Dommy

Angles With Dirty Faces

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How can this classic gem of 1930's crime dramas not be shown regularly like all the other classics.  James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Pat O'Brien, Ann Sheridan and The Dead End Kids.  A great cast a great director Michael Curtiz .  I am strolling through the TCM  Streaming service and realized I never see this film being played.  What is up with that.  This is the best of the Warner Brothers gangster films of all time.

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Sorry Dommy, but I'll have to take a pass on any reply to your thread's topic here.

You see, Geometry was never my strong suit in school back in the day, and all I remember about "angles" from that class years ago was that there were ones called "right", "straight", "acute" and "obtuse" ones, and didn't know there were ever any ones "with dirty faces". ;) 

(...sorry, forgive me...I just couldn't resist) 

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39 minutes ago, Dommy said:

How can this classic gem of 1930's crime dramas not be shown regularly like all the other classics.  James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Pat O'Brien, Ann Sheridan and The Dead End Kids.  A great cast a great director Michael Curtiz .  I am strolling through the TCM  Streaming service and realized I never see this film being played.  What is up with that.  This is the best of the Warner Brothers gangster films of all time.

Since this is a WB film it should be real easy for TCM to lease.     Hopefully one of the people that keep a database of the films TCM shows can tell us the last time TCM showed this film.

My guess is that it wasn't that long ago and that TCM shows the film a few times each year.

 

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6 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Since this is a WB film it should be real easy for TCM to lease.     Hopefully one of the people that keep a database of the films TCM shows can tell us the last time TCM showed this film.

My guess is that it wasn't that long ago and that TCM shows the film a few times each year.

This has been discussed on here a few times before. There's some rights issue that keeps Angels with Dirty Faces from being shown as often as the other WB gangster pics.

According to MCOH's database, it's been shown 51 times, but not once since 2009.

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I think the film has been aired in this last decade, but not as much as it should be.   When I was growing up this movie was always being shown.  Maybe today it is considered politically incorrect,  

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"now look tcm, yer a buncha smart film aficionados...but doan get smart with me."

Image result for rocky sullivan james cagney

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2 hours ago, Dommy said:

I think the film has been aired in this last decade, but not as much as it should be.   When I was growing up this movie was always being shown.  Maybe today it is considered politically incorrect,  

I can't recall anything in this film that could possibly be considered "politically incorrect" today, Dommy. And so, its lack of being shown on TCM for 10 years (according to Lawrence's earlier posting here anyway) probably would have nothing at all to do with its lack of being shown in recent years and most likely as Lawrence also suggested earlier is something which would or might pertain more to some sort of "rights" issue.

Have to say this now prompts me to ask you why you might think the issue of this film somehow presently being considered "politically incorrect" in some manner by some people might have some bearing on this?

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9 hours ago, Dargo said:

I can't recall anything in this film that could possibly be considered "politically incorrect" today, Dommy. And so, its lack of being shown on TCM for 10 years (according to Lawrence's earlier posting here anyway) probably would have nothing at all to do with its lack of being shown in recent years and most likely as Lawrence also suggested earlier is something which would or might pertain more to some sort of "rights" issue.

Have to say this now prompts me to ask you why you might think the issue of this film somehow presently being considered "politically incorrect" in some manner by some people might have some bearing on this?

Jeez, Dargo.  Here I'll tie it all together for ya.  Dirty used angle irons, rode hard and put away wet.  Rusty gold.  In the right hands useful for construction and making things.  An American politician's nightmare.

:P

 

angle-iron.jpg

https://www.ebay.com/itm/40-3-x-3-x-1-4-Structural-Steel-Angle-Iron-10-FT-Lengths/183499400138

 

OP: my records are "excellent" going back to Jan 2011 (actually the work from an independent Broadcast Log project from a fellow viewer who doesn't participate here).  Before that they are literally based on the TCM schedules (some which I have collected and some which were submitted to me).  Take that for what it's worth.  This movie needs to be shown.
In case you haven't been there, here is the link to my tracking project:
http://www.moviecollectoroh.com

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MovieCollector I am not saying the movie is politically incorrect.  I said that because everything from movies and songs are being viewed with such angst saying that line was is not appropriate.  For instance the classic Christmas sing "Baby It's Cold Outside" was taken of radio stations playlist saying the song suggests date rape.  Now John Legend and Kelly Clarkson are remaking the song but they had to change the lyrics.  I can't think of anything in "Angels With Dirty Faces" that is offensive.  If it is a rights issue, I wonder who has the rights to it.  Thanks for the link.

