Sunday, March 13, 2011
Dead End(1937). Crime drama film. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Joel McCrea, and Sylvia Sidney. It is the first of 7 films with the, Dead End Kids.
The story begins on the streets of New York, where there are many luxury apartments being built close to the east river, because of the beautiful views. The poor people, also live close by in their crowded run down tenements.
At the end of the street, is a dock, where you will find a gang of street kids who call themselves, The Dead End Kids. There is a the new kid on the block looking for friends. At first, the gang bullies the new kid and takes his money, but they soon become fast friends. One of the boys sister, Drina, dreams of marrying a rich man who will save her and her brother from their hard life.
Drina, does not want her younger brother to turn out like Mobster Baby Face Martin, who just returned to his old neighborhood. Drina's friend Dave Connell, is an unemployed architect, who now works odd jobs. He is having an affair with a rich man's mistress, Kay Burton.
Looking for trouble, the gang of kids beat up a rich kid, who lives in the near by apartments. When the boy's father tries to help his son, Tommy stabs him in the hand and then goes into hiding.
Mobster Baby Face Martin, is turned away by his mother and upset to find out that his ex-girlfriend, Francie, is now a prostitute. Needing money, he decides to kidnap the rich child for ransom. Dave, finds Martin and kills him in a fight. When the police arrive, Spit.. tells the police that it was Tommy, who stabbed the man. Will Dave, convince him to turn himself in?
In this film you have, Rich, poor, kindhearted and hardhearted all trying to live together, in the same neighborhood. This film also, shows the differences as well as similarities between the rich and the poor.
Even though, she is in only one scene that lasts a little under five minutes, Claire Trevor won an Oscar nomination for her performance as Francie, the prostitute.
Sidney, often played the girlfriend or the sister of a gangster in the films: An American Tragedy, City Streets and Street Scene (all 1931), Alfred Hitchcock's, Sabotage and Fritz Lang's, Fury (both 1936), You Only Live Once, Dead End (both 1937) and The Trail of the Lonesome Pine .
She also performed in the films: Blood on the Sun (1945) and Les Misérables(1952).
In 1973, Sidney received an Academy Award nomination for her supporting role in, Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams.
As an elderly woman, Sidney continued to play supporting screen roles such as, Miss Coral in the film, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. She played Aunt Marion in, Damien: Omen II and had a role in the films: Beetlejuice, for which she won a Saturn Award and the film, Used People. Her final role was in, Mars Attacks!
My favorite Sylvia Sidney films:
City Streets (1931)
The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936)
Dead End (1937)