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Desert location shooting was so hot at times that the film melted in the camera.
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Claude Rains at first turned down the part, feeling he would be miscast and look ridiculous as a tough New York City cop. Only after being threatened by the studio with suspension did he reluctantly accept it, but he always considered this one of his least favorite pictures.
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Director Busby Berkeley first made a name for himself with musical spectaculars like Footlight Parade (1933), Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) and 42nd Street (1933). He persuaded Warner Brothers executives to let him do a dramatic picture, and they assigned him to this film. He didn't shed his musical association entirely, however; the film contains an "in-joke". When "Dippy" (Huntz Hall) operates the controls of a makeshift shower, he serenades the bathing "Jack/Johnnie" with "By The Waterfall", a song from Berkeley's hit "Footlight Parade".
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The John Garfield character (Johnny Bradfield/Jack Dorney) is obsessed with not being made a sucker. The word "sucker" is used 19 times in the film.
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The fourth of seven movies featuring The Dead End Kids. In the original film, The Life of Jimmy Dolan (1933), the kids are played by Mickey Rooney and several cast members of the our "Our Gang" comedy shorts--a much younger crowd.
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Apparently, the copyright on this film was not renewed, and so it fell into public domain. As a result, discount VHS and DVD dealers, who do not ordinarily include copyrighted major studio titles in their inventories, do offer this one. Unfortunately, since they don't have access to original negative material, the transfers are usually inferior.
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The play opened off-broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 4 April 1933.
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When Johnnie and Peggy are driving back to the farm in the early evening, toward the end of the scene, Johnnie takes his eyes off the road for 17 seconds. They are going between 50 and 60 mph. This means that Johnnie drove at least 1,200 feet without looking at the road.
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This was a remake of The Life of Jimmy Dolan (1933). To conform with the Hays Office -- the industry's censorship board, first formed in 1934 -- the reporter in this film is killed by the fighter's manager. In 1933 the prizefighter, Jimmy Dolan, the central character and hero, was the killer.
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