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Film / Tough Guy

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Tough Guy is a 1936 American action film directed by Chester Franklin, written by Florence Ryerson (co-writer of The Wizard of Oz) and Edgar Allan Woolf. It stars Jackie Cooper, Joseph Calleia and Rin Tin Tin, Jr. It was released on January 24, 1936, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Freddie, a wealthy young boy, runs away from home with his dog. He hides out in the back of a truck owned by mobsters and winds up witness to a murder. The gangsters want to kill him, but their leader takes pity on the boy when his dog is shot, and they wind up on the lam together.

Freddie's father and the police are trying to find him, and so are the other mobsters.



  • Canine Companion: Duke to Freddie.
  • Cheerful Child: Freddie actually enjoys sleeping in the woods, and hunting and foraging for food. He thinks it's like camping, something he's never done before.
  • Easily Forgiven: Freddie almost immediately warms to Joe once they run away, and holds no grudge over Joe shooting his dog while trying to kill him.
  • Hand Gagging: The mobsters do this to Freddie.
  • Heroic Dog: Duke. He is extremely protective of Freddie and will maul men, hop on moving cars or even take bullets to protect him.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Joe and Freddie.
  • Kidnapped Doctor: Joe kidnaps the vet treating Duke's bullet wound.
  • Leave No Witnesses: Joe and the others originally planned on murdering Freddie so he won't go to the cops about what he saw (or heard, rather).
  • Love Redeems: Joe's love for Freddie slowly turns him to a good guy.
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  • Lonely Rich Kid: Freddie.
  • Little Stowaway: Freddie climbs into the back of a truck at a gas station after nobody would pick him up while hitchhiking. Just so happens this truck was driven by gangsters on their way to a hit.
  • The Mafia: The Calerno gang.
  • Missing Child: There is a $30,000 reward out for Freddie.
  • Must Let Them Get Away: The police chief let's Joe get away so that he will rescue Freddie. Joe had already begged to be allowed to save the boy, but the police could not legally let him.
  • Overly-Long Name: Freddie's full name is Frederick Martindale Vincent the third.
  • Predator Turned Protector: Joe ordered his men to kill Freddie at the beginning of the film, but by the end saves his life.
  • The Patient Has Left the Building: Joe fakes a heart attack and then escapes from the ambulance.
  • Papa Wolf: Freddie's father is willing to do anything to find him.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Joe dies at the end of the film. After a fight with an ex-mook who had been trying to kill Freddie.
  • The Runaway: Freddie.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Freddie.
  • Tap on the Head: Joe knocks the ambulance driver out this way. Later, Freddie is knocked out this way after being pushed and hitting his head on a crate.