Teenage gangs in the slums of Brooklyn during the 1940s are the focus of this drama based on Irving Shulman's novel, "The Amboy Dukes." The story centers on the Amboy Dukes, the toughest kids in the neighborhood. Their lives of petty crime and thuggery take a dark turn when one of the Dukes and his friend are harassing a shop teacher. They rough him up so badly that the teacher dies. Now the young Duke is on the lam. The rest of the story explores the hatred the boys feel for each other. This culminates in a rooftop battle between two of them.