Nisha Rathode

The Angels Wash Their Faces

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Director  Ray Enright
Prequel  Hells Kitchen
Language  English
6.1/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama, Romance
Sequel  On Dress Parade
The Angels Wash Their Faces movie poster
Writer  Michael Fessier, Niven Busch, Robert Buckner
Release date  August 26, 1939 (1939-08-26)
Cast  Ann Sheridan (Joy Ryan), Billy Halop (Billy Shafter), Bernard Punsly (Sleepy Arkelian (as Bernard Punsley)), Leo Gorcey (Leo Finnegan), Huntz Hall (Huntz), Gabriel Dell (Luigi)
Similar movies  Angels with Dirty Faces, Crime School, They Made Me a Criminal, Dead End, Dead End Kids On Dress Parade, Mob Town

The Angels Wash Their Faces is a 1939 Warner Bros. film starring Ronald Reagan and The Dead End Kids.


The Angels Wash Their Faces wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters4864p4864p


Gabe Ryan (Frankie Thomas) is released from reform school and it taken to a new house by his sister Joy (Ann Sheridan) to start a new life where no one knows of his past. However, Gabe immediately joins a local gang, the Beale Street Termites, where he meets up with William Kroner (Bernard Nedell), a local gangster. William accuses him of starting a fire at one of his properties, and Alfred Martino (Eduardo Ciannelli), the actual arsonist, uses this opportunity to frame Gabe for any fire. He decides to torch one of his apartment complexes so that he can collect the insurance money. Unfortunately, one of the kids, Sleepy (Bernard Punsly) is killed in the fire.

Patrick Remson (Ronald Reagan), the Assistant District Attorney, tries to prove Gabe's innocence. His motives are not only to prove Gabe's innocence, but also to get closer to his sister. Joy has devoted her life to helping Gabe and neglects her other interests, which was rallying against city government corruption, which pleases Martino. However, it is all for naught as Gabe is found guilty and sentenced to prison.

The other boys, led by Billy (Billy Halop), decide to do something to help Gabe. Billy runs for "boy mayor" and wins. He has Kroner arrested for a small infraction and sends him to jail. While there, Billy and the rest of the gang interrogate him and try to make him admit that Gabe is innocent. He does not cave in, that is until he is shown proof that his accomplices, Martino and the fire chief, are planning to skip the country. He confesses and Martino and the chief are arrested and sent to prison.


It was filmed under the title, The Battle of City Hall. It was changed to reference the title of the unrelated movie Angels with Dirty Faces.

The Dead End Kids

  • Billy Halop as Billy Shafter
  • Bobby Jordan as Bernie Smith
  • Leo Gorcey as Leo Finnegan
  • Gabriel Dell as Luigi Batteran
  • Huntz Hall as Huntz Gartman
  • Bernard Punsly as Luke 'Sleepy' Arkelian
  • Additional cast

  • Ronald Reagan as Patrick Remson
  • Ann Sheridan as Joy Ryan
  • Frankie Thomas as Gabe Ryan
  • Margaret Hamilton as Miss Hannaberry
  • Marjorie Main as Mrs. Arkelian
  • Grady Sutton as Gildersleeve (mayor's secretary)
  • William Hopper as Photographer (uncredited)
  • Home media

    The film was released on DVD by Warner Brothers on November 10, 2010.


    The Angels Wash Their Faces Wikipedia
    The Angels Wash Their Faces IMDbThe Angels Wash Their Faces

    Similar Topics
    Angels with Dirty Faces
    Crime School
    They Made Me a Criminal