The success of this film led Warner Brothers to sign the Kids and feature them in six films which starred such screen luminaries as Ronald Reagan, Pat O'Brien, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, John Garfield and Claude Raines.
The films were the typical Warner fare of serious social/crime dramas with the Kids heavily involved in the plot and also lending some comedy relief. The quality of the films declined until Warner's threw in the towel and the Kids were reborn as the East Side Kids at the king of the poverty row studios, Monogram.
Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan, Gabriel Dell, Billy Halop and Bernard Punsley played the Kids. Despite the fact that they played the same basic roles in every picture, their characters were given different names in many of the films, although Billy Halop was always the leader and featured "Kid" in these movies.
Generally, these films are the best made of any of the four series. Dead End and Angels With Dirty Faces are considered classics of the genre. They Made Me A Criminal is notable for its strong performance by future superstar, John Garfield. (Garfield would team up with Halop & Jordan in Warner's 1939 Dust Be My Destiny and with Leo & Bernard Gorcey in Warner's 1941 Out Of The Fog) The last two Warner's films are pretty bad though.
- August 1937 - United Artists - Directed by William Wyler
Featuring: Sylvia Sidney as Drina; Joel McCrea as Dave; Humphrey Bogart as 'Baby Face' Martin; Wendy Barrie as Kay; Claire Trevor as Francey; Allen Jenkins as Hunk; Marjorie Main as Mrs. Martin; Billy Halop as Tommy; Huntz Hall as Dippy; Bobby Jordan as Angel; Leo Gorcey as Spit (as Leo B. Gorcey); Gabriel Dell as T.B.; Bernard Punsly as Milty; Charles Peck as Philip; Minor Watson as Mr. Griswald
The story of one day in a slum area of New York. Noted gangster Baby Face Martin, who grew up in the neighborhood, decides to come home to visit his mother and the girl he left behind when he was sentenced to reform school. While he is there he hooks up with Dave Connell, a former friend who is now a struggling architect. At first Connell is a little disturbed that "Marty" is back in the neighborhood, but he goes along with him.
When Marty sees his mother, she rejects him because of what he has become. He later sees his girl Francie, who is now a prostitute in the throes of syphilis. All this turns drives Marty to the edge, which leads to the plot to kidnap the nephew of a prominent judge. When Dave finds out about this, he decides to take matters in his own hands and try to stop Martin's plot.
Crime School - May 1938 - Warner Brothers - Directed by Lewis Seiler
Featuring: Humphrey Bogart as Mark Braden; Gale Page as Sue Warren; Billy Halop as Frankie Warren; Bobby Jordan as Squirt; Huntz Hall as Goofy; Leo Gorcey as Spike; Bernard Punsly as Fats (as Bernard Punsley); Gabriel Dell as Bugs; George Offerman Jr. as Red; Weldon Heyburn as Cooper; Cy Kendall as Morgan; Charles Trowbridge as Judge Clinton; Spencer Charters as Old Doctor; Donald Briggs as New Doctor
The Dead End Kids are sent to a brutal reform school after attacking "Junkie", a fence. Deputy Commissioner of Correction Mark Braden finds the reform school in terrible condition, fires the corrupt warden, Morgan, and several other employees and assumes control himself. He wins the boys' cooperation by being fair and falls in love with gang leader Frankie's sister, Sue. This aids disgruntled employees in unsuccesfully challenging Braden.
Angels With Dirty Faces - November 1938 - Warner Brothers - Directed by Michael Curtiz
Featuring: James Cagney as Rocky Sullivan; Pat O'Brien as Jerry Connolly; Humphrey Bogart as James Frazier; Ann Sheridan as Laury Ferguson; George Bancroft as Mac Keefer; Billy Halop as
Soapy; Bobby Jordan as Swing; Leo Gorcey as Bim; Gabriel Dell as Pasty; Huntz Hall as Crab; Bernard Punsly as Hunky (as Bernard Punsley); Joe Downing as Steve; Edward Pawley as Edwards; Adrian Morris as Blackie
In New York, the boys Rocky Sullivan and Jerry Connelly are best friends and small time thieves. After a robbery, Rocky is arrested and sent to a reformatory school, where he begins his criminal career. Jerry escapes and later becomes a priest. After three years in prison, Rocky is released and demands his former partner, lawyer James Frazier, give him his $100,000.00 and his share in the society, and is betrayed. Meanwhile, he becomes the idol of the street kids in the neighborhood. Although following opposite paths in life, Rocky and Jerry are still friends. When Jerry decides to fight against the corruption, Rocky is put against the wall between his friendship with the priest, and his society in dirty businesses with his criminal partners.
