In an episode last Tuesday, titled “Occupy Hollywood,” critic Garen Daley was interviewed by Callie Crossley on NPR about “the history of social movements through American cinema.” I’d like to listen to the episode again, but I wonder about some of his choices. Talking about Angels with Dirty Faces, which at one time was my absolute favorite old-time movie, Daley claims that what made the story acceptable to an audience, as a film with a good message, was the happy ending. My recollection is that the final scene of Angels with Dirty Faces has James Cagney being executed, in the electric chair. That doesn’t seem like a happy ending. I suppose what he has in mind is the fact that Cagney goes out, not defying death and Society, but crying for his mother and asking whoever’s out there listening for forgiveness—not because he really repented, arguably, but because he wants the Dead End Kids listening, who look up to him, to abandon their own lives of crime. That moment is, assuredly, a heartwarming one, which affirms the meaning of the film for the audience leaving the theater. But to call it, not even tragic, but “happy,” to me seems peculiar.