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This film was one of the top moneymakers of 1938. James Cagney was named best actor by the New York Film Critics and the National Board of Review, and received his first Academy Award nomination, losing to Spencer Tracy. Rowland Brown was nominated for an Oscar for Best Orginal Story and director Michael Curtiz also was nominated. According to Daily Variety, the film was censored by the Quebec censors and therefore did not screen in Montreal. Files from the MPPA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library note that the film was also rejected by censors in France, Jamaica, Denmark, Geneva, Poland, Finland, China and Norway. Modern sources note that live ammunition was used in the shootout scenes because the special effects that would simulate bursting bullets had not yet been perfected. Modern sources include Jack Perrin (Death Row guard), Bill Cohee, Lavel Lund, Norman Wallace, Gary Carthew and Bibby Mayer (Church basketball team), Poppy Wilde (Girl at gaming table), Frank Coghlan, Jr., David Durand, George Mori, Al Hill, and Thomas Jackson in the cast. In 1939, Warner Bros. produced a sequel, Angels Wash Their Faces. For more information on "The Dead End Kids" for Crime School and consult Series Index for entries under "The Dead End Kids," "The East Side Kids" and "The Little Tough Guys."