Easton - you CONTINUE to amaze me! I am shocked and horrified that I never knew that one of my Dad’s first movies “Boy Slaves” was actually based on a true story - Seriously?!? How did I not know that?!? The movie made me cry (you know the scene) and I had to laugh at my Dad playing the tough guy throughout the movie! I was looking through some of the other great photos you posted of my father and realized that the movie poster from “Code of the Streets” is the one I actually bought on Ebay for $12. It arrived in mint condition with only four tiny holes in each corner where it hung in the movie lobby, so I was told. Some studio employee had saved it and it was passed down through the years and arrived on Ebay. I was lucky to get it. It now hangs proudly in my office. He also had that ever present jockey cap! “Code of the Streets” is, I think, the only movie of my Dad’s I haven’t seen. But my Mom was in “Kitten With a Whip” with Ann Margret I never saw and I have no recollection of her role in “Texas Across the River” with Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and French actor, Alain Delon. But, I do remember meeting some of the stars at the premiere. I’ll have to go back and check my diaries and see who the heck I met! I am grateful to you for educating me on facts I should know!
It wasn't really based upon a true story but, rather, on true events. At that time, ruthless busnessmen would literally shanghai vulnerable young teens (male for the most part, usually no older than 16) to work for them in enclosed and guarded work sites with promises of good wages and good food. Only later did the boys discover that they had to pay for virtually everything, and if they couldn't pay, it was added to their debt. There was no contact with anyone outside the compound. Only later did they realise that they were literally paying their bosses to work for them. The boys were literally slaves to their 'masters'.
(At the end of the movie, the judge eliminated all the debt owed to the boss who didn't think it was fair.)
(By the way, your father got 3rd billing after Anne Shirley and Roger Daniel.)
Here is the Foreword:
Since the beginning of civilization, man's love and defense of his children has been a primary instinct. In America, fathers have fought, bled and died on the battlefield so that they might hand down to their children a heritage of freedom. Yet today, in some isolated communities, hidden away from the law, there exist men who hold their love of money before humanity. Other men's young children labor for them from sunup to sundown. It is with these men this picture deals, with a hope that the mothers and fathers of America will search them out and expose them to the law.
The sad part is that, world wide, it is still going on. UNICEF estimates that over 150 million children below the age of 17 are being exploited by ruthless people. (I don't think this included children who are conscripted into revolutionary armies.)
Anyway, I know the scene you mean. I needed a couple of tissues myself. And you found it funny that your dad was playing the tough guy throughout because you knew him, but he convinced me. A sign of his talent, especially at the end when they were in the courtroom. I saw his entire 'tough guy' demeanour transform on the screen when what the judge was saying about helping him and his friends clicked in his brain.
By the way, I found a copy of Code of the Streets on YouTube. Your father got 3rd billing again after Harry Carey and Frankie Thomas. It's just over 1 hour long:
"As long as there's one person on earth who remembers you, it isn't over." - Oscar Hammerstein