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Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 13,955 users  
Reviews: 125 user | 37 critic

A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids.

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(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Title: Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
George Bancroft ...
Mac Keefer
The 'Dead End' Kids
Billy Halop ...
Bobby Jordan ...
Swing
Leo Gorcey ...
Bim
Gabriel Dell ...
Pasty
Huntz Hall ...
Crab
Bernard Punsly ...
Hunky (as Bernard Punsley)
Joe Downing ...
Steve
Edward Pawley ...
Edwards
Adrian Morris ...
Blackie
Edit

Storyline

Rocky Sullivan and Jerry Connolly were tough kids who grew up together in the toughest part of New York --- Hell's Kitchen. Early on, Rocky gets sent to reform school, where he learns how to be a first class criminal. Jerry, who had escaped from the law, goes straight and becomes a priest. As adults, they reunite in the old neighborhood: Jerry works with the kids who, like he and Rocky, could end up on either side of the law. Rocky has returned looking for a safe place to stay till he can get back into his old racketeering organization -- something that his old partner isn't anxious to have happen. Lots of rapid fire wisecracks, roughhousing and gunfire ensues. Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Big Time Cast in a Big City Drama Destined to be the Biggest Hit in Years! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 November 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Battle of City Hall  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For years, viewers have wonder whether or not "Rocky" Sullivan (James Cagney) really turned yellow as he was being strapped into the electric chair. Some have wondered if he was faking it in order to keep his promise to Father Jerry. When asked about the scene years later, Cagney says he chose to play it in such a way so that the audience could make their own decisions as to whether or not he was faking. See more »

Goofs

When Rocky tries to escape after he is walked out of the warehouse, by Father Connolly and is wounded, then captured, one of the cops reveals the two revolvers rocky had being empty. There is no reason Rocky would empty his revolvers of their spent cartridges. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jerry, As a Boy: Bulls eye!
William 'Rocky' Sullivan, as a boy: It's as dead as a door nail around here.
Jerry, As a Boy: Yeah.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in View from the Overlook: Crafting 'The Shining' (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Shuffle Off to Buffalo
(1932) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played at the beginning of the pool room scene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

WILL THE CIRCLE REMAIN UNBROKEN???
16 August 1999 | by (NEW JERSEY, USA) – See all my reviews

This film is included on my personal top 10 list. The old-time ethnic slums (?) of New York City in the 20's and 30's are a picaresque window to another time. One where gangsters were heroes (to some) and filled newspapers with their exploits. Tales of crime and riches are like candy to the gangs of kids living in poverty, while seeking their own escape to something better. They could only learn from experience, what Rocky Sullivan (Cagney) already knew, there is no honor among thieves. No honor, and no road back for Rocky. But, sometimes, for someone else, fate gets a push.

A very interesting, fast-paced story, I recommend this highly. The transition from Rocky's childhood to his adult years is especially well done and cast. In 'spirited' discussions with friends, we STILL don't agree on Rocky's thoughts and motivations at the end of the film. WAS HE GIVEN AN 'OUT' ? WAS HE HERO OR COWARD? WAS IT WHAT HE WANTED? WAS IT IMPOSED ON HIM? WAS IT CALCULATED OR DID IT POUR OUT UNCONTROLLABLY? Judge for yourself. After a few viewings, it's not as simple as it appears......


16 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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