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Dillinger (1973)

John Dillinger and his gang go on a bank robbing spree across the midwest, but one G-Man is determined to bring him down.


John Milius


John Milius
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Warren Oates ... John Dillinger
Ben Johnson ... Melvin Purvis
Michelle Phillips ... Billie Frechette
Cloris Leachman ... Anna Sage
Harry Dean Stanton ... Homer Van Meter
Geoffrey Lewis ... Harry Pierpont
John P. Ryan ... Charles Mackley (as John Ryan)
Richard Dreyfuss ... Baby Face Nelson
Steve Kanaly ... Pretty Boy Floyd
John Martino ... Eddie Martin
Roy Jenson ... Samuel Cowley
Read Morgan ... Big Jim Wollard
Frank McRae ... Reed Youngblood


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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The private life of a public enemy. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Feature film directorial debut of John Milius. See more »


When Billie Frechette is covering Dillinger's escape from the Little Bohemia lodge, her weapon changes from a Tommy gun to a BAR 1918. See more »


John Dillinger: Now get over there behind that wheel before I kill ya.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the closing credits a verbal renouncing of gangster films written by FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover is heard: he was scheduled to read it for the film, but died before it started production. Hoover's text is read at the film's close by voice actor (Paul Frees) decrying the film and calling it a source of corruption for children. See more »

Alternate Versions

Two different versions with different main title music exist_ The original version features the song "We're in the Money" being played while snap shots of homeless and poor people are shown on the screen. The alternate version has the same visuals but with a simpler instrumental cue (called "Theme from Dillinger" on the soundtrack LP). See more »


Version of Dillinger (1945) See more »


Happy Days Are Here Again
Music by Milton Ager
Played after Dillinger's capture
See more »

User Reviews

Another Good Dillinger Movie, With A Reservation
3 April 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

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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English | Spanish

Release Date:

8 November 1973 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Dillinger See more »


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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