Little Tough Guy
theatrical re-release poster
Directed byHarold Young
Screenplay byGilson Brown
Brenda Weisberg[1]
Story byBrenda Weisberg
Produced byKen Goldsmith
StarringLittle Tough Guys
CinematographyElwood Bredell
Edited byPhilip Cahn
Music byCharles Previn[1]
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • July 22, 1938 (1938-07-22) (U.S.)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States

Little Tough Guy is a 1938 crime film that starred several of the Dead End Kids. In the follow-up films, the studio began using the group name The Little Tough Guys, and later The Dead End Kids and Little Tough Guys. This was the first of several films and serials that Universal made using several of the "Kids", whom they borrowed from Warner Bros.

Little Tough Guy is in the public domain.[2]


Johnny Boylan's father was sentenced to death for a crime that he was never fully proven to have committed. He and his family move to a poorer section of the East Side in New York City. His sister, Kay resorts to dancing in a burlesque theater after she is fired from her job. Her former fiancé, Paul Wilson, still cares for her and wants to help her, but she avoids him because of the shame she is feeling.

Johnny tries to enlist his fellow newsboy friends to help prove his father's innocence. They try to convince the judge, but are unsuccessful. In frustration, Johnny tosses a brick through the judge's car window, which begins his life of crime. He enlists his friend "Pig" to help him rob a drugstore. They are subsequently chased by the police and hide out. However, the cops find them and Pig begs Johnny to surrender. Eventually Pig leaves the store and is shot and killed by the police. Johnny is captured and sent to reform school.


Home media

The film was released on DVD on July 22, 2003.


  1. ^ a b Little Tough Guy at the American Film Institute Catalog
  2. ^ Little Tough Guy is available for free download at the Internet Archive