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Every street in New York ends at a river.  The East River had tenements housing the poor where eventually the rich moves in and looks down on them.  The film Dead End (1937) is a true portrayal of life in the slums of New York City during the time of the Great Depression.  This is a sad but true description of the haves and have-nots during this era.  The Dead End boys, the city’s hoodlums, were used as the background of New York City slum.  Their perceptions of daily routine involved stealing pocket change, loitering, annoying the rich and the fancy uniformed doorman, and arranging fights with other gangs.  The slum is conflicted with luxury high rise apartments where the rich rub elbows with the poor due to the close proximity of the riverfront tenements and the luxury apartments.  The rich had to bear the burden of going the back way to their luxury apartments because the front entrance was under construction.  The storyline depicts Baby Face Martin, who is a wanted gangster and has killed at least eight men. He returns to his old stomping grounds accompanied by his sidekick, Hunk.  Baby Face Martin returns in the search for his innocence that he had lost a long time ago in the slum.  Baby Face Martin, with his new surgically altered face, had come a long distance to see his mother and his old girlfriend Francie.  He finds them, but his mom told him to get lost and Francie reveals herself as a sick prostitute.  He realizes that they are hostile just like the city that raised him which made him a meaner man.  Despite the hostility from the women, Baby Face Martin is idolized by the street gangs.  In the attempt to make the long trip worthwhile, he and his sidekick planned to kidnap a rich kid for ransom.  Dave, who went to college to become an architect but was only able to find work as a sign painter, prevents the attempt, and shoots and kills Baby Face.  Dave had received a large reward for killing Baby Face.  Dave who was tempted by a high class lady, had hopes to escape the slums via his romance with a wealthy and married Kay.  Drina, who is out on strike for better working conditions and whose brother is a member of the street gang, shows love interests in Dave.  Drina attempts to prevent her brother Tommy from wasting his life by involving himself in the street gang and keeping him from reform school.  Tommy gets in trouble for slightly wounding a rich man when he was twisting Tommy’s arm, so Dave decides to help by offering Drina the reward money to find a lawyer for her brother.  Dave’s generous act had changed the outlook of his life.  He ended up choosing slum afflicted Drina over his monetary romance with Kay.  The progression of the story was the resolution of Dave’s romantic dilemma where he settles with Drina over Kay, kills baby Face and disposes Hunk, and at the end the boys ended up right where they started. The film depicts the reality of the poor neighborhoods of New York City and the people that live there.  Dead End was the literal feeling of being trapped and enclosed which was what the people of New York City felt on a daily basis during this time.  It is a compelling story of the American life in the 1930’s where everything would change and everything would also stay the same.  It was during the time when class tension were hit hard and then came the origin of crimes.  The poor were desperate and would steal.  The Dead End kids characterized intense desperation and were on their way to being completely deadly.  The film also shows the problem with urban poverty where the lack of good jobs with good pay resulted in an increase of crime.