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Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 07:29:26 +0000 (GMT)
From: =?iso-8859-1?q?Nicholas=20Gevers?= 
Subject: (urth) Angels With Dirty Faces

I don't know if anyone has remarked on this before,
but Michael Curtiz's late-'30s crime thriller ANGELS
WITH DIRTY FACES, starring James Cagney and Humphrey
Bogart, may very well have been a primary inspiration
for the opening of THE BOOK OF THE LONG SUN. There's a
tall Catholic priest ministering to a
poverty-stricken, crime-ridden parish; in a prominent
scene, he plays basketball with the parish boys, to
whom he is also teacher and moral guide; gangsters
hover in the background, threatening (among many other
things) the priest's integrity and good moral example.
In particular, the basketball match becomes a symbolic
ground on which principles of fairness and honesty are
tested and perhaps broken...

Of course, the resemblance could be accidental.

--Nick Gevers.

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