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Gangster's Boy

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Gangster's Boy
Directed byWilliam Nigh
Written byRobert Hardy Andrews
Karl Brown
Produced byScott R. Dunlap (executive producer)
William T. Lackey (associate producer)
StarringSee below
CinematographyHarry Neumann
Edited byRussell F. Schoengarth
Music byEdward J. Kay
Release date
  • November 16, 1938 (1938-11-16)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States

Gangster's Boy is a 1938 American film directed by William Nigh. It stars Jackie Cooper in his second film for Monogram Pictures. The film was positively received, and has been released on DVD.


High school student Larry Kelly's father Tim used to be a gangster. Despite being treated badly by his friends, Kelly takes sides with his father when people try to force him to leave the town. Kelly's girlfriend and her brother Bill Davis continue to be around Kelly even though it makes their fathers unhappy. After a car accident in which Bill was the driver, Kelly takes the blame for the accident and is taken to jail for drunk driving. Judge Davis and Kelly's father are opponents on proving Larry Kelly as guilty or innocent.


Jackie Cooper was a child actor for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer until the company fired him when he was 13 years old, which was a tradition when child actors became teenagers. The smaller company Monogram Pictures hired Cooper after he turned 13 years old to star in the film Boy of the Streets. After a successful stint in films that were produced by other companies, Cooper starred in the Monogram Pictures film Gangster's Boy[1] as part of his contract. The film was produced with a low budget.[2] Betty Blythe, an actress in silent films, was considered to be "more or less retired" by the Harrisburg Telegraph when she took a role in the film despite taking roles that she liked.[3] The Scrantonian Tribune wrote that Robert Warwick had "the finest opportunity of his entire career as Tim Kelly". The film featured music by Hal Le Roy in a revue.[4] Lucy Gilman Scott, a teenage actress for the radio, had her film debut in the film as the girlfriend of Cooper's character.[5][6] As it turned out, Blythe was not retired and her career continued until 1960.[7]


The film was released by Monogram Pictures on November 16, 1938. It was first released on DVD by Platinum Disc as part of three different 2005 Mobster Movies sets. Direct Source released the film in its 2007 Bootleggers, Delinquents & Gangsters DVD set.[8] Alpha Video released the film on DVD by itself in 2011. It is also available on Amazon Prime Video.[9]


Karl Krug of the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph said, "Gangster's Boy is a neat and comfortable "homey" picture, despite its titles. And, its principal lesson, if any, is that the sins of gangster fathers, although they have reformed, shouldn't be visited upon by their children".[10] The Daily Times-News said that "the dramatic situations in Gangster's Boy are tense and go to make a fine afternoon or evening's entertainment".[11]



  1. ^ "Gangster's Boy (1938) - Poster US - 1270*1270px". Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  2. ^ Kinloch, John (1939). "Reviews". California Eagle. Retrieved February 19, 2021 – via
  3. ^ Walker, Paul (November 17, 1938). "Reviews and Previews". Harrisburg Telegraph. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – via
  4. ^ "Jackie Cooper Is Starred in 'Gangster's Boy' at Family". Scrantonian Tribune. Scranton, Pennsylvania. November 20, 1938 – via
  5. ^ "'Gangster's Boy' Stays At Rialto". The Morning News. Wilmington, Delaware. January 19, 1939 – via
  6. ^ "Scott, Lucy Gilman". Chicago Tribune. November 26, 2006. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  7. ^ "Betty Blythe Dead at 78". The Des Moines Register. April 9, 1972. p. 4. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Gangster's Boy (1938)". AllMovie. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  9. ^ "Gangster's Boy". Amazon. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  10. ^ Krug, Karl (December 9, 1938). "Young Star Shines in Drama". Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – via
  11. ^ "Reel News of Burlington". The Daily Times-News. Burlington, North Carolina. January 14, 1939 – via

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Gangster's Boy
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