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Public Enemies (2009)

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The Feds try to take down notorious American gangsters John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd during a booming crime wave in the 1930s.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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1 win & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Melvin Purvis
... Charles Makley
... 'Red' Hamilton
... John Dillinger
... Baby Face Nelson
... Harry 'Pete' Pierpont
... Turnkey
... Homer Van Meter
Michael Vieau ... Ed Shouse
John Kishline ... Guard Dainard
... Carol Slayman
... Walter Dietrich
... Alvin Karpis
... Jim Leslie
John Scherp ... Earl Adams
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Storyline

The difficult 1930s is a time of robbers who knock over banks and other rich targets with alarming frequency. Of them, none is more notorious than John Dillinger, whose gang plies its trade with cunning efficiency against big businesses while leaving ordinary citizens alone. As Dillinger becomes a folk hero, FBI head J. Edger Hoover is determined to stop his ilk by assigning ace agent Melvin Purvis to hunt down Dillinger. As Purvis struggles with the manhunt's realities, Dillinger himself faces an ominous future with the loss of friends, dwindling options and a changing world of organized crime with no room for him. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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America's Most Wanted


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for gangster violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

1 July 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Enemigos públicos  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,271,675, 5 July 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$97,104,620, 28 July 2012

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$214,104,620, 28 July 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As a result of the writers' strike, Michael Mann was able to cast Johnny Depp and Marion Cotillard once their respective projects had been postponed. Depp was preparing to film Shantaram with Mira Nair while Cotillard was rehearsing for Rob Marshall's musical, Nine (2009). See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, soon after the Racine robbery, November 20, 1933, a radio announcer is heard referring to John Dillinger as Public Enemy No. 1. Dillinger wasn't named Public Enemy No. 1 until June 22, 1934, his 31st birthday. See more »

Quotes

Billie Frechette: [to the policeman who has been beating her] When my Johnny finds out how you slapped around his girl, you know what's going to happen to you, fat boy?
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Crazy Credits

The title of the movie is not shown until the end credits. See more »

Connections

Version of Dillinger (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballroom Bounce
(2009)
Written by Kevin Kaska
Performed by The Bruce Fowler Big Band
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Well-Made Cinematically, But Shallow
3 July 2009 | by See all my reviews

Who was John Dillinger? We all know he was a flamboyant criminal who robbed banks, but who WAS he? The question of who Dillinger WAS is far more interesting than the question of what Dillinger DID, but this film, sadly, chose only to concentrate seriously on the latter and gave up almost immediately on the former.

This film goes out of its way--with a poor grasp of history's time-line, by the way--to show us what Dillinger did and who he hung around with, but it does next to nothing to explore who Dillinger was as a person or even as a criminal. It hints that Dillinger might be a passionate lover and loyal friend, but shows us little evidence aside from a few thrown-together seduction scenes (which make his girlfriend/heroine look like a dim-witted pushover) and an awkward love scene.

Even Dillinger's foil, Melvin Purvis, is a mystery in Mann's hands. Did he care about justice at all, or was he just a fascist on a personal crusade? Was he competent in the least or was he just a bumbling idiot? Squinty-eyed stares can only convey so much, after all.

Michael Mann seems to be in a terrible hurry to tell this story, as he is stuck between the rock of having to relate a relatively complete "crime-ography" of a notorious American gangster and the hard place of keeping the movie shorter than 2 1/2 hours.

As a result, a beautifully shot and edited movie that had a lot of promise ends up little more than a dumb, shoot-'em-up action movie wearing the fedora of "historical romance." Good for a date, but not a serious film.

Grade: C+. Things to look for: Mann's ham-handed and laughably obvious political commentary on the use of torture about 2/3 of the way through the movie; psychotically trigger-happy Baby Face Nelson well-played by Stephen Graham; cool old products (Zenth radio); great fashion sense.


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