MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,053 this week

The Public Enemy (1931)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  23 April 1931 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 10,483 users  
Reviews: 97 user | 60 critic

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director:

Writers:

(by), (by), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 07 Jan 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 31 May 2011
 
a list of 35 titles
created 04 Oct 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 30 Nov 2011
 
a list of 29 titles
created 06 Jan 2012
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Public Enemy (1931)

The Public Enemy (1931) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Public Enemy.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

'G' Men (1935)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

It's the early days of the F.B.I. - federal agents working for the Department of Justice. Though they've got limited powers - they don't carry weapons and have to get local police approval ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley
Stars: James Cagney, Margaret Lindsay, Ann Dvorak
Speed (1994)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young cop must prevent a bomb exploding aboard a city bus by keeping its speed above 50 mph.

Director: Jan de Bont
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock
Blue Steel (1989)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A female rookie in the police force engages in a cat and mouse game with a pistol wielding psychopath who becomes obsessed with her.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Ron Silver, Clancy Brown
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A jewel thief's daughter is kidnapped after he steals a collection of prized black diamonds, which aren't at all what they seem.

Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Stars: Jet Li, DMX, Mark Dacascos
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A drifting gunslinger-for-hire finds himself in the middle of an ongoing war between the Irish and Italian mafia in a Prohibition era ghost town.

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Bruce Willis, Bruce Dern, William Sanderson
Batman Begins (2005)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After training with his mentor, Batman begins his war on crime to free the crime-ridden Gotham City from corruption that the Scarecrow and the League of Shadows have cast upon it.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Ken Watanabe
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A man and his son search for a stolen bicycle vital for his job.

Director: Vittorio De Sica
Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A man refuses to conform to life in a rural prison.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin
Sweet Sixteen I (2002)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Determined to have a normal family life once his mother gets out of prison, a Scottish teenager from a tough background sets out to raise the money for a home.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Martin Compston, Michelle Coulter, Annmarie Fulton
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover.

Director: Robert Clouse
Stars: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

At Helge's 60th birthday party, some unpleasant family truths are revealed.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Stars: Ulrich Thomsen, Henning Moritzen, Thomas Bo Larsen
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Edward Woods ...
...
Donald Cook ...
Leslie Fenton ...
Beryl Mercer ...
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Paddy Ryan (as Robert O'Connor)
Murray Kinnell ...
Edit

Storyline

Tom Powers and Matt Doyle are best friends and fellow gangsters, their lives frowned upon by Tom's straight laced brother, Mike, and Matt's straight laced sister, Molly. From their teen-aged years into young adulthood, Tom and Matt have an increasingly lucrative life, bootlegging during the Prohibition era. But Tom in particular becomes more and more brazen in what he is willing to do, and becomes more obstinate and violent against those who either disagree with him or cross him. When one of their colleagues dies in a freak accident, a rival bootlegging faction senses weakness among Tom and Matt's gang, which is led by Paddy Ryan. A gang war ensues, resulting in Paddy suggesting that Tom and Matt lay low. But because of Tom's basic nature, he decides instead to take matters into his own hands. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 April 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beer and Blood  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Brunswick Radios Used Exclusively)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Edward Woods was originally hired for the lead role of Tom Powers and James Cagney was hired to play Matt Doyle, his friend. However, once director William A. Wellman got to know both of them and saw Cagney in rehearsals, he realized that Cagney would be far more effective in the star role than Woods, so he switched them. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, Tom Powers is hiding by the stairs, waiting in the rain for his enemies. After they arrive, Tom stands up and his hat is straight on his head, the next view of him has the hat cocked to one side, then the following view shows the hat straight again. See more »

Quotes

Tom Powers: [Tom shuffles to the breakfast table in his pajamas. He's just finished a demanding call with Nails Nathan] Ain't you got a drink in the house?
Kitty: Well, not before breakfast, dear.
Tom Powers: [immediately annoyed] ... I didn't ask you for any lip. I asked you if you had a drink.
Kitty: [sheepishly] I know Tom, but I, I wish that...
Tom Powers: ...there you go with that wishin' stuff again. I wish you was a wishing well. So that I could tie a bucket to ya and sink ya.
Kitty: Well, maybe you've found someone you like better.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in A School Story (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Hesitation Blues
(1915) (uncredited)
Music by Billy Smythe, Scott Middleton and Art Gillham
Played on the piano and sung twice by Murray Kinnell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Tom's coming home
16 March 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I think this is a great James Cagney movie and a great gangster movie. Scarface and Little Caesar were based on Al Capone, but this one takes a new turn. This time the movie's about the North Siders. It is the Irish mob. This movie, I just realized is based loosely on Dion O'Banion. There is only one scene I could think of that was an event in O'Banion's life. The scene with the horse. You'll see what I mean when you see the movie. This movie doesn't go into as much detail with real events as Scarface, but it doesn't matter because everything is perfect. The movie also unintentionally glorifies gangsters again. These characters become guys you like. Especially Cagney's character Tom Powers. I guess that's why there is that introduction at the beginning and even in the end so you don't end up liking them. Nice try censors. I loved the different relationships. Tom's friendship with Matt, his brother, his mother, his first girlfriend that gets a grapefruit in the face (I can never forget that one) and his second girl Jean Harlowe. My favorite part is probably the part where he goes inside a building to take on the Burke mob with two guns. When he gets out you hear screams from inside and Cagney, who is wounded, utters the famous lines, "I ain't so tough." This movie is just perfect. Another scene I never forget is the final scene. I'll call it Tom's Coming Home. After I saw the final scene I was just speechless. I couldn't believe my eyes. It will shock you. A terrible thing happens, but like they say in the very end, The public enemy is neither a man nor a character, but a problem that we the public must solve. It's almost like they try to convince you that what happened was good. Be sure to see this classic. You won't be disappointed. After renting this movie I like it so much I'm going out to buy it.


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Bad Acting WardenGordonBorden
Does anyone feel sorry for Putty Nose when Tom kills him? mlraymond
what if this movie was remade? infamousdave886
What was the last thing James Cagney Said?? mikehunt620
Clockwork Orange steals a scene! KubricksSeal
No dvd of this one? feilertsen
Discuss The Public Enemy (1931) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page