Depending on who was producing which series, they were called the Dead End Kids, the Bowery Boys, the East Side Kids, and the Little Tough Guys.
14 July 1935, New York Times, pg. X1:
Sidney Kingsley, who won the Pulitzer Prize a year ago for "Men in White," is within striking distance of finishing his newest play. It is called "Dead End," and tells about slum conditions in New York City, with especial reference to the lower East Side of Manhattan.
29 October 1935, New York Times, pg. 17:
Sidney Kingsley's "Dead End," a Realistic Drama of the East River Waterfront
By BROOKS ATKINSON.
By adding a little thought and art to considerable accurate observation, Sidney Kingsley has compiled an enormously stirring drama about life in New York City, "Dead End," which was produced at the Belasco last evening. Somewhere along the East River a raffish dead-end street meets the rear entrance to a fashionable apartment house where private yachts have a slip of their own. It is one of those dramatic corners on which Manhattan advertises the distance that divides poverty from riches, and it is a brilliant place to study the case history of the metropolitan gangster.
25 August 1937, Washington Post, pg. 12:
The line-up of supporting players includes Wendy Barrie, Claire Trevor, Allen Jenkins and the famous sextet of "Dead End" kids who appeared originally in the New York stage presentation.
5 September 1937, Los Angeles Times, pg. C3:
New York Applauds
"Dead End" on Screen
It goes without saying that all the players are applauded, with especial emphasis on the "Dead End" kids, as the boys from the stage cast are advertised, but a canvass of nonprofessional picturegoers gives the palm for most striking performances to Humphrey Bogart, Claire Trevor and Marjorie Main.
Dead End (1937)
Sidney Kingsley (play)
Lilliam Hellman (screenplay)
User Comments: The movie that spawned the Dead End kids who became the Bowery Boys.
Actor/director Martin Gabel got him an audition for the play "Dead End", and Hall got the part because he could imitate a machine gun to playwright Sidney Kingsley's satisfaction. Hall appeared in a total of 81 East Side Kids/Bowery Boys features and serials, more than any other actor.
Dead End Kids/Bowery Boys/East Side Kids/Little Tough Guys web sites