Angels with Dirty Faces

Angels with Dirty Faces

Angels with Dirty Faces Theatrical Poster
Directed byMichael Curtiz
Produced bySamuel Bischoff
Written byRowland Brown
John Wexley
Warren Duff
Ben Hecht (uncredited)
Charles MacArthur (uncredited)
StarringJames Cagney
Pat O'Brien
Humphrey Bogart
Ann Sheridan
George Bancroft
Billy Halop
Music byMax Steiner
CinematographySol Polito
Editing byOwen Marks
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s)November 24 1938
Running time97 min
LanguageEnglish
Preceded byCrime School (1938)
Followed byThey Made Me a Criminal (1939)
IMDb profile
Angels with Dirty Faces is a well-known and often referenced 1938 Warner Brothers film noir directed by Michael Curtiz and starring James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Pat O'Brien, and the Dead End Kids.

Plot

Rocky Sullivan (James Cagney) and Jerry Connally (Pat O'Brien) are two boyhood friends who robbed a railroad car as kids. Rocky was caught, but Jerry escaped. Rocky, after being sent to reform school, grows up to become a notorious gangster, while Jerry has become a priest.

Rocky returns to his old neighborhood, where Jerry is running a home that intends to keep young boys away from a life of crime. Six of those boys, Soapy (Billy Halop), Swing (Bobby Jordan), Bim (Leo Gorcey), Patsy (Gabriel Dell), Crabface (Huntz Hall), and Hunky (Bernard Punsly), idolize Rocky, and Jerry attempts to keep his former friend from corrupting them.

Meanwhile Rocky gets involved with Frazier (Humphrey Bogart), a crooked lawyer, and Keefer (George Bancroft), a shady businessman and municipal contractor. They try to dispose of Rocky, but he finds the record book that they keep where they list the bribes to city officials. Jerry learns of these events and warns Rocky to leave before he informs the authorities. Rocky ignores his advice and Jerry gets the public's attention and informs them all of the crooked government, causing Frazier and Keefer to plot to kill him. Rocky overhears this plot and kills them to protect his childhood friend.

Rocky is then captured and sentenced to die. Jerry visits him just before his execution and asks him to do him one last favor, to die pretending to be a screaming, snivelling coward, which would end the boys' idolization of him. He refuses, and insists he will be "tough" to the end, and not give up the one thing he has left, his pride. At the very last moment he appears to change his mind and has to be dragged to the electric chair. You, the viewer, never are told whether he genuinely was afraid, a "rotten snivelling coward" or does it for Father and the boys. (Of course Father has no doubts!) [1] The boys hear about what happened and decide he was a coward. They then go with Jerry to Mass.

Cast

Awards and nominations

James Cagney won the 1939 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor for his role. In addition, the film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (James Cagney), Best Director and Best Writing, Original Story.

References in popular culture

  • Warner Brothers created a 1939 cartoon that spoofed the movie called Thugs with Dirty Mugs.
  • During the 1950s, three Argentinian footballers - Antonio Angelillo, Enrique Sivori and Humberto Maschio - formed a talented inside forward line for their Country. They acquired the nickname "Angels with Dirty Faces" when they all moved to Italy in the latter part of the decade to play for the likes of Juventus. The name was given on account of their typically South American colour and ability. They were also known as ‘The Trio of Death’ because of their clinical finishing.
  • A parody of the film appears in Home Alone as Angels with Filthy Souls. In the parody, Gangster Johnny fires a lengthy machine gun salvo before remarking, "Keep the change, ya filthy animal." Hardcore band, Angels with Filthy Souls, are named after this reference.
  • In , we see scenes from a sequel to that film, Angels with Even Filthier Souls. In the sequel, Johnny fires his Tommy gun before saying "Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal. And a Happy New Year." In the two movies, Kevin uses the movies as an illusion to make others think that they were talking to Johnny, and that he was shooting at them.
  • , an episode of , alludes to Angels by telling the story of the Stromwell brothers, one of whom grows up to be a mob boss, the other a priest.
  • The famous Irish bar "Rocky Sullivan's Pub" in New York City was named after Cagney's character.
  • Several musical artists, including Sugababes and Tricky, have used the title "Angels with Dirty Faces" as the name of their album. Others, including Sum 41, Sham 69 and Los Lobos, have songs entitled "Angels with Dirty Faces", although Sum 41's version is actually a reference to another band's name.
  • In the early 90s an Indian version of the film was made. Called Ram Jaane, it cast Shahrukh Khan in the role of Rocky. The movie was quite faithful to the original (albeit Indianized).
  • Tiny Toons also parody's the death row scene, featuring Hampton the Pig as the Priest and Buster Bunny as the condemned going to the Principals office.
  • Angels with Dirty Faces is often cited as the favourite film of Dr Edward Fitzgerald in the hit UK tv drama Cracker.--Deankavanagh 16:53, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Memorable lines

Enlarge picture
Cagney (center) and O'Brien in Angels with Dirty Faces
  • Father Jerry: "All right, fellas... let's go say a prayer for a boy that couldn't run as fast as I could."
  • Rocky Sullivan: ''"Whad-da ya hear! Whadda ya say!"'
When first offered the project, Cagney's agent was convinced that his star property would never consent to playing a role where he would be depicted as an abject coward being dragged to his execution. Cagney, however, was enthusiastic about the chance to play Rocky. He saw it as a suitable vehicle to prove to critics and front office honchos that he had a broad acting range that extended far beyond tough guy roles. Bogart, for one, was very impressed by the death house scene and informed Cagney as such.

