They Made Me a Criminal (1939) - Rotten Tomatoes

They Made Me a Criminal1939

They Made Me a Criminal (1939)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

They Made Me a Criminal Photos

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.

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John Garfield
as Johnnie Bradfield/Jack Dorney
Claude Rains
as Det. Monty Phelan
May Robson
as Grandma Rafferty
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
Sam Hayes
as Fight Announcer
Irving Bacon
as Gas Station Attendant
Bert Roach
as Hendricks
Eddy Chandler
as Detective
Hal Craig
as Detective
Richard Bond
as Reporter
Nat Carr
as Reporter
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
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Critic Reviews for They Made Me a Criminal

All Critics (4)

The strength of this picture lies, not so much in the story, as in the excellent performances.

October 14, 2020 | Full Review…

John Garfield has mode the grade, and Warner Brothers motion picture firm have themselves a brand new star.

October 29, 2019 | Full Review…

Made competently enough and solidly acted so that one might forgive all the plot holes, unconvincing romance and outdated cornball antics.

November 26, 2008 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

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

March 25, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for They Made Me a Criminal

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.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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

They Made Me a Criminal Quotes

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