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Dead End Kids: New York Crime Films 1915–1948

Dates: Friday, October 14, 2005, 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, October 15, 2005, 4:00 and 7:30 p.m.
Location: Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium
Admission: Free; reservations required.

Complementing the exhibition Scene of the Crime: Photo by Weegee, this series screens four film classics that turn a photographer's eye on crime and punishment on the streets of New York City.

The series is presented in partnership with the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Regeneration and Dead End (double feature)

Angels with Dirty Faces

Naked City

Regeneration still

Regeneration and Dead End (double feature)
Friday, October 14, 7:30 p.m.

(1915, Raoul Walsh, 72 min.)

A landmark silent film, this gangster melodrama was the riveting feature film debut of Raoul Walsh (High Sierra, White Heat). An orphan is taken in by abusive neighbors and becomes a successful Bowery hoodlum. His love for a beautiful woman helps to redeem him, but villainy catches up once again, and he must decide whether to abide by the criminal codes of honor.

Presented with live piano accompaniment by Michael Mortilla.

Dead End
(1937, William Wyler, 93 min.)

A vivid social protest, Dead End chronicles the lives of people struggling with the devastating effects of the Depression. It centers on members of the Dead End Kids gang, who are drawn to crime even as better influences try to save them from the steets. Director William Wyler (The Letter, Roman Holiday, Ben-Hur) spurred all the actors to memorable performances.

Dead End still

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Angels with Dirty Faces
Saturday, October 15, 4:00 p.m.

(1938, Michael Curtiz, 97 min.)

Potboiler gangster drama meets social issue film in Angels with Dirty Faces, featuring a tour-de-force performance by James Cagney. Two childhood buddies from Hells Kitchen part ways when one is sent to reform school for petty crime. Reunited years later, the two men—one now a priest, the other a gangster—face off over the fate of the local street kids.

Angels with Dirty Faces still

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The Naked City
Saturday, October 15, 7:30 p.m.

(1948, Jules Dassin, 96 min.)

Universal purchased the title of Weegee's book Naked City for this film and hired him as a technical advisor. Jules Dassin used 107 New York City locations to tell the tale of a murder investigation over the course of a hot summer's week in the city. This gritty, brutal drama helped to create the archetype for all the realistic police films and television shows that followed.

Naked City still

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The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive in Los Angeles, California, approximately 12 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for maps and driving directions.

All images courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.