DVD Release


January 25, 2005


External links

Angels with Dirty Faces may refer to:
  • Angels with Dirty Faces, a 1938 gangster film
  • Angels with Dirty Faces (Tricky album), a 1998 album by Tricky
  • Angels with Dirty Faces (Sugababes album), a 2002 album by the Sugababes

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Michael Curtiz

Birth name Manó Kertész Kaminer
Born November 24 1886(1886--)
Budapest, Austria-Hungary (now Hungary)
Died March 10 1962 (aged 77)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
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Samuel Bischoff

Born 11 August, 1890
Hartford, Connecticut  United States
Died 21 May, 1975
Hollywood, California  United States

Other name(s) Sam Bischoff

Years active
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Warren Duff (May 17, 1904 - August 5, 1973) was a film and television writer and producer. As a writer, Duff wrote for films including Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) and Experiment Perilous (1944).
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Ben Hecht (February 28, 1894 – April 18, 1964) was a prolific Hollywood screenwriter, even though he professed disdain for the motion picture industry. He was nominated six times for the Academy Award, winning twice, in 1929 and in 1936.
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Charles MacArthur (b. November 5 1895, Scranton, Pennsylvania; d. April 21 1956, New York City) was an American playwright and screenwriter. The son of to a Baptist minister, he is best known for his plays with Ben Hecht, Twentieth Century and The Front Page
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James Cagney

in the trailer for the film Love Me or Leave Me (1955)
Birth name James Francis Cagney, Jr.
Born July 17 1899(1899--)
New York, New York
Died
..... Click the link for more information.
Pat O'Brien is the name of:
  • Pat O'Brien (actor) (1899–1983), who appeared in Some Like It Hot and other films
  • Pat O'Brien (New Orleans bartender), who is credited with the invention of the Hurricane (cocktail), which he invented in 1940

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Humphrey Bogart

Photographed in 1946 by Yousuf Karsh
Birth name Humphrey DeForest Bogart
Born November 25 1899(1899--)
New York City, New York, U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
Ann Sheridan

from the trailer for the film Cowboy from Brooklyn (1938).
Birth name Clara Lou Sheridan
Born January 21 1915(1915--)
Denton, Texas, U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
George Bancroft (October 3, 1800 – January 17, 1891) was an American historian and statesman who was prominent in promoting secondary education both in his home state and at the national level. During his tenure as U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
Billy Halop (February 11, 1920 – November 9, 1976). He was born in New York City and was an American actor.

He came from a theatrical family; his mother was a dancer, and his sister Florence Halop was a radio actress.
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Maximilian Raoul Walter Steiner (born May 10, 1888 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary; died December 28, 1971 in Hollywood, California) was an Austrian-American composer of music for theater production shows and films.
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Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., or Warner Bros. (pronounced Warner Brothers), is one of the world's largest producers of film and television entertainment.

It is currently a subsidiary of the Time Warner conglomerate, with its headquarters in Burbank, California.
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November 24 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events

  • 380 - Theodosius I makes his adventus, or formal entry, into Constantinople.

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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1900s  1910s  1920s  - 1930s -  1940s  1950s  1960s
1935 1936 1937 - 1938 - 1939 1940 1941

Year 1938 (MCMXXXVIII
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English}}} 
Writing system: Latin (English variant) 
Official status
Official language of: 53 countries
Regulated by: no official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1: en
ISO 639-2: eng
ISO 639-3: eng  
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'Crime School'

Crime School Theatrical Poster
Directed by Lewis Seiler
Produced by Bryan Foy
Written by Crane Wilbur
Vincent Sherman
Starring Humphrey Bogart
Gale Page
Billy Halop
Bobby Jordan
Huntz Hall
Leo Gorcey
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-1938- 1939 1940 1941  1942 .  1943 .  1944 .  1945  . 1946  . 1947  . 1948 

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'They Made Me a Criminal'

They Made Me a Criminal Theatrical Poster
Directed by Busby Berkeley
Produced by Benjamin Glazer
Hal B. Wallis
Written by Sig Herzig
Bertram Millhauser (uncredited)
Beulah Marie Dix (uncredited)
..... Click the link for more information.
-1939- 1940 1941 1942  1943 .  1944 .  1945 .  1946  . 1947  . 1948  . 1949 

..... Click the link for more information.
-1938- 1939 1940 1941  1942 .  1943 .  1944 .  1945  . 1946  . 1947  . 1948 

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Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., or Warner Bros. (pronounced Warner Brothers), is one of the world's largest producers of film and television entertainment.

It is currently a subsidiary of the Time Warner conglomerate, with its headquarters in Burbank, California.
..... Click the link for more information.
Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize moral ambiguity and sexual motivation. Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as stretching from the early 1940s to the late 1950s.
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Michael Curtiz

Birth name Manó Kertész Kaminer
Born November 24 1886(1886--)
Budapest, Austria-Hungary (now Hungary)
Died March 10 1962 (aged 77)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
James Cagney

in the trailer for the film Love Me or Leave Me (1955)
Birth name James Francis Cagney, Jr.
Born July 17 1899(1899--)
New York, New York
Died
..... Click the link for more information.
Humphrey Bogart

Photographed in 1946 by Yousuf Karsh
Birth name Humphrey DeForest Bogart
Born November 25 1899(1899--)
New York City, New York, U.S.
..... Click the link for more information.
Pat O'Brien (November 11, 1899 – October 15, 1983) was an American movie actor with over 100 screen credits. O'Brien was born William Joseph Patrick O'Brien to an Irish American Catholic family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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The Dead End Kids were a group of young actors from New York who appeared in Sidney Kingsley's Broadway play Dead End in 1935. In 1937 producer Samuel Goldwyn brought all of them to Hollywood and turned the play into a film.
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James Cagney

in the trailer for the film Love Me or Leave Me (1955)
Birth name James Francis Cagney, Jr.
Born July 17 1899(1899--)
New York, New York
Died
..... Click the link for more information.


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