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Melvin Purvis G-MAN (1974)

Not Rated | | Action, Biography, Crime | TV Movie 9 April 1974
Agent Melvin Purvis is placed in charge of running down notorious killer Machine Gun Kelly, and sets out to do just that.


Dan Curtis


John Milius (story), John Milius (teleplay) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dale Robertson ... Melvin Purvis
Harris Yulin ... George 'Machine Gun' Kelly
Dick Sargent ... Thatcher Covington
Margaret Blye ... 'Kate' Katherine Ryan-Kelly
Matt Clark ... Charles 'Charlie' Parlmetter
David Canary ... 'Gene' Eugene T. Farber
Elliott Street ... Thomas 'Buckwheat' Longaker
John Karlen ... 'Tony' Anthony Redecci
Steve Kanaly ... Sam Cowley
Woodrow Parfrey ... Nash Covington
Jim Hill Jim Hill ... 'Jim' J. D. Longaker
Don Megowan ... Hamburger Stand Man
Hank Rolike ... Shoe Shine Man
Eddie Quillan ... Hotel Clerk
Max Kleven Max Kleven ... Purvis' Driver


Agent Melvin Purvis is placed in charge of running down notorious killer Machine Gun Kelly, and sets out to do just that.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A speeding car chase through the tommy-gun '30s


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

9 April 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

G-Man See more »

Filming Locations:

Lockeford, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Steve Kanaly, who plays FBI Agent Sam Cowley in this film, played "Pretty Boy" Floyd in Dillinger (1973). Both films were written by John Milius (he also directed "Dillinger"). See more »


When the gang members stop for fuel, while driving the Rolls Royce, the gas pump says "Contains Lead". Though required at the time of the production 1970s, this warning was not in an existence during the film's time period of the 1930s. See more »


Followed by The Kansas City Massacre (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Bringing down the legendary figures of crime
7 January 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Right around the time that the carefully built image of the FBI by its former director J. Edgar Hoover was falling apart in those days of Watergate some films recalling the glory days of the FBI were made and made about Melvin Purvis who was known for bringing in and bringing down some of the legendary figures of crime. Dale Robertson plays the title role and his target in this film is George 'Machine Gun' Kelly.

As is pointed out in the film and in real life Kelly was really a small time hood who decided to step up in class. His wife and manager Margaret Blye decided to go for some really big bucks and she and the gang they assembled decide to go for kidnapping. Since the Lindbergh baby kidnapping this was a fear among any who had a few dollars in those Depression years. Harris Yulin as Kelly, Blye and the rest break into a swank dinner party and kidnap Thatcher Covington. That name reeks of old money and he's played by Dick Sargent.

Sargent and Blye really stand out. Blye is tough and shrewd and she probably married beneath her. Yulin is really nothing without her, he wouldn't know who or where to shoot those choppers if she didn't tell him how.

As for Sargent the words rich airhead comes to mind. It's true that in real life Covington would not aid the FBI in their search for the kidnappers unless he was allowed in on the hunt. Truly if the gang had killed he would have been no loss. You have to see a crackling coda scene at the end of the film with him and Blye. Even in custody she really reduces him to the idiot he is.

Melvin Purvis G-Man is a good retelling of the Machine Gun Kelly apprehension and Kelly did in fact coin the phrase G-Man to denote the FBI agents.

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