IMDb > Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
Angels with Dirty Faces
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Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) More at IMDbPro »

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Angels with Dirty Faces -- Trailer for this black and white crime drama

Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   13,327 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
John Wexley (screen play) and
Warren Duff (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Angels with Dirty Faces on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 November 1938 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
The saga of America's dirty faced kids... And the breaks that life won't give them! See more »
Plot:
A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(43 articles)
User Reviews:
Golden-age film offers great gangster yarn and metaphysical struggle See more (123 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

James Cagney ... Rocky Sullivan

Pat O'Brien ... Jerry Connolly

Humphrey Bogart ... James Frazier

Ann Sheridan ... Laury Ferguson
George Bancroft ... Mac Keefer
The 'Dead End' Kids
Billy Halop ... Soapy
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

Frankie Burke ... Rocky - as a Boy
William Tracy ... Jerry - as a Boy (as William Tracey)

Marilyn Knowlden ... Laury - as a Child
The Robert Mitchell Boy Choir (as St. Brendan's Church Choir)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harris Berger ... Basketball Captain (uncredited)
Sidney Bracey ... Convict (uncredited)
Edwin Brian ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Sonny Bupp ... Boy (uncredited)
Brian Burke ... Convict (uncredited)
Gary Carthew ... Church Basketball Team Player (uncredited)
Lane Chandler ... Guard (uncredited)
Frank Coghlan Jr. ... Boy in Pool Room (uncredited)
Bill Cohee ... Church Basketball Team Player (uncredited)
William Crowell ... Whimpering Convict (uncredited)
Joe Cunningham ... Managing Editor (uncredited)
Steve Darrell ... Gangster (uncredited)
Joe Devlin ... Gangster (uncredited)
John Dilson ... Chronicle Editor (uncredited)
Mike Donovan ... Death Row Guard (uncredited)
David Durand ... Boy in Pool Room (uncredited)
Earl Dwire ... Priest (uncredited)
William Edmunds ... Italian Storekeeper (uncredited)
Jack Egger ... Boy (uncredited)
Jim Farley ... Railroad Yard Watchman (uncredited)
Galan Galt ... Policeman (uncredited)
Bud Geary ... Death Row Guard (uncredited)
Jack A. Goodrich ... Reporter (uncredited)
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Patrick McGee (uncredited)
Earl Gunn ... Reporter (uncredited)
Frank Hagney ... Sharpie (uncredited)
John Hamilton ... Police Captain (uncredited)
John Harron ... Sharpie (uncredited)
Harry Hayden ... Pharmacist (uncredited)
Oscar 'Dutch' Hendrian ... Convict (uncredited)
Ben Hendricks Jr. ... Guard (uncredited)
Al Hill ... (uncredited)
Robert Homans ... Policeman (uncredited)
Thomas E. Jackson ... Press City Editor (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Reporter (uncredited)
Frank Kowalski ... Boy (uncredited)
Vera Lewis ... Soapy's Mother (uncredited)
Al Lloyd ... Reporter (uncredited)
Alexander Lockwood ... Reporter (uncredited)
Vince Lombardi ... Boy (uncredited)
Wilfred Lucas ... Police Sergeant (uncredited)
Le Val Lund Jr. ... Church Basketball Team Player (uncredited)
Wilbur Mack ... Croupier (uncredited)
Charles Marsh ... Reporter (uncredited)
John Marston ... Well-Dressed Man (uncredited)
Bibby Mayer ... Church Basketball Team Player (uncredited)
Billy McClain ... Janitor (uncredited)
Roger McGee ... Boy (uncredited)
Belle Mitchell ... Mrs. Maggione (uncredited)

Carlyle Moore Jr. ... Reporter (uncredited)
George Mori ... (uncredited)
Jack Mower ... Detective (uncredited)
Spec O'Donnell ... Inquisitive Youth in Pool Room (uncredited)
Pat O'Malley ... Railroad Guard (uncredited)
Oscar O'Shea ... Kennedy (uncredited)
George Offerman Jr. ... Older Boy (uncredited)
Emory Parnell ... Officer McMann (uncredited)
William Pawley ... Bugs (uncredited)
Jack Perrin ... Death Row Guard (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Detective (uncredited)
Theodore Rand ... Gunman #3 (uncredited)
Dick Rich ... Gangster (uncredited)
Ralph Sanford ... Policeman on El Toro Club Phone (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Reporter (uncredited)
Jack C. Smith ... Railroad Guard (uncredited)
George Sorel ... Headwaiter (uncredited)
James Spottswood ... 'Record' Editor (uncredited)
Michael Stark ... Death Row Guard (uncredited)
Chuck Stubbs ... Red (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Ed (uncredited)
Elliott Sullivan ... Cop (uncredited)
A.W. Sweatt ... Boy (uncredited)
Eddie Syracuse ... Maggione Boy (uncredited)
George Taylor ... Convict (uncredited)
Charles Trowbridge ... Norton J. White (uncredited)
Norman Wallace ... Church Basketball Team Player (uncredited)
Dick Wessel ... Man in Pool Room Slugged by Father Connelly (uncredited)
Leo White ... Man with Baby (uncredited)
Poppy Wilde ... Girl at Gaming Table (uncredited)
Lottie Williams ... Onlooker at Drugstore (uncredited)
Charles C. Wilson ... Police Lieutenant Buckley (uncredited)
Claude Wisberg ... Hanger-on in Pool Room (uncredited)
Dan Wolheim ... Convict (uncredited)
William Worthington ... Warden (uncredited)
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Directed by
Michael Curtiz 
 
