Angels With Dirty Faces
By the time this film hit screens in 1938, James Cagney had already become famous for playing bad dudes (cemented with his performance in 1931's The Public Enemy). Cagney and Pat O'Brien star as childhood friends Rocky Sullivan and Jerry Connolly, who grew up to take very different paths. Rocky turns to a life of crime while Jerry becomes a parish priest determined to keep kids away from the likes of Rocky. The film's iconic ending is filled with ambiguity--does Cagney's character repent just before death or no?--and is a showcase of Cagney's true screen presence.