1938 / 97m - USA
Crime, Thriller
Angels with Dirty Faces poster


June 18, 2022


Curtiz, Cagney and crime. Another pretty typical noir from the 30s, though I will say that Cagney's spirited performance lifts this one slightly above its peer. Not by much, the premise is extremely basic, and the film hardly makes an effort to rise above it, but at least it's something.

Rocky is a small-time hoodlum who gets into trouble and has to serve time. He doesn't rat out his accomplice, but when he gets out after three years, he returns to his old gang to pick up where he left. The world has changed in his absence, still, Rocky feels confident that he can pick up his old life.

Angel's with Dirty Faces is a typical rise-and-fall story of a "cool" criminal. Cagney does add some intrigue to his role, but he has very little to play with and with guys like Bogart around him, his impact remains rather limited. Cinematography and score didn't do much for me, then again it's a 30s film, so what did you expect. Baisc noir for noir fans.