There's the legendary Bette Davis, before she was legendary. She always owns the screen whenever the camera sees her, and this early performance is no exception, even in a smaller role. Pat O'Brien is effective as the bootlegger, and Davis, though cast as a stock character, has a few good moments as his tough-minded girlfriend. The rest of the supporting cast, which features Charley Grapewin and Junior Coghlan, is solid, and the story moves at a good pace.
Strong relationships are created throughout this whole movie. When Junior and Shorty make a friendship in the reform school they stick up for each other throughout the rest of the movie. This shows if you find the right people in a tough place you can still create a special bond with somebody. Another relationship that was created was between Junior and Matt Kelly was a tough one I feel like because in the beginning he sets Junior up to be put in reform school, but towards the end of the movie he tries to help out Junior by getting Shorty out of the reform school. The movie begins and ends tragically. ★★★