Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

97 or 105 mins | Drama | 26 November 1938

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Producer:

Sam Bischoff

Cinematographer:

Sol Polito

Editor:

Owen Marks

Production Designer:

Robert Haas

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

This film was one of the top moneymakers of 1938. James Cagney was named best actor by the New York Film Critics and the National Board of Review, and received his first Academy Award nomination, losing to Spencer Tracy. Rowland Brown was nominated for an Oscar for Best Orginal Story and director Michael Curtiz also was nominated. According to DV , the film was censored by the Quebec censors and therefore did not screen in Montreal. Files from the MPPA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library note that the film was also rejected by censors in France, Jamaica, Denmark, Geneva, Poland, Finland, China and Norway. Modern sources note that live ammunition was used in the shootout scenes because the special effects that would simulate bursting bullets had not yet been perfected. Modern sources include Jack Perrin ( Death Row guard ), Bill Cohee, Lavel Lund, Norman Wallace, Gary Carthew and Bibby Mayer ( Church basketball team ), Poppy Wilde ( Girl at gaming table ), Frank Coghlan, Jr., David Durand , George Mori and Al Hill n the cast. In 1939, Warner Bros. produced a sequel, Angels Wash Their Faces (see above).
For more information on "The Dead End Kids" See Entry for Crime School and consult Series Index for entries under "The Dead End Kids," "The East Side Kids" and "The Little Tough ... More Less

This film was one of the top moneymakers of 1938. James Cagney was named best actor by the New York Film Critics and the National Board of Review, and received his first Academy Award nomination, losing to Spencer Tracy. Rowland Brown was nominated for an Oscar for Best Orginal Story and director Michael Curtiz also was nominated. According to DV , the film was censored by the Quebec censors and therefore did not screen in Montreal. Files from the MPPA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library note that the film was also rejected by censors in France, Jamaica, Denmark, Geneva, Poland, Finland, China and Norway. Modern sources note that live ammunition was used in the shootout scenes because the special effects that would simulate bursting bullets had not yet been perfected. Modern sources include Jack Perrin ( Death Row guard ), Bill Cohee, Lavel Lund, Norman Wallace, Gary Carthew and Bibby Mayer ( Church basketball team ), Poppy Wilde ( Girl at gaming table ), Frank Coghlan, Jr., David Durand , George Mori and Al Hill n the cast. In 1939, Warner Bros. produced a sequel, Angels Wash Their Faces (see above).
For more information on "The Dead End Kids" See Entry for Crime School and consult Series Index for entries under "The Dead End Kids," "The East Side Kids" and "The Little Tough Guys." More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
21 Oct 38
p. 3.
Film Daily
24 Oct 38
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jun 38
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Aug 38
pp. 8-9.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Oct 38
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
24 Oct 38
p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald
13 Aug 38
p. 65.
Motion Picture Herald
29 Oct 38
p. 42.
New York Times
26 Nov 38
p. 18.
Variety
26 Oct 38
p. 13.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Bernard Punsley
Joe Downing
Dick Rich
Joe A. Devlin
Tommy Jackson
Oscar G. Hendrian
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
Second asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
2d cam
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Orch arr
SOUND
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Scr clerk
Scr clerk
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
26 November 1938
Production Date:
27 June--early August 1938
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
14 September 1938
Copyright Number:
LP8414
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
97 or 105
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4496
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Rocky Sullivan and Jerry Connolly, two New York slum kids, are caught trying to steal pens from a railroad car. Jerry escapes but Rocky is captured and sent to reform school. As adults, Rocky turns to a life of crime, while Jerry becomes a priest in their old neighborhood. Eventually, Rocky is arrested and makes a deal with his crooked lawyer, James Frazier, to take the fall for his gang in exchange for $100,000 upon his release. When Rocky returns to the neighborhood after his release from prison, Jerry hopes Rocky will go straight, but Rocky plans to join a criminal organization and collect the $100,000. Meanwhile, Rocky befriends a gang of troubled kids, using their admiration of him to get them involved in the wholesome activities that Jerry runs at the neighborhood gym. Rocky starts dating another childhood friend, Laury Ferguson, who is now a social worker for the parish. Unknown to Rocky, Frazier plans to kill Rocky, rather than give him his due. When Rocky discovers what he has in mind, he kidnaps Frazier and steals the contents of his safe, which include all the information Frazier and his cohort, Mac Keefer, have been using to blackmail powerful men around town. Frazier finally pays Rocky his money, $10,000 of which Rocky tries to give to Jerry for his gym. Fed up with corruption, Jerry begins a campaign to reform the city government. When Rocky finds out that Frazier and Keefer plan to kill Jerry in order to stop his work, he kills them and flees to a nightclub. Before he can get away, the police surround the ... +


Rocky Sullivan and Jerry Connolly, two New York slum kids, are caught trying to steal pens from a railroad car. Jerry escapes but Rocky is captured and sent to reform school. As adults, Rocky turns to a life of crime, while Jerry becomes a priest in their old neighborhood. Eventually, Rocky is arrested and makes a deal with his crooked lawyer, James Frazier, to take the fall for his gang in exchange for $100,000 upon his release. When Rocky returns to the neighborhood after his release from prison, Jerry hopes Rocky will go straight, but Rocky plans to join a criminal organization and collect the $100,000. Meanwhile, Rocky befriends a gang of troubled kids, using their admiration of him to get them involved in the wholesome activities that Jerry runs at the neighborhood gym. Rocky starts dating another childhood friend, Laury Ferguson, who is now a social worker for the parish. Unknown to Rocky, Frazier plans to kill Rocky, rather than give him his due. When Rocky discovers what he has in mind, he kidnaps Frazier and steals the contents of his safe, which include all the information Frazier and his cohort, Mac Keefer, have been using to blackmail powerful men around town. Frazier finally pays Rocky his money, $10,000 of which Rocky tries to give to Jerry for his gym. Fed up with corruption, Jerry begins a campaign to reform the city government. When Rocky finds out that Frazier and Keefer plan to kill Jerry in order to stop his work, he kills them and flees to a nightclub. Before he can get away, the police surround the nightclub, and Rocky is arrested and sentenced to death. Just before Rocky is to die, Jerry visits him on death row. He begs Rocky to die "yellow," so the gang kids won't idolize him. Rocky refuses outright, but as the guards start to strap him down in the electric chair, he begs them not to let him die. Later, when the kids read the paper's report of Rocky's death, Jerry reluctantly confirms his cowardice and asks the kids to join him in a prayer for the boy who "couldn't run as fast as I could." +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.