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>
While drinking in the bar, Billie comments that John Dillinger looks like Douglas Fairbanks. While Dillinger looks nothing like Fairbanks, it is a reference to Dillinger's admiration of Fairbanks. In real life, Dillinger, a movie buff, loved Fairbanks in The Mark of Zorro (1920) and its sequels. In the films one of Fairbanks's stunts was to leap over mesa walls. Dillinger supposedly loved the stunt so much that in early robberies, Dillinger used to vault over teller cages, imitating Fairbanks's moves from the movies. See more »
Some of the peripheral male actors in the film do not have their hair cut in 1930s fashion (close cropped on on the sides and back and short or fully cut sideburns). One instance is with the gray-haired man helping to escort Dillinger into the Crown Point Jail. He has long sideburns. See more »
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 »
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 »
My review might be a little biased because I love Warren Oates and will watch anything he appears in (including obscure movies like 92 In the Shade). However, I'd like to say that this is a very well-made gangster flick that rivals Bonnie & Clyde in entertainment value. I actually prefer the action sequences in Dillinger to the famous ones from Bonnie & Clyde because they seem rougher, more natural and less self-conscious. The shooting sequences in Bonnie & Clyde seem too choreographed and slightly pretentious in comparison. Another selling point for Dillinger is that it contains wonderful performances by Oates and Ben Johnson. Actually, Ben Johnson almost steals the show as "G Man" Melvin Purvis. Even though they only have 1.5 scenes together, Oates and Johnson complement each other nicely here.
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