“keep the change, you filthy animal.”
is the sarcastic final line of an iconic scene, etched in the minds of countless “home alone” fans as a classic, quotable moment in a movie full of them.
And yet, when fans really go looking for “Angels With Filthy Souls,” the depression-era gangster flick that Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin) pops up on his VCR while he’s, remember, alone at home, are attacked? with the sudden realization: the movie never actually existed.
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instead, the movie within a movie was created specifically for home alone. The 80-second clip was shot inside an abandoned high school in the early 1990s, early in the film’s production, as Vanity Fair reported in 2015. Venetian blinds were added to give the scene its trademark film noir feel.
However, the fake movie was heavily inspired by a real movie: “Angels with Dirty Faces,” a 1938 crime thriller with a cast that included James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and Pat O’Brien.
Cagney stars as Rocky Sullivan, a New York City thief who takes the blame for an attempted armed robbery in exchange for $100,000 and not ratting out his co-conspirator Jim Frazier, played by Bogart. But once he is released from prison, Sullivan has a hard time collecting Frazier’s money (a payment Frazier has no plans to make), which he quickly confronts the two gangsters.
“Angels with Dirty Faces” was praised by the New York Times after its debut, saying that Cagney was “at his best” in his role as the “swaggering little troublemaker” that Sullivan was. “The film moves quickly, overcoming the familiarity of the ground it is covering with its surprising plot twists and characters, and emerges as one of the most colorful and dramatic crime studies of this year,” the newspaper added.
The film has retained its status as a seminal work in the history of the genre, with Empire magazine declaring it “a true Cagney gangster classic” in 2006.
you can watch the full movie, which has been posted on youtube, below:
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Of course, if you’re not a movie buff or a huge fan of movies from 80 years ago, you may have missed the clear homage of “home alone”.
My entire childhood, I thought that the old movie Kevin watches home alone (Angels with Dirty Souls) was actually an old movie.
— seth rogen (@sethrogen) December 25, 2018
seth rogen said in a tweet on tuesday that he had long believed the scene came from a real movie, tweeting to his 7.79 million followers on Tuesday that he thought “dirty souls” was authentic from his “childhood entire”.
in the “home alone” version of “angels with dirty souls”, ralph foody played johnny, the ill-tempered thief who decides to riddle snakes, played by michael guido, with bullets after asking for his “dough”. Fans will remember that Mccallister used the sound of gunshots and Johnny’s maniacal laughter to scare off Marv, the bumbling thief played by Daniel Stern.
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The scene was an instant hit and has remained a distinct scene from the Christmas movie nearly 30 years later.
“I was stopped in the street by kids yelling ‘snakes!’ and then proceeded to do a dialogue of the scene in front of me. It was wild. This went on for several years,” Guido told Vanity Fair.
However, recreating the 1930s setting of Cagney’s film proved difficult. director chris columbus told ew in 2015 that “angels with even dirtier souls,” appearing in “home alone 2: lost in new york,” was “probably the hardest part of shooting” because “it’s not easy recreate the look and sound of those movies.”
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columbus continued: “luckily, i’m obsessed with movies, so i’ve seen so many that it was hard work to get it right. and we also had to find actors who felt like they were living in that particular time period, which was kind of interesting. people looked a little different back then. I don’t know, maybe it was the camera, but we had to find actors who looked like they existed in the ’40s.”
If you missed your chance to see “Home Alone” this holiday season, here’s the clip for “Angels With Filthy Souls”: