Angels with Dirty Faces

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Angels with Dirty Faces is a 1938 film about a priest who tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids.

Directed by Michael Curtiz. Written by Rowland Brown, John Wexley, Warren Duff, Ben Hecht (uncredited), and Charles MacArthur (uncredited).
The saga of America's dirty faced kids... And the breaks that life won't give them! (taglines)

Father Jerry Connolly[edit]

  • All right, fellas... let's go and say a prayer for a boy who couldn't run as fast as I could.

Rocky Sullivan[edit]

  • 'Morning, gentlemen. Nice day for a murder.
  • No! I don't want to die! Oh, please! I don't want to die! Oh, please! Don't make me burn in hell. Oh, please let go of me! Please don't kill me! Oh, don't kill me, please!


  • [reading from the newspaper] "At the fatal stroke of eleven p.m. Rocky was led through the little green door of death. No sooner had he entered the death chamber, than he tore himself from the guard's grasp, flung himself on the floor, screaming for mercy. And as they dragged him to the electric chair, he clawed wildly at the floor with agonised shrieks. In contrast to his former heroics, Rocky Sullivan died a coward".


Soapy: Hey! Call a fair game or I'll slap you right in the kisser!
Rocky Sullivan: You'll slap me? You slap me in a dream, you better wake up and apologize.

Rocky Sullivan: Laury Martin? That little fresh kid with the pigtails? Well, hello. Whadda ya hear! Whadda ya say!
Laury Martin: Hello.
[she slaps him]
Rocky Sullivan: Hey! Wait a minute!
Laury Martin: I've waited fifteen years to do that!

Mac Keefer: Where's Frazier?
Rocky Sullivan: Where's that hundred grand?
Mac Keefer: You think we're gonna pay off huh?
Rocky Sullivan: Certainly. If I don't get that dough in three minutes, Frazier's gonna be splashed all over the best hideout in town.

Rocky Sullivan: [about his proposed anonymous donation] Suppose the dough is hot? Nobody knows that but you and me.
Father Jerry: That's just it.
Rocky Sullivan: Oh, come on, don't be such an angel. You wanna get the center built, don't you? Well, go ahead - get it started.
Father Jerry: Sure I wanna get it started; but I don't wanna get it started on rotten foundations.
Rocky Sullivan: Aw, don't be a sucker!
Father Jerry: All right, Rocky, supposin' I take the money... and I kid myself that it's a means to an end - well it isn't. It never will be. Inside the center my boys would be clean... and outside they'd be surrounded by the same rotten corruption and crime and criminals. Yes, yourself included. Criminals on all sides for my boys to look up to and revere... and respect and admire and imitate. What earthly good is it for me to teach that honesty is the best policy when all around they see that dishonesty is a better policy? That the hoodlum and the gangster is looked up to with the same respect as the successful businessman or the popular hero? You and the Fraziers and the Keefers and all the rest of those rotten politicians you've got in the palm of your hand. Yes, and you've got my boys, too. Whatever I teach them, you... you show me up. You show them the easiest way - the quickest way is with a racket or a gun.
Rocky Sullivan: Well, it's so, ain't it?
Father Jerry: Yes, it's so... God help us.

Laury Martin: Why are you hounding Rocky? Why are you trying to send him to prison for life? You can't do that to Rocky. I won't let you. It's not his fault, Father. He was just a kid who made a mistake and got sent to reform school. They made a criminal out of him. But he's not bad, not really bad. You know that. And whatever they've done to him, no matter what he is now, no matter whether he's right or wrong, we both love him Father.
Father Jerry: Yes, Laury we both love him. I've loved him since we were kids, six years old. We worked together, fought together, stole together. Oh, I'm not blaming Rocky for what he is today. But for the grace of God, there walk I. I'd do anything for him, Laury. Anything in the world to help him. I'd give my life if I thought it would do any good, but it wouldn't. You see Laury, there's all those other kids, hundreds of them, in the streets and bad environment, whom I don't want to see grow up like Rocky did. I can't sacrifice them for Rocky. You see, Laury, they have lives too. I can't throw them away. I can't.

Father Jerry: Rocky? Rocky?
Rocky Sullivan: What are you doing up here? Go on, get out of here! Beat it!
Father Jerry: I'm coming in, Rocky.
Rocky Sullivan: What's the matter with you? You want to get your skull full of lead? Get out of here! I thought you were smarter than trying to stick your kisser in a place like this.
Father Jerry: I couldn't stand by and watch them shoot you down, Rocky. They've got you covered from every angle. Your only chance is to give yourself up. You're through, Rocky. You're finished.
Rocky Sullivan: Yeah, I was until you stepped into it.
Father Jerry: We haven't got a lot of time. And I want to ask you one last favor.
Rocky Sullivan: There's not a lot left that I can do, kid.
Father Jerry: Yes, there is, Rocky. Perhaps more than you could do under any other circumstances. If you have the courage for it, and I know you have.
Rocky Sullivan: You mean, walking in there? That's not gonna take much.
Father Jerry: I know that, Rocky.
Rocky Sullivan: It's like a barber chair. And when they ask me "you got anything to say?". I'll say, "sure, give me a haircut, a shave, and a massage, with one of those nice new electric massages".


  • The saga of America's dirty faced kids... And the breaks that life won't give them!
  • Sensational Human Drama... Terrific Thrills And Suspense!
  • A Big Time Cast in a Big City Drama Destined to be the Biggest Hit in Years!


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