“Dinky” is such a depressing movie to target kids during the 1930s. Jackie Cooper plays a kid sent to a military academy by his mother. The titular Dinky and his mother are quite the pair, as they work together while hoping for a better tomorrow. Unfortunately, Dinky’s mother gets setup by a crooked employer and she’s sent to jail for fraud. Dinky’s mother hides her upcoming absence from her son, but a rich kid at the Academy rats out the truth to everybody. Dinky feels defeat, but chooses to leave the Academy with dignity.
Taking up residence at a nearby orphanage, Dinky tries to rally the orphaned kids into becoming a football team. Given the nature of the Great Depression and what had just happened to Dinky, these kids aren’t in the best of spirits. But, Dinky pulls them together and they decide to take on the Military Academy. Thrill to watching small children play football in gear that’s on par with a rather thick overcoat. There’s not a ton of on-field violence, but there’s enough to make a modern viewer scratch their head.
There’s something about leather helmets on football players that just makes my CTE meter go off. The film cracks slightly over an hour, but the filmmakers knew what they were making. Anything longer than that would’ve been bloated. The end result is something that could only exist in the 1930s. A football movie where orphans are made to fight future soldiers. It’s like Rollerball by way of Paper Moon.
- 1.37:1 standard definition transfer
RELEASE DATE: 6/14/16
The Plot Thus Far
Mrs. Daniels has been framed on a fraud charge and sent to prison. By bundling her son, Dinky, off to military school, she is able to keep her shame a secret from him. Upon learning the truth, our young hero voluntarily pulls out of the school and takes up residence in an orphanage. But now it’s his turn to hide the truth from his mother, by pretending via correspondence that he’s still a cadet in good standing.
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