Re-envisioning 'Angels' as the Devil Gets His Due. April 3, 2009


Invited Lectures ; A talk that reflects back upon, so to widen the lens and raise the stakes, of my account of Michael Curtis's "Angels with Dirty Faces": "The mere facts of the film's visually acute sexual dexterity, its incarnational ethos of Christianity in the street, its insistence everywhere you turn on a utopianness of both/and rather than either/or, reminds us to look closer, to think more deeply, to entertain the imp of the Pagan Catholic Other in the otherwise Protestant-Catholic obvious. I wonder if Angels--redressing the sentimental concerns of the original chick flicks in the violence and masculine warmth of the buddy film--is not in the final a special turn-on for women, which would mean, if I am right, that the homosocial masculinity it venerates--for all its appropriation and occlusion of the female--counts for its salvific force as a movie on the effect upon women of male-male magnetism, especially when in the final analysis that magnetism operates under the providential sign--as Rocky reminds us--of the redeeming mother."

Service Performed By


  • April 3, 2009

Location or Venue

  • Cushwa Center, University of Notre Dame