rounds. It's a pretty corny film and the oddball casting of Claude Rains as a NYC cop best described as a "mug" doesn't help either (reportedly Rains at first refused the part but was under contract and was threatened with suspension if he didn't take the part). Despite the film's drawbacks, it's an entertaining film that owes much to Garfield's strong performance.

  • Apr 28, 2013

    An enjoyable crime movie starring John Garfield as a champion boxer (Johnny Bradfield), who was framed for a murder by his crooked manager; Johnny then goes on the run and becomes a kind of wise-cracking role-model for a 'gang' of underprivileged delinquents. This 1939 flic is charming, fun to watch, and has a nice twist at the end.

    An enjoyable crime movie starring John Garfield as a champion boxer (Johnny Bradfield), who was framed for a murder by his crooked manager; Johnny then goes on the run and becomes a kind of wise-cracking role-model for a 'gang' of underprivileged delinquents. This 1939 flic is charming, fun to watch, and has a nice twist at the end.

  • Dec 16, 2012

    I'm a big fan of the "M-YA SHEEE" talk and this movie had plenty to go around. John Garfield reminded me of three actors all crunched into one: Liam Neeson,Charles Bronson and Edward G Robinson, nothing to do with acting styles or anything, his face just reminded me of those guys. The dead end kids were pretty entertaining especially at the end when they were bullshitting their way into the boxing fight at the end. You know I'm not too sure if I'm pinpointing the exact movie but I couldn't help but think of Butch's character in Pulp Fiction but it's completely different that was sort of a pride fucking with you sorta story this is more wrongfully accused type stuff. Enjoyed it.

    I'm a big fan of the "M-YA SHEEE" talk and this movie had plenty to go around. John Garfield reminded me of three actors all crunched into one: Liam Neeson,Charles Bronson and Edward G Robinson, nothing to do with acting styles or anything, his face just reminded me of those guys. The dead end kids were pretty entertaining especially at the end when they were bullshitting their way into the boxing fight at the end. You know I'm not too sure if I'm pinpointing the exact movie but I couldn't help but think of Butch's character in Pulp Fiction but it's completely different that was sort of a pride fucking with you sorta story this is more wrongfully accused type stuff. Enjoyed it.

  • Sep 18, 2012

    good gritty urban drama like only WB could do

    good gritty urban drama like only WB could do

  • Aug 10, 2012

    Classic. A wonderful story of character and struggle.

    Classic. A wonderful story of character and struggle.

  • Dec 20, 2011

    A good Warner Bros crime flick even if a little sentimentalised. John Garfield, Ann Sheridan and the Dead End Kids put in good performances but Claude Rains doesn't really convince as the tough cop tracking down the falsely accused crime fighter on a murder rap. There's a well staged scene in a water tank where a drowning is narrowly escaped. If you like the kind of social conscience crime films that Warners made back in the day (and I do) you'll like this one.

    A good Warner Bros crime flick even if a little sentimentalised. John Garfield, Ann Sheridan and the Dead End Kids put in good performances but Claude Rains doesn't really convince as the tough cop tracking down the falsely accused crime fighter on a murder rap. There's a well staged scene in a water tank where a drowning is narrowly escaped. If you like the kind of social conscience crime films that Warners made back in the day (and I do) you'll like this one.

  • Mar 02, 2011

    The Dead End Kids appear on a somewhat flimsy excuse to provide a foil for John Garfield and provide a mild level of entertainment. Leave your mind for critical plot evaluation at home for this one, lest you spend the whole running time cutting it up.

    The Dead End Kids appear on a somewhat flimsy excuse to provide a foil for John Garfield and provide a mild level of entertainment. Leave your mind for critical plot evaluation at home for this one, lest you spend the whole running time cutting it up.