Writing credits
John Wexley (screen play) and
Warren Duff (screen play)

Rowland Brown (from a story by)

Ben Hecht  uncredited
Charles MacArthur  uncredited

Produced by
Samuel Bischoff .... producer (uncredited)
Hal B. Wallis .... executive producer (uncredited)
Jack L. Warner .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
 
Cinematography by
Sol Polito (photography)
 
Film Editing by
Owen Marks (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Robert M. Haas  (as Robert Haas)
 
Costume Design by
Orry-Kelly (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Frank Mattison .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Emmett Emerson .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Sherry Shourds .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Herbert Plews .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Everett Alton Brown .... sound (as E.A. Brown)
Peter Berkos .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Harvey Parry .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Frank Evans .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Frank Flanagan .... gaffer (uncredited)
Al Green .... second camera (uncredited)
William Harrington .... best boy (uncredited)
Harold Noyes .... grip (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Charley Mark .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Hugo Friedhofer .... orchestral arrangements
 
Other crew
Jo Graham .... dialogue director
J.J. Devlin .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Frank Kowalski .... script clerk (uncredited)
Jack Lucas .... script clerk (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
97 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:G (cable rating) | Australia:PG (original rating) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Chile:18 | Finland:K-16 (1949) | Finland:(Banned) (1939) | Germany:12 | Norway:16 (1939) | Portugal:M/12 | Sweden:15 | UK:PG (1986) | UK:A (1938) (cut) | USA:Approved (PCA #4496) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
An architect by the name of Lewis Pilcher designed the death house - it went into service in the early 1920s. The building is still there at Sing Sing. On Google Earth, zoom in on the prison, and look at the southwest corner by the river. The building with two wings and a diamond-shaped structure in the middle is the infamous structure.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: Towards the end of the film, during the scene where Rocky is shooting it out with the police in the warehouse, watch the "concrete" pillar Rocky has taken cover behind. Seconds before a bullet impact appears on the pillar, a close up reveals a slight round indentation surrounded by a lighter coloring of paint, exactly where the bullet squib, which has been embedded in the pillar, explodes moments later. An immediate cut to Rocky's reaction has him bumping the pillar with his hands, at which point the entire "concrete" pillar wobbles slightly.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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
From Me to YouSee more »

FAQ

Chicago Ooening Happened When?
Frankie Burke---How Was He Described?
"Dead End Kids"---Who of Them Joined the Navy?
See more »
38 out of 51 people found the following review useful.
Golden-age film offers great gangster yarn and metaphysical struggle, 18 March 2000
Author: Sloke from Greenwich, CT, USA

"Angels With Dirty Faces" has been called the gangster movie of the New Deal. Previously, with such early-30s films as "Little Caesar" and "Public Enemy," gangster films at their best were engrossing actioners with charismatic but undeniably evil central figures. "Angels With Dirty Faces," released in 1938, presents a more nuanced view of what makes the modern bad man tick. Is it a bad heart? Or is society to blame?

Cagney is undeniably great in the role that made him a legend. His practiced patter never wears thin, and his screen presence is electric throughout. (Especially at the end, and I don't mean that as a pun.) But the screenwriters never let us forget the good in the man. We see him come up against more ruthless elements of the underworld, people like Bogart (a real baddie here) who have no compunction about killing a man if it means avoiding payment of a heavy debt. We see him interact with a group of starry-eyed juveniles (The Dead End Kids) whose nickel-and-dime antics fill him with a poignant but heartily-amusing nostalgia. And we see him try to do right by his former partner in crime, now a priest played by Hugh O'Brien.

But Cagney is trapped by the circumstances of his life. He can't walk away from a life of crime, which has made him what he is and gives him the only life satisfaction he knows. He's correctly on guard for double-crossers at every turn. When cornered, his cheery face becomes bug-eyed and menacing. We know he's bad, but we like him, and that puts us in the company of the audience-surrougate figure, Father Connolly.

Director Curtiz was an auteur before his time, filling his canvas with images of downtrodden street life. This isn't for mere effect, but to show us why Rocky is what he is and how come he finds little hope for his redemption. There are souls to be saved in this picture, but for Father Connolly, they are Laurie and the boys. He must take on his childhood chum, the same kid who saved Connolly from the perils of the Mean Streets and allowed him to become what he was.

It is a choice between God and friendship, and while Connolly has little doubt which way to go, the audience may not be with him all the way. The ending points up this spiritual conflict in some of the most harrowing terms ever brought to screen at that time. When you really think about what's going on behind Connolly's face in that final scene, it's a real tear-inducer.

Was Rocky's last scene a put-up job? I guess it can be argued back and forth, but the real question of value is whether, if it was faked, was it enough to perform a miracle even the good Father Connolly wouldn't have quite believed in, the salvation of Rocky. The last image of the boys, desolately accepting the news of their hero's fall, is at once triumphant and bittersweet. Nothing comes easy in this world of ours.

"Angels With Dirty Faces" may strike a falsely optimistic note to some, but it is optimism well-earned by the honesty of vision expressed. Add to that clever dialogue, great pacing, and one of cinema's keystone performances by Cagney, and you have a real keeper here.

P.S. It also features one of the finest Cagney impersonations ever, by William Tracey as the young Rocky. Funny stuff.

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