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There have been a few threads about this, at least one of which I may have started. I've never found any solid information, but yes, it's been 10 years now since it's last TCM airing. The only evidence that led me to believe there's some legal reason TCM can't air it was its curious listing in bold print in the article about the Michael Curtiz tribute that aired in the last year or two. Generally, in one of these articles, all films listed in bold are going to air, while the ones in italics are not. And Angels was in bold, which led me to believe at the time the article was written or posted online, TCM intended to air it, but at some point figured out they couldn't. 

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It's true that I've seen this movie on TV more often before the advent of cable TV and then TCM.  And since it too, is a Warner's release, I don't understand why, if TCM can show THE BIG SLEEP twice within a week's time, they can't show ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES more often. 

Sepiatone

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Well, I've seen lots of dirty faces with angles but never any angles with dirty faces.

I read this somewhere awhile back, I know not where. This is the problem. The story for the film was written by Rowland Brown, and the rights reverted back to his estate in 2010. And there the problem sits with the heirs being unwilling to budge. Brown himself died in 1963.

WB has rights problems with three Cagney films that I know of - Angels, Ceiling Zero, and Come Fill the Cup.All good films. I've seen and have a copy of every film Cagney ever did except "Never Steal Anything Small". Somebody on this board told me I wasn't missing anything but I'd like to see it just to be able to say that I did, regardless of the quality.

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I love Cagney in this film, the man child of the streets.

And those little touches that he brings to Rocky, like that little hitch of the shoulders, help to make this vivid characterization seem so real.

One more thing, Angels has some of the best street sets on any films of the '30s.

Whata ya hear, whata ya say?

Np1HCt.gif

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(SPOILERS):

Well I have to admit, once, he's led to the electric chair it is kind of sad hearing him beg for his life (even if he was just faking it as a favor to Father Jerry),  even knowing he brought it on himself, you can't help feel an ounce of sympathy for him.

Which just proves what a great actor Cagney was.

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As I've said before in these boards Warner Brothers was spectacularly hypocritical with the ending of Angels with Dirty Faces, if you buy that Rocky is faking his cowardice so that the Dead End Kids don't idolize and emulate him.

What was the film doing by that climax but turning Rocky into a self sacrificing heroic gangster figure to those watching the film. So just how are street kids, including those flirting with or indulging in crime, watching the film in theatre seats going to react? They'll think Rocky Sullivan is a great guy and, quite possibly, one worth emulating.

Warners was clearly more interested in the future of fictional street kids in a film (while also making a box office actor seem heroic to add to his box office) than it was with those watching the movie in the real world.

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Rocky ends up dying in the end, so I see it as a 'crime doesn't really pay' message in the end, which is probably what the filmmakers were going for, since this was the age of the Production Code which insisted that the guilty must be punished for their crimes.

Does Rocky regret his life of crime? Probably not. But he still ends up paying the ultimate price for it no matter which way you look at it.

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10 minutes ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Rocky ends up dying in the end, so I see it as a 'crime doesn't really pay' message in the end, which is probably what the filmmakers were going for, since this was the age of the Production Code which insisted that the guilty must be punished for their crimes.

Does Rocky regret his life of crime? Probably not. But he still ends up paying the ultimate price for it no matter which way you look at it.

Sorry but I can't really agree with this appraisal. The emphasis at the end in not so much that Rocky dies (what gangsters in gangster films DON'T die?) , but HOW he dies. Is Rocky a coward (which would seem to be out of character for him) and, if not, why is he faking it? It comes across as an act of self sacrifice (since his reputation as a tough guy was all he had left), and he's doing it for the sake of the kids' future.

