The Lower East Side is introduced along with Frankie Burke ('Rocky'), William Tracey ('Jerry') and Marilyn Knowlden ('Laury') who'll grow up to be James Cagney, Pat O'Brien and Ann Sheridan in Angels With Dirty Faces, 1938.
Opening title credits for Angels With Dirty Faces, 1938, starring James Cagney, Pat O'Brien and Ann Sheridan, directed by Michael Curtiz from an original story by Rowland Brown.
Rocky (James Cagney) pays particular attention to Soapy (Billy Halop) and Bim (Leo Gorcey) when he drops in to collect his stash from the kids (including Huntz Hall, Bernard Punsley et al) in Angels With Dirty Faces, 1938.
Rocky (James Cagney) brings Laury (Ann Sheridan) to a fancy club owned by Frazier (Humphrey Bogart) and Keefer (George Bancroft) whereupon he hustles himself some ownership in Angels With Dirty Faces, 1938.
Rocky Sullivan (James Cagney) returns to the neighborhood after a 15-year stint to find pal Jerry (Pat O'Brien) conducting the choir in an early scene from Angels With Dirty Faces, 1938.
Father Jerry (Pat O'Brien) intervenes when the cops have gangster Rocky (James Cagney) holed up in a warehouse in the Hal B. Wallis production Angels With Dirty Faces, 1938.
Rocky Sullivan (James Cagney) and Jerry Connolly (Pat O'Brien) are childhood friends who robbed a railroad car as kids. Rocky saved Jerry's life during the chase by pulling him out of the way of a steam train while running from the guards that saw them. Rocky was then caught by the police, but Jerry - who could run faster - escaped. Rocky, after being sent to reform school, grows up to become a notorious gangster, while Jerry has become a priest.
Rocky returns to his old neighborhood, where Jerry is running a home that intends to keep young boys away from a life of crime. Six of those boys, Soapy (Billy Halop), Swing (Bobby Jordan), Bim (Leo Gorcey), Patsy (Gabriel Dell), Crabface (Huntz Hall), and Hunky (Bernard Punsly), idolize Rocky, and Jerry attempts to keep his former friend from corrupting them. (These boys were to star in Dead End Kids/East Side Kids/The Bowery Boys films).
Meanwhile Rocky gets involved with Frazier (Humphrey Bogart), a crooked lawyer, and Keefer (George Bancroft), a shady businessman and municipal contractor. They try to dispose of Rocky, but he finds the record book that they keep where they list the bribes to city officials. Jerry learns of these events and warns Rocky to leave before he informs the authorities. Rocky ignores his advice and Jerry gets the public's attention and informs them all of the crooked government, causing Frazier and Keefer to plot to kill him. Rocky overhears this plot and kills them to protect his childhood friend.
Rocky is then captured following an elaborate shootout in a building, and sentenced to die. Jerry visits him just before his execution and asks him to do him one last favor - to die pretending to be a screaming, snivelling coward, which would end the boys' idolization of him. Rocky refuses, and insists he will be 'tough' to the end, and not give up the one thing he has left, his pride. At the very last moment he appears to change his mind and has to be dragged to the elect
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