jueves, septiembre 11, 2014

Angels with dirty faces

USA (1938)

Rocky Sullivan is a young delinquent who shares his “misdeeds” with Jerry Connolly. Finally, Rocky is arrested and his life changes dramatically. The boy is in several reform schools where learns the worst tricks to survive. After a few years, the young Sullivan becomes an adult, and the delinquent will be a criminal. On the contrary, Rocky's best friend, Jerry, changes his life to try to help youngsters. The “adult Jerry” will be Father Connolly. Indeed he is a priest in a dangerous neighbourhood. Jerry knows Rocky's story and his goal is to avoid that boys will be lawbreakers in the future. However, when Rocky visits his former home, he wants to help young people with money. Due to this, Mr. Sullivan is a hero in his district and everybody forgets that he is a gangster. Everything is great in Rocky's life until he is arrested by the police. In that situation, Jerry will ask Rocky for the biggest favour for an arrogant assassin.

Today we have on Piniculas a masterpiece filmed in 1938. It is a classic film-noir movie directed by Michael Curtiz. However, Angels with Dirty faces is really a drama where the characters “plays” constantly with their roles. A fantastic James Cagney, sometimes is a God and sometimes a Devil. On the other hand, the brilliant Pat O'Brien will trick spectators and they will not know if he is the best friend or the worst traitor. This controversy is one of the strengths of the film. Like in a monologue, Rocky “opens” his soul to show the darkest feelings of human beings. With him, a gang of criminals led by a unrecognisable Humphrey Bogart as a bad boy. On the other hand, Jerry, Laury and the youngsters are victims in cruel world that just thinks in money, power and ambition. However, there are most important values than material things, and the stars O'Brien and Cagney, will show them.

Mark: 9.1

To Remember: Characters are very complex. James Cagney is a goddamn hero.
To Forget: The ending is too quick (it is very common for 30's movies)

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