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
The saga of America's dirty faced kids... And the breaks that life won't give them!
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Did You Know?
To play Rocky, James Cagney
drew on his memories of growing up in New York's Yorkville, a tough ethnic neighborhood on the upper east side, just south of Spanish Harlem.. His main inspiration was a drug-addicted pimp who stood on a street corner all day hitching his trousers, twitching his neck, and repeating, "Whadda ya hear! Whadda ya say!" Those mannerisms came back to haunt Cagney. He later wrote in his autobiography, "I did those gestures maybe six times in the picture. That was over thirty years ago - and the impressionists have been doing me doing him ever since." See more
Rocky's head is not shaved in any way prior to his walk to the electric chair. This is a customary procedure for the placement of the head electrode. See more
Jerry, As a Boy
William 'Rocky' Sullivan, as a boy
It's as dead as a door nail around here.
Jerry, As a Boy
Referenced in Hollywood Mouth
The Sidewalks of New York
Music by Charles Lawlor
Played by the organ grinder during the opening panorama See more