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Angels With Dirty Faces

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Angels With Dirty Faces is a classic gangster film from 1938 featuring James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, and Humphrey Bogart in leading roles. The movie portrays the friendship between two young boys living in New York's infamous Hell's Kitchen, Rocky and Jerry. As they grow up, they move on different paths, with Rocky becoming a notorious gangster and Jerry a parish priest working to reform troubled youths.

The movie starts with Rocky (Cagney) and Jerry (O'Brien) as kids, where Rocky's delinquent nature brought him fame and respect among the kids on the street, while Jerry remained the calm and sensible one trying to steer him away from trouble. However, their paths diverged as they grew up, and they parted ways after an incident in which Rocky was caught stealing.

Years later, Rocky has become a powerful gangster with a significant following of admirers that includes a group of young boys who idolize him. Jerry, on the other hand, has dedicated his life to working with underprivileged kids, trying to provide them with a route out of the delinquent life.

When one of the boys idolizing Rocky gets involved in a theft that goes horribly wrong, Jerry tries to intervene by providing him with an alibi that could save him from a lengthy prison sentence. However, Rocky also wants to silence the boy before he talks, leading to a tense showdown between Rocky and Jerry.

As the movie progresses, we see the two former friends become entangled in a dangerous chess game, where life is at stake. Jerry's attempts at reforming the young and wayward also bring him face to face with career criminals who scoff at religion and treat kids as commodities.

Angels With Dirty Faces is regarded as one of the classic Hollywood gangster film noirs, featuring a powerhouse of acting talent with James Cagney at his best. The film offers a rare insight into the criminal underworld and the moral dilemmas that come with such a world. The film takes an honest look at the toll this way of life takes on individuals and the wider community.

The film's direction by Michael Curtiz offers a gritty vision of New York City's dark underbelly and injects a sense of realism into the film. The clever use of shadows and lighting adds to the film's atmosphere, giving it a sense of tension and danger.

James Cagney gives a stunning performance as Rocky Sullivan, a character that exudes charisma, fearlessness, and vulnerability in equal measure. Cagney's portrayal of the gangster with a heart is one of the movie's highlights, his tough exterior guarded by a sensitive core that shows itself in key moments.

Pat O'Brien plays the role of Jerry Connolly with conviction, portraying a character who is pure-hearted and determined to do good in a world fascinated by evil. O'Brien's performance brings an element of hope to the film, especially during his interactions with the troubled youth.

Humphrey Bogart's cameo as an attorney in the movie is spellbinding, showcasing his acting abilities that would later make him one of the leading actors of his generation. Though his role is small, he makes every moment of his screen time count.

In conclusion, Angels With Dirty Faces is an excellent movie that has stood the test of time, primarily because of its flawless direction, powerful performances, and a captivating storyline. The movie draws you into the world of gangsters, redemption, and the tough choices that people must make to survive. It shows how people can break free from a life of crime, but the past has the habit of catching up with them. Overall, this is a must-watch for lovers of classic Hollywood movies or anyone interested in the gangster genre.

Angels With Dirty Faces is a Crime, Drama movie released in 1938. It has a runtime of 97. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.9..

Michael Curtiz
James Cagney, Pat O'Brien
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