They Made Me A Criminal - January 1939 - Warner Brothers - Directed by Busby Berkeley
Featuring: John Garfield as Johnnie; Claude Rains as Detective Phelan; Ann Sheridan as Goldie; May Robson as Grandma; Gloria Dickson as Peggy; Billy Halop as Tommy; Bobby Jordan as
Angel; Leo Gorcey as Spit; Huntz Hall as Dippy; Gabriel Dell as T.B.; Bernard Punsly as Milt (as Bernard Punsley); Robert Gleckler as Doc Ward; John Ridgely as Magee; Barbara Pepper as
Johnnie, a prizefighter, is unwittingly involved in a murder, and unable to prove his innocence, quits boxing and flees to Arizona. He obtains work at a fruit ranch run by a kindly woman known as Grandma. The ranch is worked by delinquent boys for whom Grandma provides a home. Johnnie teaches the boys to box and begins to gentle under the influence of the old woman and her daughter, Peggy. Then a New York police detective shows up...
Hell's Kitchen - July 1939 - Warner Brothers - Directed by E.A. Dupont & Lewis Seiler
Featuring: Margaret Lindsay as Beth; Ronald Reagan as Jim; Stanley Fields as Buck; Billy Halop as Tony; Bobby Jordan as Joey; Leo Gorcey as Gyp; Huntz Hall as Bingo; Gabriel Dell as
Ace; Bernard Punsly as Ouch (as Bernard Punsley); Frankie Burke as Soap; Grant Mitchell as Krispan; Frederic Tozere as Mike Garvey (as Fred Tozere); Arthur Loft as Elmer Krispan; Vera Lewis as
A paroled convict's efforts to improve conditions at a boys' reform school alarm the school's corrupt warden, who has been embezzling funds from the institution. He hatches a plan to derail the reformed convict's efforts and have him sent back to prison, and part of that scheme involves cracking down hard on the reform school's inmates.
Angels Wash Their Faces - August 1939 - Warner Brothers - Directed by Ray Enright
Featuring: Ann Sheridan as Joy Ryan; Billy Halop as Billy Shafter; Bernard Punsly as Sleepy Arkelian (as Bernard Punsley); Leo Gorcey as Leo Finnegan; Huntz Hall as Huntz; Gabriel Dell as
Luigi; Bobby Jordan as Bernie; Ronald Reagan as Pat Remson; Bonita Granville as Peggy Finnegan; Frankie Thomas as Gabe Ryan; Henry O'Neill as Remson Sr.; Eduardo Ciannelli as Martino; Berton Churchill as Mayor Dooley; Bernard Nedell as Kroner; Dick Rich as Shuffle
A young man just released from a reformatory moves to a new neighborhood with his sister, intending to start a new life. However, he gets mixed up with the local mob boss and corrupt politicians and soon finds himself being framed for an arson and murder he didn't commit.
On Dress Parade - November 1939 - Warner Brothers - Directed by William Clemens
Featuring: Billy Halop as Cadet Maj. Rollins; Bobby Jordan as Cadet Ronny Morgan; Huntz Hall as Cadet Johnny Cabot; Gabriel Dell as Cadet Georgie Warren; Leo Gorcey as Slip Duncan; Bernard Punsly as Dutch (as Bernard Punsley); John Litel as Col. Michael Riker; Frankie Thomas as Cadet Lt. Murphy; Cecilia Loftus as Mrs. Neeley (as Cissie Loftus); Selmer Jackson as Capt. Evans Dover; Aldrich Bowker as Father Ryan; Douglas Meins as Hathaway; William Gould as Dr. Lewis; Donald Douglas as Col. Wm. Duncan (as Don Douglas)
WWI hero Colonel Riker now heads Washington Military Academy. His dying pal, Bill Duncan, requests him to school his son Slip, a juvenile delinquent. Slip starts fights, disputes all regulations, but Riker believes in him. When the truth comes out, that Slip got into the academy as a means of evading reform school, Slip leaves, but Jack Rollins tries to stop him. The squad roughhouses Slip, but in the mêlée, Jack is pushed out a window. Hurt badly, he nevertheless begs that Slip be kept. Slip has a change of heart, but now must contend with the boys who hate him.