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Peachcrazy

B&W film about good son of notorious criminal, 40’s- 50’s?

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I’ve done a lot to try to find the name of this B& W film I saw years ago on TCM.   This is what I remember.

A young school-aged boy with dark hair has a  criminal father, maybe bankrobber who has a blonde hussy  girlfriend.   I think the 3 of them are on the run when the father is caught by police and sent to prison.  The blonde takes off and the boy ends up living , maybe hiding out, with a family out in the country where he is well treated and is learning things.   His father breaks out of prison and tries to find the boy, could be the boy knows where the money is?  The FBI or police are watching the boy in order to catch the father.   The boy is torn since he likes his new life.

I’ve looked at James Cagney, Edward G Robinson, and John Garfield movies since the criminal is a crazed-type they are all good at but its not  them.  Also looked at child actors from 40s- 50’s to see who actor is but no luck!    

Thanks for any suggestions!

 

  

 

 

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Sounds a bit like The Night of the Hunter, but some of the details are different. 

In Hunter, a man in prison had hidden money and his two children (a boy and girl) know where it is.  A fellow inmate, hearing of the money,  tracks down the family, marries the widow (a blond - Shelley Winters) of the inmate who hid the money, and terrorizes the children.  The children escape and are living with a kindly elderly woman who is taking care of other children.   The step-father eventually tracks the kids down at their new home, leading to a confrontation with the elderly lady.

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Thank you so much for responding txfilmfan!   I do remember that movie, it was great.    The one that’s buried in my brain isn’t as well known, unfortunately.  I might have the decades wrong and the way I remember the plot!    And it might have been forgettable to most, I was just wanting to remember the title in case it comes back again!   

I’m new here so I’m thrilled to get a response, thank you.

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The movie is "The Penalty" from 1941.  Edward Arnold is the gangster, "Stuff" Nelson, and Gene Reynolds is his son,"Roosty".  Veda Ann Borg is Stuff's girlfriend.  The farmer who takes the boy in is Robert Sterling.  Marsha Hunt is his lady friend and Lionel Barrymore is her father.

THE PENALTY, from left: Veda Ann Borg, Gene Reynolds, Edward ... 

 

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MilesArcher you are my HERO!!!!!!! I have been looking at lists for 3 years!!!    I would’ve never guessed Edward Arnold.   And can’t believe I didn’t find Gene Reynolds on child star list.
Thank  you so much, truly appreciate you.

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You're very welcome, Peachcrazy.  There have been several movies with similar themes where a troubled youth from a bad background is sent to live at a farm, ranch, or school in hopes that the youngster can get a fresh start and become a solid citizen.  "Boys Town" is certainly one example, along with "Hell's Kitchen" with Billy Halop, "Bad Boy", an early Audie Murphy film, and "Sons Of New Mexico", a western where Gene Autry enrolls young Dick Jones in the New Mexico Military Academy.  The young man joins the polo team and gets a new lease on life.  

I saw "The Penalty" on TCM some time ago and remembered it as soon as I read your description.  

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The Penalty is a remake of Hide-Out (1934) with Robert Montgomery & Maureen O’Sullivan where Mickey Rooney plays the kid but he’s Maureen’s brother. Edward Arnold is in it too but he plays a cop in the earlier one. The plot is slightly different but not much. 

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HelenBaby2; I love that movie The Hideout and I never thought of that so Thank You!

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On 6/2/2020 at 8:38 PM, MilesArcher said:

The movie is "The Penalty" from 1941.  Edward Arnold is the gangster, "Stuff" Nelson, and Gene Reynolds is his son,"Roosty".  Veda Ann Borg is Stuff's girlfriend.  The farmer who takes the boy in is Robert Sterling.  Marsha Hunt is his lady friend and Lionel Barrymore is her father.

THE PENALTY, from left: Veda Ann Borg, Gene Reynolds, Edward ... 

 

Funny but I just mentioned Veda Ann Borg since TCM showed the star studded 1937 film Kid Galahad as part of the May E.G. Robinson STOM tribute.   (the other stars being Bette Davis and Bogart).     Veda Ann Borg is credited as "the redhead".     Note that in 1937 (second year in film),  for Warner Bros Veda was in 14 films.

By 1941 she had moved to MGM and that year along with The Penalty she was in 8 films.    While Veda was mostly in 'B' pictures and only an extra,  she often had one of the best lines in the film.     Yea,  not up to Eve Arden in terms of exposure and utilization by directors but Veda was able to get steady film work until the end of the 50s.

Her most notable films are: Mildred Pierce,   The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer,  Love Me or Leave Me,  and Guys and Dolls.

 

 

 

 

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Thank you Jamesjazzguitar, I’ve seen Mildred Pierce over and over but glued to Joan so I will watch it again to see Veda, Thanks!

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5 hours ago, Peachcrazy said:

Thank you Jamesjazzguitar, I’ve seen Mildred Pierce over and over but glued to Joan so I will watch it again to see Veda, Thanks!

Oh when I first read this and you said “I will watch again to see Veda” I thought you meant the character Veda (the daughter) and I was all “ how could you watch it over & over and miss Veda?” Then I realized you meant Veda Ann Borg. 😂 

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1 hour ago, HelenBaby2 said:

Oh when I first read this and you said “I will watch again to see Veda” I thought you meant the character Veda (the daughter) and I was all “ how could you watch it over & over and miss Veda?” Then I realized you meant Veda Ann Borg. 😂 

Funny but I didn't even think of that;    Veda Ann Borg played the Miriam Ellis character.     This would make for a good trivial question;

I assume this is the only film Veda Ann Borg was in where the one of the leading character is named Veda (since that is NOT a common name!).

 

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