Michael Curtiz (CASABLANCA) directs James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and Pat O'Brien in one of the greatest gangster melodramas made during the Hollywood studio era. William "Rocky" Sullivan (Cagney) and Jerry Connolly (O'Brien), partners in mischief as boys, are separated when only Jerry is fast enough to get away from the cops after the duo steals fountain pens from a railroad car. Rocky, refusing to give the name of his friend, is sent off to a reform school where he falls under the influence of criminal elements. The grown-up Rocky's triumphant return to the neighborhood complicates the efforts of Jerry, now a parish priest, to keep a local group of boys (the Dead End Kids) out of trouble. When the gang begins to idolize Rocky, Connolly fears his good works may come to nothing. Meanwhile, Rocky vies for control of the criminal rackets in the neighborhood with mob boss Mac Keefer (George Bancroft) and a corrupt, double-crossing lawyer, James Frazier (Bogart).Curtiz's taut, suspenseful, yet suprisingly sensitive handling of the gritty urban morality play turned ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES into the first unqualified masterpiece of his stunningly prolific career. The archetypal gangster thriller, brimming with the magnetism and explosive dramatic energy supplied by the three male leads, was nominated for three Academy Award Nominations: Best Director, Best Actor (Cagney), and Best Original Story.