Dead End is set in a 1930's New York City neighbourhood where the upper class live in buildings right across the street from the lower class slums. It's a bizarre juxtaposition, since each side can see how the others live. The story focuses on the lives of some of those who live there, focusing more on the poor. Sylvia Sidney stars as a young woman on strike, trying to support her kid brother Billy Halop, who has become a member of the neighbourhood gang (the Dead End Kids). Joel McCrea is the idealistic architect she has loved since childhood. But he's infatuated with Wendy Barrie, a formerly poor girl who now lives across the street. Into this neighbourhood walks Humphrey Bogart, who used to live there, but has now moved on to bigger things like a career in crime. All of their stories intertwine to give an honest, if not very happy picture of the human condition. All of the actors are very good, including Claire Trevor as Bogart's former flame, who since he left the neighbourhood, has fallen on hard times. The Dead End Kids get too much screen time, but the story moves along well. It's not the kind of story you expect William Wyler to direct, but he does so with his usual class, successfully juggling several story lines at once. The message of the movie is pretty obvious. Although the neighbourhood is at the end of a dead end street, the lives of some of the people are at a dead end, even those like Bogart, who have found a way out. Some may make it, many won't.