18 ”Angels With Dirty Faces“ from In Conversation with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]

18 ”Angels With Dirty Faces“ from In Conversation with Dr. Rosanne Welch [Video]


Host: What are your what’s your favorite Jimmy Cagney movie if you have one?

Rosanne: Oh gosh I like angels and actually have my students watch “Angels With Dirty Faces” because it’s such a very perfect movie from that period right? It’s him and Pat O’Brien. He’s the gangster who’s about to go to the death you know to to to be executed and Pat O’Brien is a priest and the beginning of that movie is their two little boys – two young boys – who are robbing a train like you know stealing pencils or something and they the cops see him and they start running and the cops catch Jimmy Cagney but they don’t catch Pat O’Brien’s character and of course the concept is he goes to juvenile hall he learns how to be a bigger criminal whereas the other guy gets to go and become a priest and so it’s the perfect like I mean it’s funny because it seems cheesy but in fact it’s really about the fact that it’s about nurturing right and and how we should take children and give them better things so they want to be they can be better in life and then there’s a great ending that no one’s ever sure and it’s wonderful when the ending makes the audience think because the priest goes to his friend on the eve of his execution because there’s a bunch of boys in the neighborhood who think he’s cool and the priest is like oh no they’ll grow up to be like him and not like me. So it goes to his friend and he says you gotta do something that keeps them from making a martyr out of you and he’s like I’m never gonna do that. I’m strong and brave and everything and then they come to take him to the electric chair and he falls apart and you never know is he really just not he’s a coward he’s scared to death of dying or is he doing his priest friend a favor.

Host: Yeah i think it’s a very powerful movie.

One of the benefits of attending conferences is that you can meet the editors from the companies that have published some of your books face to face. That happened at the recent SCMS conference where I met Intellect editor James Campbell and he invited me to be a guest on his InstagramLive show.

We chatted about my work with the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting, and then my work with co-editor Rose Ferrell on the Journal of Screenwriting’s special issue on Women in Screenwriting (Volume 11, Number 3) that came out recently and which featured articles about an international set of female screenwriters from Syria, Argentina, China and Canada (to name a few).

We even had time to nerd out on our own favorite classic films across the eras which brought up fun memories of Angels with Dirty Faces, Back to the Future, Bonnie and Clyde, and of course, all things Star Wars from the original 3 to The Mandalorian. It’s always so fun to talk to fellow cinephiles.

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Watch this entire presentation


With Intellect Books Editor James Campbell (@IntellectBooks)

Speaking with Dr. Rosanne Welch, Author, teacher, and television screenwriter. Today we cover everything from women in screenwriting to our favorite Jimmy Cagney movies and Friends.

Journal of Screenwriting Cover

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