Considered in its day to be a potent social docu-drama, this film is both awkward and amateurish in its attempt to exonerate criminal Ford (as the adult Frankie) of guilt because of his bad breaks and indifferent parents. Lydon (as the young Frankie) is a misfit in school even though his
teacher, McMahon, shows him special consideration. Lydon's delivery never gets beyond a flat monotone that is often laughable, especially after he is sent to a reformatory for petty theft. His reaction to the news that he is being sent away is one of disagreeable sulkiness, although he is
undoubtedly relieved at being separated from his drunken father, who beats him for the slighte...