Two boyhood friends, Rocky Sullivan and Jerry Connolly have taken different paths in life. After Rocky is arrested he is sent to a juvenile facility and becomes a lifelong tough guy and criminal. Jerry on the other hand goes straight and becomes a Catholic priest ministering to people in the same neighborhood when he and Rocky grew up. When Rocky is released from prison he resumes his criminal lifestyle and becomes much admired by many of the local kids. Worried that the kids will follow Rocky into the criminal world, Jerry works hard to keep them on the straight and narrow. When Rocky is convicted and sentenced to the electric chair, Jerry asks him for one last favor.
The saga of America's dirty faced kids... And the breaks that life won't give them!
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Did You Know?
The Dead End Kids
terrorized the set during shooting. They threw other actors off with their ad-libbing, and once cornered co-star Humphrey Bogart
and stole his trousers. They didn't figure on James Cagney
's street-bred toughness, however. The first time Leo Gorcey
pulled an ad-lib on Cagney, the star stiff-armed the young actor right above the nose. From then on the gang behaved. See more
When Father visits Rocky in prison, a chair for him to sit appears out of nowhere. See more
Jerry, As a Boy
William 'Rocky' Sullivan, as a boy
It's as dead as a door nail around here.
Jerry, As a Boy
Also available in a computer colorized version. See more
Featured in Hollywood vs. Religion
In My Merry Oldsmobile
Music by Gus Edwards
Lyrics by Vincent Bryan
Revised version sung a cappella by James Cagney
and Pat O'Brien See more