This is the story of the last few years of the notorious bank robber John Dillinger. He loved what he did and could imagine little else that would make him happier. Living openly in 1930s Chicago, he had the run of the city with little fear of reprisals from the authorities. It's there that he meets Billie Frechette with whom he falls deeply in love. In parallel we meet Melvin Purvis, the FBI agent who would eventually track Dillinger down. The FBI was is in its early days and Director J. Edgar Hoover was keen to promote the clean cut image that so dominated the organization through his lifetime. Purvis realizes that if he is going to get Dillinger, he will have to use street tactics and imports appropriate men with police training. Dillinger is eventually betrayed by an acquaintance who tells the authorities just where to find him on a given night. Written by
When Melvin Purvis shoots down Pretty Boy Floyd, he asks Floyd for info on the whereabouts of Harry Campbell. In reality, Floyd was never associated with Campbell who robbed banks with Alvin Carpis and "Ma" Barker's sons. The reason for this question may've been to simplify the narrative of the story. In real life, "Pretty Boy" Floyd was wanted by the FBI for his alleged part in the "Kansas City Massacre" on June 17th, 1933 in which an FBI agent, two Kansas policemen, a retired Oklahoma sheriff, and their captive Frank "Jelly" Nash, were ambushed and killed. This was the crime that set into motion the rise of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI and the start of the "War On Crime". Since this fact would (or could) possibly make the story on film more convoluted, the film makers instead have Purvis question Floyd about Campbell rather than the massacre as he did in real life. See more »
The film portrays John Dillinger driving away from the Crown Point jail in Sheriff Holley's Ford V8. Deputy Sheriff Ernest Blunk was the actual driver in the escape. Dillinger got behind the wheel only after Blunk and Saager were set free outside of Peotone, Illinois. See more »
I was raised on a farm in Moooresville, Indiana. My mama died when I was three, my daddy beat the hell out of me cause he didn't know no better way to raise me. I like baseball, movies, good clothes, fast cars, whiskey, and you... what else you need to know?
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The title of the movie is not shown until the end credits. See more »
Whenever a Michael Mann movie comes out, I am besieged by expectations. This is one director whose style I seem to consistently like. The Insider, Heat, Collateral, The Last of the Mohicans, and yes.. I LOVED Miami Vice the movie (despite the many negative reviews it seemed to have got). So, when Public Enemies came out, and seeing Mann team up with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, I knew I could not miss this. However, probably because of the high standards he has set for himself, I was a little disappointed with this.
The story is about a gangster bank robber, John Dillinger(Johnny Depp), back in the '30's, who pulled off a couple of daring heists and prison breaks. He was generally considered a hero among the public, as this was during the years of the great depression and Dillinger was seen as someone who steals from the rich man. A fledging FBI, led by the peerless J. Edgar Hoover, decide to hunt him down so that they can grow the organization, and name him Public Enemy Number 1. Melvin Purvis(Christian Bale) is assigned the task of leading this group of agents.
Johnny Depp is as usual great, but you get a feeling he would have been even better if the script had given enough scope to explore the character of Dillinger. The same goes with his love interest, played by Marillon Cotillard. Again, a wonderful actress, but at times the love story seemed forced into the story. Despite this, they have great chemistry.
Which brings me to Christian Bale. This is an actor who has so much more to offer than the half baked roles he has been getting this year. You get a feeling this year that he is being offered big movies which don't give him a character he can bite his teeth into. First there was Terminator Salvation, and now this. In both, his character never really seemed into the movie as compared to the others. I'm waiting to see a movie again where he will assert himself.
Despite the flaws, this is still a good movie from Mann. Just don't go in expecting it to out do his best.
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