Tough As They Come


1h 1m 1942

Film Details

Release Date
Jun 5, 1942
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 3 Jun 1942
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 1m
Film Length
5,494ft

Synopsis

At Mme. Polachek's diner, ex-juvenile delinquent Ape is training for a boxing career with his friends, Pig and String. Their old gang leader, Tom H. Clark, now a law student, is offered a job with the crooked Apex Finance Co., through the physician father of his wealthy girl friend, Ann Wilson. Tommy almost loses the job when he is recognized by Gene Bennett, the nephew of Apex's president, Walter Rogers, whom Tommy had recently tried to stop from repossessing the radio of his neighbor, Mrs. McNab. Tommy later becomes upset when his mother invites Ann to dinner, as he is ashamed of the neighborhood in which they live. Apex comes under fire from Thomas Reed of the Legal Aid Society, who accuses the finance company of excessive interest rates and intimidation tactics. Frankie Taylor, Tommy's teenage neighbor who is infatuated with him, later gets pneumonia when she jealously stands in the rain, watching Tommy romance Ann. As she recovers in the hospital, Frankie is visited by Ann, who assures her that Tommy still likes her, despite his relationship with Ann. Meanwhile, Frankie's father, Mike Taylor, learns that Apex is about to repossess his taxi, as he has fallen behind on his payments due to his daughter's medical bills. Pig, String and Ape hide the cab in a stable, but Pig inadvertently tells Tommy where it is. Rogers then orders Tommy to find the cab and repossess it himself, in order to prove his loyalty to the company. Mike escapes in the cab just as Tommy arrives at the stable, but Tommy is captured and beaten by his old friends. Bennett and the marshal, however, wait for Mike to return to the stable, then take the taxi from him. The distraught Mike attempts to commit suicide by jumping from the roof of his apartment building, but is stopped by Tommy and Pig. Despite his heroic actions, the neighborhood turns against Tommy, but he is saved from the mob by his mother's boarder, Ben Stevens. Inspired by Ben, Tommy goes to Reed and offers to testify against his old employer. Meanwhile, the neighborhood turns against Apex and refuses to pay any more money to the finance company. Tommy and his old friends then break into Apex's office, and while Pig, String and Ape fight with Rogers' henchmen, Tommy takes some of the company's records to the police. After the district attorney begins an investigation of Apex, the bankers' association offers to start a credit union for the poor neighborhood, and Tommy is reunited with Ann.

Film Details

Release Date
Jun 5, 1942
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 3 Jun 1942
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 1m
Film Length
5,494ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's opening credits read "The Dead End Kids and the Little Tough Guys in Tough As They Come." Actress Helen Parrish, who played actor Billy Halop's romantic interest in this film, played the actor's older sister in Universal's first Dead End Kids film, 1938's Little Tough Guy. Tough As They Come marked the screen debut of actress Mala Powers (1931-2007), who did not act in another motion picture until 1950, when she starred in the Ida Lupino directed film Outrage. For more information on the Dead End Kids and Little Tough Guys series, please consult the Series Index and see the entries for Crime School and Little Tough Guy in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.0873 and F3.2534.