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Angels With Dirty Faces (1938)

Drama movie directed by Michael Curtiz

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Check your shoulder

  • Sep 19, 2001
During the era of Mob bosses and religious resurrection, two young boys pounce through the packed street's and lines of steaming railroad cars in the big city. These boys are best friends, sticking it out, seeing each other through the day.

After finding some mischief they are chased by some coppers to a fence, one makes it over, the other's life is changed forever.

Many years pass, until one day, by chance they meet again and realize that time has altered many things. The two friends have drifted into completely different territories. One is a crook, and the other is now a thief.

This movie is so well done, and wonderfully classic. Cagney gives one of, if not the, greatest performances of his life. Also, it has a gripping ending, with the reminiscence of the film's "Dead Man Walking" or "The Green Mile". Somewhere in the first quarter, you forget your watching a film and criticism melt's away. This is one of my favorite classics.~S.A.O.S~

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Adam Hunnicutt ()
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Member Since: Sep 1, 2010
Last Login: Jun 21, 2011 08:29 PM UTC
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About this movie


Gangster Rocky Sullivan (James Cagney) returns from prison to make a name for himself in the crime world. He's soon discovered by the Dead End Kids, who idolize him, and childhood pal Father Jerry Connolly (Pat O'Brien). The good Father has taken a different turn from Rocky and is struggling to bring the Kids around; while still friends with Rocky, he tries to persuade him to steer clear of the gang of urchins. Rocky runs afoul of the law, however, when he guns down his former partners Frazier (Humphrey Bogart) and Keefer (George Bancroft) after they betray him over a cut of crime-related profits. Seen as a whole,Angels with Dirty Facesmay seem dated to many viewers, but its ending is still enough to bring chills. Director Michael Curtiz infused this gritty 1938 effort with an amazing amount of energy and pacing; the Dead End Kids, in their screen debut, supply a fair amount of comic relief along with their dramatic roles. It's also worth noting that at the time, the notion of a criminal being a product of his environment was a controversial one. The swaggering bantam-rooster role played by Cagney, one of the screen's greats, helped define how he would be perceived (and parodied) for years to come. This movie easily stands along withThe Roaring TwentiesandLittle Caesaras one of the most important, archetypal gangster films of the '30s.--Jerry Renshaw
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Director: Michael Curtiz
Runtime: 97 minutes
Studio: Turner Home Ent
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