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Angels With Dirty Faces


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Product Details

  • Actors: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, Evelyn Thawl
  • Directors: Bobby Connolly, Michael Curtiz, Robert Clampett
  • Writers: Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur, Crane Wilbur, John Wexley, Rowland Brown
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dubbed, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2005
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006HBV28
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,342 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Angels With Dirty Faces" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1938, with newsreel, musical short "Out Where the Stars Begin," cartoon "Porky and Daffy," and theatrical trailers
  • New featurette: "Angels with Dirty Faces: Whaddya Hear? Whaddya Say?"
  • Audio-only bonus: radio production with film's two stars

Editorial Reviews

Cagney vs. Bogart

Customer Reviews

I wished they made more movies like this.
Wanda
James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Pat O'Brien, Ann Sheridan, and the Dead End Kids are completely believeable.
Rocco Dormarunno
One of the best gangster movies ever made.
Joe Library

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Rocco Dormarunno on January 18, 2006
Format: DVD
Michael Curtiz' "Angels with Dirty Faces" is one of those movies (like his "Casablanca" and "Mildred Pierce") in which the planets and stars were perfectly aligned. James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Pat O'Brien, Ann Sheridan, and the Dead End Kids are completely believeable. In fact, even the actors who played the young Cagney and O'Brien were right on.

But it is Curtiz' direction that runs the show. Curtiz moves seamlessly from the crowded streets, to the claustrophobic tenements, to the glitzy gambling joints. And his mastery of shadow and light cannot be overstated, as historian Dana Polan points out in his insightful commentary.

All these elements combine to create a great movie, and not just a great gangster movie. The complex relationships between Rocky Sullivan, the kids, and Fadda Jerry (O'Brien)--and the astounding ending to the film--make it as poignant and widely-appealing as any other movie of its time or any other time.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David Baldwin on February 20, 2005
Format: DVD
What's interesting about "Angels With Dirty Faces" is it does not so much concern itself with the how someone would turn to a life of crime but the why. James Cagney's Rocky Sullivan is a tragic figure of sorts because his lot in life was determined by an indiscretion as a youth which snowballed into stretches in the correction system and various organized crime ventures. On the flip side of the coin, his best friend Jerry Connolly(Pat O'Brien) became a priest. The film also draws an extraordinary canvass of the working class milieu to illustrate the squalor that would encourage someone to turn to crime. The Dead End Kids are used to great effect here to demonstrate the underbelly of the lower-class existence that most people would not want to acknowledge. Humphrey Bogart is effective also here as Sullivan's double-crossing lawyer. Credit director Michael Curtiz for pulling all of these elements together for wholly satisfying experience. This is Cagney's show ultimately, because, in a multi-hued performance he is able to allow the audience to empathize with him and mourn for him even though we disagree with his choices in life. This DVD contains a decent documentary of the film, a pretty good Technicolor short subject about a budding ballerina who wants to make it at Warner Brothers, and a Porky Pig and Daffy Duck cartoon.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "weirdo_87" on March 3, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
"Angels with Dirty Faces" is one of the greatest gangster pictures of the 1930's, a decade which saw many great ones. Some people might be turned off by the old style acting (When people shoot, it seems more like they are punching). But I very much enjoyed this movie, and I'm only 14! (Some plot spoilers).
James Cagney is "Rocky" Sullivan, who as a kid was driven to a life of crime by an arrest. Cagney gives what some consider his definitive gangster performance, which was awarded by the New York Film Critics as best actor, but was not awarded by the academy. Pat O'Brien is his childhood friend Jerry Connolly, who is now a priest. He is concerned with Sullivan's involvement on a group of kids, believing that he is influencing them in a life of crime. He vows to fight organized crime, even if that means crushing his friend.
Before he was a major star, Humphrey Bogart was a supporting player who made a major impact. In here, he plays Sullivan's lawyer, who tries to knock off Rocky after his release from prison. There is also Ann Sheridan as Laury, a love interest to Sullivan, and there are also the Dead End Kids (Led by Billy Halop as "Soapy").
I will make this short and sweet. You must see this movie. If you want more, you must own this movie. Thank You.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By John Farr on August 10, 2005
Format: DVD
It's no coincidence that both "Angels" and "Casablanca" were directed by Michael Curtiz, since there's very little wrong with either picture. Cagney is the quintessential gangster with a heart of gold, and his real-life friend Pat O'Brien is equally strong as Father Connolly. Beautifully realized in every respect-- one of the all-time champs.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Zabiega on March 9, 2008
Format: DVD
This is a wonderfully entertaining movie about two friends: a gangster (Cagney) and a priest (O'Brien). The only difference between them was that when they were kids, one ran faster than the other from the cops. Cagney was caught and through the juvenile system became a gangster. O'Brien was not caught, he repented,and was called to become a priest. This movie is not only a wonderful family movie, it also is especially of value to any Catholic family. It portrays a priest who is willing to risk his life for the good of others and who is willing to especially go against his best friend (Cagney) to stop the crime wave in the city. He continues to love his gangster friend and cares for him no matter what. The story is one of friendship, of how even the worst of criminals still can have deep nobility in them if it is brought out by a true friend. The ending of this movie is simply the best I have ever seen: you will be surprised.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hellerstedt on May 1, 2005
Format: DVD
James Cagney and Pat O'Brien star as childhood friends whose lives diverge dramatically in Michael Curtiz's 1938 ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES. Chased by cops and railroad bulls after stealing boxes of fountain pens out of a freight car, Rocky Sullivan (Cagney) is caught and sent to reform school. Jerry Connelly (O'Brien) runs just a little faster and escapes. Rocky grows up a gangster, Jerry becomes a priest.

Flash forward fifteen years. Rocky is being released after his last stint in stir and puts the squeeze on his crooked lawyer Jim Frazier (Humphrey Bogart) to cut him into `the business' per a previous arrangement. Father Jerry ministers to the troubled youth of what is, though never named, obviously New York City's Hell's Kitchen.

Rocky moves back to the old neighborhood and becomes involved with the Dead End Kids, the dirty faced angels of the title, the same gang Father Jerry is trying, unsuccessfully, to reach. By the final act Rocky is ingrained in the local crime network that buys off politicians and police, the DE Kids are drawn to the charismatic gangster, and Father Jerry, in frustration, launches a media campaign against the crooks and crooked politicians, warning his childhood pal Rocky that he'll steamroll over him, as well, if it comes to that.

There's a lot to like in ANGELS. Cagney is on the top of his form, often hitching his shoulders and twirling his head in a fluid, whiplike motion, adding another bit that will be imitated numerous times by many lesser actors. Cagney and O'Brien's walk down the last mile is also one of the most memorable and moving sequences in Hollywood history. On the other hand, Ann Sheridan is wasted in an underwritten part as Rocky's girlfriend, and Bogart isn't called on to do much more than cringe and cower.
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