And that, in turn, to me, means complete hypocrisy on the part of the filmmakers.

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11 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Sorry but I can't really agree with this appraisal. The emphasis at the end in not so much that Rocky dies (what gangsters in gangster films DON'T die?) , but HOW he dies. Is Rocky a coward (which would seem to be out of character for him) and, if not, why is he faking it? It comes across as an act of self sacrifice (since his reputation as a tough guy was all he had left), and he's doing it for the sake of the kids' future.

And that, in turn, to me, means complete hypocrisy on the part of the filmmakers.

Well you can't really expect the filmmakers to anticipate what kind of message kids in real life watching the movie are going to get from it....the studio was just going with the norm at that time and that was that Rocky had to die for his crimes.

I won't say whether the film's ending actually had any impact on the younger audience....it really would depend on each viewer. I mean I watched ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES at a fairly young age and while I admit I loved watching Cagney in action, I never lost sight of the fact that no matter how charming he could be Rocky was still a hoodlum who very likely was going to get his. But that's me.

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Some people say that Rocky  did it for the kids at the end, but some say he really did chicken out at the end.  James Cagney was so natural in this film.  This is also the film that Ann Sheridan came into her own.  The both of them had such great chemistry.  It's a  shame they only made 3 films together.  There is an old movie book out there called "Hollywood's Greatest Couples" and they are in the book as a screen pair.  I love not only "Angels With Dirty Faces".  I love "Torrid Zone" and City For Conquest" just as much.  Although she did steal "Torrid Zone".  Love when Rocky first meets Laurie after all these years she slaps his face and runs out and turns around and says she waited 15 years to do that.  

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1 hour ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Well you can't really expect the filmmakers to anticipate what kind of message kids in real life watching the movie are going to get from it....the studio was just going with the norm at that time and that was that Rocky had to die for his crimes.

I won't say whether the film's ending actually had any impact on the younger audience....it really would depend on each viewer. I mean I watched ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES at a fairly young age and while I admit I loved watching Cagney in action, I never lost sight of the fact that no matter how charming he could be Rocky was still a hoodlum who very likely was going to get his. But that's me.

I too, saw it at a young age with my older brother and a couple of my buddies.  We got no particular "message" from it, nor was their any "impact" of any kind,  as we were well aware it was just a movie, and made way before our time and how it ended was interesting in how they made rocky act "yellow" and we knew he did it for the kid's sakes.  His earlier refusal to do that regardless, we figured he had a change of heart and wanted it to seem like his idea.  Whatever.  We weren't really into analyzing movie plots at the age of 7-8.  ;)  And even to this day, I find movies more enjoyable if I take them as they come.  

Sepiatone

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Movies can be influential, particularly upon impressionable young people. I can recall once, as a young boy, punching a friend of mine after I saw a movie hero of mine do that because I thought his action was so "cool" on the screen.

In the case of Angels and Warners social irresponsibility with the ending, I was thinking, in particular, of young teens around the same age as the Dead End Kids who, if not already into crime, are flirting with the idea of it. They will probably only regard Rocky's self sacrifice at the end of the film in noble terms, doing nothing to dissuade them from admiring his character, possibly to the point of wanting to emulate his lifestyle.

Sure, I know we're all fans of Angels With Dirty Faces as a well constructed movie. But I can't be the only one here who also sees the irony of a film that claims to not want street kids to idolize a gangster having, in fact, the exact opposite effect upon some of those who watch that movie in the theatre.

 

 

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If some kids choose to idolize Rocky, then that's their choice, I don't think it's fair to blame the director, the writers or the actors.

I say it is the responsibility of the parents to make their children see the difference between someone like him on screen and others like him in real life, only much worse.

As I pointed out in my other post, I found Rocky somewhat likable, but at the same time I also knew he was an unrepentant jerk. I certainly did NOT want to be like him when I grew up. It also helped that I had two wonderful parents who taught me right from wrong.

 

 

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