Monday, January 9, 2012

115. Angels With Dirty Faces

Angels With Dirty Faces
1938
Directed by Michael Curtiz

First of all, I want to be honest here and confess that I did not pay that much attention to this film.  It was pretty boring and I got caught up playing quizzes on sporcle.com (an incredibly addicting site; I would not recommend it).  I think, though, that even if I had watched the movie with strict attention, I still wouldn't have liked it.

This movie is about two friends who took fairly different paths.  One became a priest and the other became a criminal.  The priest tries to prevent the criminal from corrupting some "street kids".  Oh yeah, and Humphrey Bogart plays a minor role somewhere in there.  Anyway, the ending is pretty cool but the film felt a little too preachy to me.  I hate movies with intense moral messages; I feel like I am being talked to like a second grade teacher talks to her students.

Overall, good but not very interesting.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

The Dead End Kids bullied people on set during filming and stole Humphrey Bogart's trousers after cornering him.  James Cagney set them straight though by hitting one of the actors above the nose.

Trailer:


4 comments:

  1. I actually loved this movie...It was strange to see Humphrey Bogart not be the super tough guy. I definitely agree that it was preachy, but for some reason I loved the cheesiness of it :-)

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  2. I found it pretty boring as well. Actually the ending was the worst part with the prick of a priest getting his way, self-righteous bastard.

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  3. I broadly liked this. We can dismiss some of these gangster movies as misplaced glamour-chic, yet another set of cliches to titillate audiences. And the preachiness smacks of romantic moralising. But we shouldn't forget that at the time these were often just social commentary of issues that the public were concerned about.

    I read once that James Cagney disliked being typecast as the gangster roles but was kinda stuck with them. I can kind of imagine him being bored making this one but churned out his usual tough-guy schtick because he had to. Or maybe I'm imagining this.

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    1. I can see that. I did find Yankee Doodle Dandy to be kind of disturbing with Cagney in the role.

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