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Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 26 November 1938 (USA)
A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids.

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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The 'Dead End' Kids
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Swing
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Bim
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Pasty
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Crab
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Hunky (as Bernard Punsley)
Joe Downing ...
Steve
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Edwards
Adrian Morris ...
Blackie
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Storyline

Two boyhood friends, Rocky Sullivan and Jerry Connolly have taken different paths in life. After Rocky is arrested he is sent to a juvenile facility and becomes a lifelong tough guy and criminal. Jerry on the other hand goes straight and becomes a Catholic priest ministering to people in the same neighborhood when he and Rocky grew up. When Rocky is released from prison he resumes his criminal lifestyle and becomes much admired by many of the local kids. Worried that the kids will follow Rocky into the criminal world, Jerry works hard to keep them on the straight and narrow. When Rocky is convicted and sentenced to the electric chair, Jerry asks him for one last favor. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The saga of America's dirty faced kids... And the breaks that life won't give them! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

26 November 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Battle of City Hall  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While filming Rocky's shootout with the police, one scene called for James Cagney to be right at the opening as machine-gun bullets took out the windows above his head. At this point in his career Cagney had experience with the unpredictability of using live gunfire and he later recalled that "common sense or a hunch" made him wary about the upcoming scene, and he finally decided to tell director Michael Curtiz to shoot the scene in process. As Cagney walked away, the professional machine-gunner--a man named Burke--fired the shots. One of the bullets ricocheted, hitting the steel edge of the window and going right through the wall where Cagney's head had been. This experience convinced Cagney that "flirting this way with real bullets was ridiculous". 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 Engel mit schmutzigen Flügeln (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

In My Merry Oldsmobile
(1905) (uncredited)
Music by Gus Edwards
Lyrics by Vincent Bryan
Revised version sung a cappella by James Cagney and Pat O'Brien
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A favorite Bogart film by default...

"Angels With Dirty Faces" has become a favorite Bogart film by default; it has been shown so often and has served as the prime source of material for countless satirists and impressionists…

It is the familiar tale of two young boys who grow up to be on opposing sides of the field—one a gangster (James Cagney) and the other a priest, (Pat O'Brien). The story was obviously sentimental… Its saving virtues were the performances by the leads, clever and suave, energetic direction by Michael Curtiz, and a good music score by Max Steiner…

Bogart had little, and certainly nothing new, to do as he played Cagney's lawyer-turned-nightclub-owner who double-crosses him…


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