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After a shoot-out kills five FBI agents in Kansas City the Bureau target John Dillinger as one of the men to hunt down. Waiting for him to break Federal law they sort out several other mobsters, while Dillinger's bank robbing exploits make him something of a folk hero. Escaping from jail he finds Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson have joined the gang and pretty soon he is Public Enemy Number One. Now the G-men really are after him. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
Harry Pierpont is called Harry Pierpoint by several characters. See more »
You have a nice smile, too, miss. I'd like to withdraw my entire account
Your entire account?
That's right... the whole thing
And your name?
John. John Dillinger.
[pulls a pistol]
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After the closing credits a voice (Paul Frees) can be heard decrying the film and calling it a source of corruption for children. See more »
Like his predecessor in this role (Lawrence Tierney), this John Dillinger - Warren Oates - also looks the part. Oates is a rough-looking ugly mug and convincing in the lead role. Speaking of mugs, also included in this gangster flick are a few other criminals of the era: Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd.
Ben Johnson, meanwhile, is interesting as Melvin Purvis, the FBI who tracks down the famous Public Enemy Number One. Johnson also narrates in part of the film.
Oates does a fine job of playing Dillinger. Unfortunately - remember this is the '70s, a decade in which the "anti-hero" was a full bloom - the film tends to make this crook into a sympathetic figure. The screenwriters tell us, "Hey, folks, see this criminal really wasn't a bad guy! Gve him some slack!" Yeah, right.
A few minor acting notes: Cloris Leachman gets third billing, but only has a small role at the end as the famous "Lady In Red." Michelle Phillips, who made a name for herself as a member of the Mamas and Papas singing group, did a nice job of acting, better than I would have expected.
I have seen three versions of "Dillinger" and all of them are good, including this one.
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