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Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 13,713 users  
Reviews: 124 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
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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

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 »

Goofs

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 »

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

References Dead End (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sidewalks of New York
(1894) (uncredited)
Music by Charles Lawlor
Played by the organ grinder during the opening panorama
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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