7.9/10
18,848
144 user 37 critic

Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 26 November 1938 (USA)
Trailer
3:19 | Trailer
A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Cagney ... Rocky Sullivan
Pat O'Brien ... Jerry Connolly
Humphrey Bogart ... James Frazier
Ann Sheridan ... Laury Martin
George Bancroft ... Mac Keefer
The Dead End Kids The Dead End Kids ... (as 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 Joe Downing ... Steve
Edward Pawley ... Edwards
Adrian Morris 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:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 November 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Battle of City Hall See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story was written by Rowland Brown as a project for James Cagney at Grand National Pictures, the independent studio Cagney had signed with in 1936 after winning a breach-of-contract suit against Warner Bros. The original plan had been for Brown to write the full script and direct the film, but when Warners won back Cagney's contract on appeal they bought Brown's story for Cagney but assigned John Wexley and Warren Duff to do the screenplay and Michael Curtiz to direct. See more »

Goofs

In one of the newspapers headlining an article about Rocky kidnapping Frazier, the word 'Kidnapper' is incorrectly spelled with only one P. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The version that opened in Chicago cut Cagney and O'Brien's scene before the execution, so that audiences were left with the impression that Rocky had turned yellow at his execution. The version shown in Australia and New Zealand went even further, cutting the breakdown scene and the Dead End kid's reaction to it. 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

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User Reviews

WILL THE CIRCLE REMAIN UNBROKEN???
16 August 1999 | by renfield54See 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......


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