1. slaytonf says:

    In a 1930 movie, titled Behind the Makeup, a vaudeville clown meets a man weak with hunger and invites him home for a meal. In the course of conversation, at around 6:30 into the movie, the comic asks the man “Things been breakin’ bad for ya?” The implication is that breaking bad means for things to go hard for someone.

  2. slaytonf says:

    The phrase ‘breaking bad’ occurs in two early sound movies I know of, Behind the Make-Up (1930), and The Big Timer (1932). In both the sense is that things are going wrong.

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