Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol 1, No. 1. March 9, 1938
Ever since I saw "Dead End." I have been ransacking my baring for the reasons that prompted Samuel Goldwyn to produce It. Why should someone who for years has been preoccupied with photographing hair-dressed jezebels with million dollar legs suddenly turn out a first rate piece of realism? A change of heart perhaps, Unlikely. Well maybe someone did it while his back was turned. Maybe. Still it remains as inexplicable as the duck-billed platypus.
For the first time in my experience. a Hollywood camera man was permitted to use his camera dialectically. What I mean by "dialectically" is the presentation on the screen consecutively of opposed graphic ideas (i.e. thesis and antithesis).
For example—in "Dead End"—a blowsy old char pinches a half-eaten biscuit from a kid—while next shot, a 12 year old snob in a stiff collar tips his morning milk on the ornamental shrubs.
The meaning (i.e. synthesis) in implicit but sorely to a wide-a wake mind is as obvious as a roman nose.
The plot retains all the strength and indignation of the stage play. Closely-knit and never descending to sentiment, it is splendidly realistic throughout: e.g. tenement interiors. "Baby Face" and his girl friend.