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Angels Wash Their Faces (1939)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 26 August 1939 (USA)
A young man just released from a reformatory moves to a new neighborhood with his sister, intending to start a new life. However, he gets mixed up with the local mob boss and corrupt ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Billy Shafter
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Sleepy Arkelian (as Bernard Punsley)
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Leo Finnegan
...
Huntz
...
Luigi
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Bernie
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Pat Remson
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Peggy Finnegan
...
Gabe Ryan
...
Remson Sr.
...
Martino
...
Mayor Dooley
...
Kroner
Dick Rich ...
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Storyline

A young man just released from a reformatory moves to a new neighborhood with his sister, intending to start a new life. However, he gets mixed up with the local mob boss and corrupt politicians and soon finds himself being framed for an arson and murder he didn't commit. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 August 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Battle of City Hall  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warner Bros. Studios began to tire of the boys' antics during production of "Angels Wash Their Faces." Among their pranks: throwing a lit firecracker in Humphrey Bogart's dressing room, painting obscene murals on the office walls, and setting off fire sprinklers in the wardrobe department. The studio hired a former football player, Russ Saunders, in hopes of taming their unruly sextet. He ultimately had to use a fire hose on them. Ultimately the studio became fed up and dropped their contract. See more »

Quotes

Billy Shafter: Now, wait a minute, hold it a second. Then, when we tried to help Gabe we found it was a big joke. Nothing but a stunt to get publicity for the grown-ups. They told us we were just kids, back-ally hoodlums, and get back were we belong. They laughed at us! Well, we're we belong, but, that doesn't mean we're going to give up. Sure, we're just kids and we can't vote and, I guess, we haven't got any rights. And we've got something here that might wake this city up and make the grown ups laugh out ...
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Connections

References Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

A-Tisket A-Tasket
Traditional children's song
Played by an organ grinder and whistled by Jackie Searl when the boys encounter Alfred Goonplatz
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Arson in the slums
5 April 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

This 1939 film tried to capitalize on the much better Michael Curtiz's film "Angels with Dirty Faces". As directed by Ray Enright, the only interesting thing is how tamed these kids were in comparison with what's going on with the youth in America's inner cities today.

The film is only worth seeing because of the presence of Ann Sheridan and Ronald Reagan, who showed they were well paired together. The Dead End kids have larger parts as the plot concentrates on them rather than in the older folks.

In a way it's curious how arson was used in the same way some scrupulous landlords did in later years right here in New York. It was the quickest way to turn a property around never considering the social problems it created. In today's climate with so many guns around there is a new reality. The young kids of the story seemed mere pranksters rather than criminals. How times change!


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