Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Though not a sequel to Angels with Dirty Faces, this Warner Bros. programmer does star the Dead End Kids-or, more specifically, Billy Halop, Leo Gorcey, Bobby Jordan, Huntz Hall, Gabriel Dell, and Bernard Punsley. Fresh out of reform school, Gabe Ryan (Frankie Thomas) promises his sister Joy (Ann Sheridan) that he'll go straight, and promptly joins the Beale Street Termites (the Dead Enders), a tough but basically good-hearted street gang. Local mobster William Kroner (Bernard Nedell), seeking out a fall guy for a series of arsons, frames Gabe for a fire in which helpless invalid Sleepy (Punsly) dies. With the help of the other Termites, crusading DA Pat Remson (Ronald Reagan) tries to prove Gabe's innocence, using surprisingly high-handed tactics to get results: arresting Kroner on a misdemeanor, he turns the crook over to the kids, who force a confession out of the terrified crook. In this and several other instances in the film, the gang's rowdy behavior is "purified" because the end justifies the means.
street-gang, arson, confession [criminal], fall-guy, gangster, teenagers, District-Attorney