They Made Me A Criminal

A prize fighter, accused of murder, befriends young delinquents while hiding out on a work farm.
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  ALP 4020D
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 32 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released: July 30, 2002
  • Originally Released: 1939
  • Label: Alpha Video
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Packaging: Keep Case
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , , &
Performer: , , &
Directed by
Edited by
Screenplay by
Composition by
Produced by
Director of Photography:

Entertainment Reviews:


User Ratings: 802
Rating: B- -- Made competently enough and solidly acted so that one might forgive all the plot holes, unconvincing romance and outdated cornball antics. Full Review
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Nov 26, 2008
Rating: 2/5 -- There's nothing in this material that calls for [Busby] Berkeley's particular talents. Full Review
Goatdog's Movies
Mar 25, 2007
John Garfield has mode the grade, and Warner Brothers motion picture firm have themselves a brand new star. Full Review
California Eagle
Oct 29, 2019

Description by

John Garfield is hard drinking boxer Johnnie Bradfield, who through a twist of fate, becomes the prime suspect in a murder case. Rather than take the fall for a crime he did not commit, Johnnie goes on the run, hiding out on a farm where a group of juvenile delinquents (The Dead End Kids) have been sent to work. Taking it upon himself to help set this group straight, the clock ticks as tireless detective (Claude Rains) closes in and the fate of the boxer and the future of the kids hang in the balance. Combining well choreographed fight and action scenes with the suspense and drama delivered by Garfield, Sheridan and Rains, director Busby Berkeley creates an exciting and sympathetic story of a life and redemption.

Product Description:

Busby Berkeley, known mainly as a dance director, took a big chance with this tough little drama; his second feature after signing to MGM. The story, basically a remake of 1933's THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JIMMY DOLAN, chronicles the flight of a hard-drinking boxer (John Garfield) suspected of murder. While hiding out on an Arizona farm, he befriends the juvenile delinquents working there, and finds meaning to his life. Unfortunately, a persistent detective (Claude Rains) is on his trail, and closing in fast.

Berkeley put his innovative choreography skills to good use in the fight and action scenes, and with the help of solid performances from his actors (especially the Dead End Kids, surprisingly affecting in non-comedy roles) established himself as a director capable of more than just musicals.

Plot Synopsis:

Prizefighter Johnnie Bradfield (John Garfield) is a man on the run from a murder rap, and a misspent life. After taking refuge on the farm of a kindly old woman, he gets a second chance at goodness when he helps some juvenile delinquents working there (the Dead End Kids). It turns out Johnnie's a great influence on these troubled boys, but unfortunately a persistent detective (Claude Rains) starts closing in just as the happy ending seems in sight. This decided change of pace for dance director Busby Berkeley packs a mean punch, and a lot of heart.


Production Notes:

  • Theatrical release: January 20, 1939.
  • Partially filmed in Palm Desert, California.
  • THEY MADE ME A CRIMINAL is a remake of the 1933 film THE LIFE OF JIMMY DOLAN.
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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 1,290
  • UPC: 089218402097
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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