The kid stars of Broadway's Dead End were seasoned series vets by 1939 having already appeared in a number of films backing up the likes of James Cagney Humphrey Bogart and Pat O'Brien. By 1939 their popularity propelled them to headliner status and the Kids were now the stars. The Dead End Kids on Dress Parade features Leo Gorcey's first appearance under the moniker "Slip" playing the wise-mouthed malcontent that would become his signature. The other Kids doff their kid gang guises for the starch dress of trainees at a military academy that the delinquent Slip is forced to attend. Hell's Kitchen gives the reform school potboiler the Mayor of Hell the full Dead End treatment and brings a tyro Ronald Reagan along for the ride. A paroled ex-con (Stanley Fields) tries to go straight and reform a brutal reform school only to face a frame-up courtesy of the school's corrupt warden.