"They Made Me a Criminal" (1939) takes a strange twist on the life of young boxer Johnny Bradfield, played by John Garfield. Johnny is the latest victor in New York City, and looking forward to a championship when his unsavory personal life involving liquor and loose women is uncovered by a reporter. The threat causes Bradfield's manager to step in, but the reporter winds up dead. Looking out for his neck, Bradfield's manager frames the young boxer and flees with Bradfield's personal affects. One thing leads to another, and now all of New York thinks Bradfield is dead. And, if he wants to stay alive he's got to stay "dead."