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The Angels Wash Their Faces (1939)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  26 August 1939 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 309 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 2 critic

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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Billy Halop ...
Billy Shafter
Bernard Punsly ...
Sleepy Arkelian (as Bernard Punsley)
Leo Gorcey ...
Leo Finnegan
Huntz Hall ...
Huntz
Gabriel Dell ...
Luigi
Bobby Jordan ...
Bernie
...
Pat Remson
...
Peggy Finnegan
Frankie Thomas ...
Gabe Ryan
Henry O'Neill ...
Remson Sr.
Eduardo Ciannelli ...
Martino
Berton Churchill ...
Mayor Dooley
Bernard Nedell ...
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
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 August 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Angels Wash Their Faces  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Working title: "The Battle of City Hall" See more »

Quotes

Pat Remson: I;ve come to the conclusion that all kids should be given a stretch in reform school... if they all come out as well as you did.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Mug Town (1942) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Frankie Thomas joins The Dead End Kids
7 March 2009 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

After a stint in reform school, fresh-faced Frankie Thomas (as Gabe Ryan) is ready to go straight. Upon release, he moves to "Beale St.", with pretty big sister Ann Sheridan (as Joy Ryan). The siblings don't know it, but the neighborhood is populated by young hoodlums and organized crime. Young Thomas quickly joins "The Dead End Kids" (as "The Termites") lineup of Billy Halop (as William R. "Billy" Shafter), Bernard Punsly (as Luke "Sleepy" Arkelian), Leo Gorcey (as Leo "Mousy" Finnegan), Huntz Hall (as Huntz Garman), Gabriel Dell (as Luigi Petaren), and Bobby Jordan (as Bernie Smith).

While Thomas scuffles with his "Dead End" pals, sister Sheridan is courted by handsome lawyer Ronald Reagan (as Patrick "Pat" Remson). This irks crime lord Eduardo Ciannelli (as Alfred Martino), whose romantic advances are reproached by Sheridan. While Sheridan organizes efforts to clean up the neighborhood, mobster Ciannelli counters with a horrific plan to frame brother Thomas for an arson incident, which may cause the death of a "Dead End" comrade...

In the sixth series film (depending on how you count them), the law of diminishing returns is clearly catching up with the "Dead End Kids". There are too many characters and situations rotating on screen, although most of them are enjoyable. The first part of the film involves (mostly) Frankie Thomas, a good addition to the group. Then, Billy Halop (mostly) takes center stage, becoming "Boys' Week Honorary Mayor", to help clear Thomas of arson.

Sheridan and Reagan make a great pair, as the likable, and level-headed adults; note, this is one of future President Reagan's most appealing early roles. The many other stand-outs include: James Cagney's young look-alike Frankie Burke welding a knife, wicked schoolteacher Margaret Hamilton, and grief-stricken mother Marjorie Main - each of these characters is "bigger" than the movie, which makes it all seem even more cluttered. But, it is a fun picture.

***** The Angels Wash Their Faces (8/26/39) Ray Enright ~ Frankie Thomas, Billy Halop, Ann Sheridan


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