Tough Guy


1h 15m 1936
Tough Guy

Brief Synopsis

To save his beloved dog, a boy runs away from home, only to get mixed up with gangsters.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Also Known As
The Getaway
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Release Date
Jan 24, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

When Frederick Vincent Jr. runs away from home because his father doesn't like his dog Duke, the police think that he will return very soon, but Mr. Vincent is worried. Freddie hops into the back of a truck that night, unknown to its driver, gang leader Joe Calerno. After Joe commits a robbery, he discovers Freddie and throws Duke from the truck, but Duke quietly jumps back in and follows them to Joe's hideout where Freddie is a prisoner. When Joe orders his cohort Tony to kill Freddie, they discover that he has escaped, so the men drive off, except for Joe, who sees Freddie hiding on the roof and shoots, wounding Duke. Later taking pity on Duke, Joe takes him and the boy with him as he eludes the pursuing police, then takes him to a nearby veterinarian. When police arrive at the vacant hideout, they find Duke's collar and realize that the gang has Freddie. Meanwhile, Joe has taken the doctor and Freddie with him in the vet's van, but by the time the police realize what has happened, Joe has stolen another car and has taken only Freddie and Duke with him. Driving into the mountains, Joe desperately tries to elude the pursuing police and crashes his car, then escapes on foot, carrying the weak Duke. Joe now feels a fondness for the boy and his dog, so he tries to send Freddie away, but the boy won't go, preferring staying in the woods with Joe to returning to Vincent. Because Joe doesn't want to be accused of kidnapping, he tries to insist, but Freddie threatens to inform on him if Joe sends him back. Ten days later, the police ask Vincent to offer a $50,000 reward for Freddie, hoping that some of Joe's old gang will find him and turn him in. Freddie and Joe, who are having a great time camping out in the mountains, are unaware of the reward and are surprised when Tony and the others, who have secretly been followed by the police, arrive. When the gang takes Freddy, Duke follows and attacks one of them, Chi, who tells Joe where they went. Before Joe can chase them, though, the police apprehend him. Duke follows Tony's car and jumps on the roof, unknown to the gang. At their hideout, Duke sees Freddie, then goes for help and is found by the police. Despite the fact that Vincent believes Joe's story of devotion to the boy, the chief will not risk setting him free to find Freddie. When Duke turns up at the station and goes to Joe, Joe fakes a heart attack and, with Duke's help, escapes. Unknown to Joe and Vincent, the chief was allowing the ploy to work so that the gang wouldn't realize that the police were in on Joe's rescue scheme. That night, when Joe and Duke find Freddie in the gang's hideout, an abandoned tugboat, they don't know that the police are nearby. Joe gets the drop on the gang and escapes with Freddie, but Tony catches up with them, and in a struggle, shoots Joe. Duke then holds Tony at bay until the police arrive. As Joe dies in Freddie's arms, he tells Vincent what a swell kid he has.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Getaway
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Release Date
Jan 24, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Articles

Tough Guy


As he entered his teenage years, former child actor and Our Gang trouper Jackie Cooper required new stories that reflected his looming maturity. Paradoxically, home studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer looked ahead by reaching back to Cooper's first starring role in a feature film. In Paramount's Skippy (1930), the then 8 year-old actor had played a pampered physician's son who befriends a mangy mutt from the wrong side of the tracks and spends the duration of the film attempting to keep his four-legged pal from the clutches of the local dog catcher; in Tough Guy (1936), Cooper is the pre-teen son of Robert Warwick, a self-made man whose disdain for the family dog (Rin-Tin-Tin, Jr.) compels the boy to hit the road as a runaway. When Cooper and his German Shepherd companion fall in with a gang of crooks, one of whom (Joseph Calleia) takes an avuncular shine to them, Tough Guy begins to play out like a pencil sketch for Captain's Courageous (1937), complete with a climactic act of self-sacrifice that serves to reconcile father and son. Scenarists Edgar Allan Woolf and Florence Ryerson were a successful screenwriting duo, best remembered for their work on the screenplay for Metro's The Wizard of Oz (1939). Less well-remembered is that Woolf (who also wrote dialogue for Tod Browning's Freaks [1932]) died tragically in his Beverly Hills home in 1948 after fracturing his skull in a fall caused by tripping over his own dog.

By Richard Harland Smith
Tough Guy

Tough Guy

As he entered his teenage years, former child actor and Our Gang trouper Jackie Cooper required new stories that reflected his looming maturity. Paradoxically, home studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer looked ahead by reaching back to Cooper's first starring role in a feature film. In Paramount's Skippy (1930), the then 8 year-old actor had played a pampered physician's son who befriends a mangy mutt from the wrong side of the tracks and spends the duration of the film attempting to keep his four-legged pal from the clutches of the local dog catcher; in Tough Guy (1936), Cooper is the pre-teen son of Robert Warwick, a self-made man whose disdain for the family dog (Rin-Tin-Tin, Jr.) compels the boy to hit the road as a runaway. When Cooper and his German Shepherd companion fall in with a gang of crooks, one of whom (Joseph Calleia) takes an avuncular shine to them, Tough Guy begins to play out like a pencil sketch for Captain's Courageous (1937), complete with a climactic act of self-sacrifice that serves to reconcile father and son. Scenarists Edgar Allan Woolf and Florence Ryerson were a successful screenwriting duo, best remembered for their work on the screenplay for Metro's The Wizard of Oz (1939). Less well-remembered is that Woolf (who also wrote dialogue for Tod Browning's Freaks [1932]) died tragically in his Beverly Hills home in 1948 after fracturing his skull in a fall caused by tripping over his own dog. By Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The picture's working title was The Getaway. Robert Greig and Lewis Stone, who were listed in the Hollywood Reporter production charts and Motion Picture Herald's "In the Cutting Room," were not in the completed film. Other actors who were listed in pre-release sources whose participation in the completed film cannot be confirmed include, Robert Livingstone and Joan Miller. A Hollywood Reporter news item noted that "Flash" a famous police dog in silent films was to be in the cast, however, he May have been replaced by Rin Tin Tin, Jr., who played "Duke" in the film. According to a news item in Daily Variety, some exteriors were shot in Big Tujunga Canyon in Southern California.