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Crime School

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Title: Crime School  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Max Steiner, Angels with Dirty Faces, 1938 in film, Dead End Kids, Bernard Punsly, Billy Halop, Gale Page, Humphrey Bogart filmography, The Mayor of Hell, Weldon Heyburn
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Crime School

Crime School
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Lewis Seiler
Produced by Bryan Foy
Written by Crane Wilbur
Vincent Sherman
Starring Humphrey Bogart
Gale Page
Billy Halop
Bobby Jordan
Huntz Hall
Leo Gorcey
Bernard Punsly
Gabriel Dell
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography Arthur Todd
Editing by Terry Morse
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) May 28, 1938 (U.S.)
Running time 86 min.
Country United States
Language English

Crime School is a 1938 Warner Bros. film directed by Lewis Seiler and starring the Dead End Kids and Humphrey Bogart.


A junkman is attacked by the Dead End Kids: Frankie (Billy Halop), Squirt (Bobby Jordan), Spike (Leo Gorcey), Goofy (Huntz Hall), Fats (Bernard Punsly), and Bugs (Gabriel Dell), and suffers a concussion. When the court cannot convince the boys to divulge which one struck the damaging blow, they are all sent to reform school.

The superintendent of the state reformatories, Mark Braden (Humphrey Bogart), visits the school and finds that it is being mismanaged. As a way of starting over, he fires Morgan (Cy Kendall), the cruel warden, and four ex-convict guards, while retaining the head guard, Cooper (Weldon Heyburn). Braden runs the school himself and attempts to parole the kids, while romancing Frankie's sister, Sue Warren (Gale Page).

Meanwhile, Cooper is afraid that Braden will learn of Morgan's illegal use of the food budget, which would implicate him as well. He learns that Spike is the one who dealt the blow to the junkman and blackmails him. He gets him to tell Frankie that Braden is forcing Sue to pay for the special treatment the boys have received. Although untrue, it causes the kids to escape from the school.

On the outside, they confront Braden and learn the truth. Cooper "discovers" that the kids have escaped and Morgan calls the press to discredit Braden and get him fired. Once the kids are back at the school and the police arrive, Braden delivers evidence about Morgan's fraud, and Morgan is arrested.


  • As this was a Warner Bros. film and not a United Artists' film like Dead End, they advertised the kids as 'The Crime School Kids' in this film, and their next, Angels with Dirty Faces. However, the name did not catch on and they remained 'The Dead End Kids'.[1]
  • Before the film was released, Halop, Dell, Hall, and Punsly were released from their contracts by Warner Brothers and they went on to make a film at Universal, Little Tough Guy. The success of this film caused Warner to reconsider and they were rehired at a substantial raise.[2]
  • The Dead End Kids received top billing over Humphrey Bogart for Crime School, with their typeface also larger than Bogart's in posters and advertising.

Home media

Warner Archives released the film on made to order DVD in the United States on August 4, 2009.


External links

  • Internet Movie Database

Template:Lewis Seiler

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