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Public Enemies (2009)

2:33 | Trailer
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.


Michael Mann


Ronan Bennett (screenplay), Michael Mann (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1,534 ( 481)
1 win & 14 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Bale ... Melvin Purvis
Christian Stolte ... Charles Makley
Jason Clarke ... 'Red' Hamilton
Johnny Depp ... John Dillinger
Stephen Graham ... Baby Face Nelson
David Wenham ... Harry 'Pete' Pierpont
John Judd ... Turnkey
Stephen Dorff ... Homer Van Meter
Michael Vieau Michael Vieau ... Ed Shouse
John Kishline John Kishline ... Guard Dainard
Carey Mulligan ... Carol Slayman
James Russo ... Walter Dietrich
Giovanni Ribisi ... Alvin Karpis
Wesley Walker ... Jim Leslie
John Scherp John Scherp ... Earl Adams


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


America's Most Wanted

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


After his embarrassment before the Senate Appropriations Comitte, J. Edgar Hoover is telling his assistant to release a press statement through Walter Winchell to discredit the Senator who humiliated Hoover. Walter Winchell was famous radio show host, and New York City news columnist, who was friends with Hoover. Winchell also hung around with famous New York City gangsters like Lucky Luciano, Meyer Lansky, and Frank Costello. See more »


In opening scene at prison, the sally port inside door is opened before the outside gate is closed. This is never done as it defeats the purpose of a sally port. Also, when the alarm is sounded, the outside gate remains open - procedure would dictate the gates be immediately "frozen" locked. See more »


J. Edgar Hoover: John Dillinger held up a bank for $74,000 while you failed to arrest Nelson.
Melvin Purvis: Sir, I take full responsibility. And I would like to make a request. That we transfer men with special qualifications to augment the staff here in Chicago. There are some former Texas and Oklahoma lawmen currently with the Bureau in Dallas.
J. Edgar Hoover: I thought you understood what I'm building. A modern force of professional young men of the best sort.
Melvin Purvis: I'm afraid our type cannot get the job done.
J. Edgar Hoover: Excuse me, I cannot hear you.
Melvin Purvis: Our type...
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Crazy Credits

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


King Porter Stomp
Written by Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton
Performed by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra
Courtesy of Bluebird/Novus/RCA Victor
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

Decent film with room for improvement
26 March 2018 | by MovieJuiceSee all my reviews

Public Enemies is a crime drama based on the true story of the infamous bank robber of the 1930's, John Dillinger. Johnny Depp does an outstanding job playing the main character, but I don't feel that this is his best performance. Perhaps it is a lacking script that causes the unimpressive characterization. Christian Bale plays the FBI agent chasing Dillinger with fervor. His betrayal seems a bit dry and lackluster. The story is interesting and well paced, but there is slightly too much time put into the setup and not enough in the execution of the plot. The action sequences are quick and the machine gun shoot-outs are mind blowing. Overall, I left the theater feeling that this was a decent film with room for improvement. It is worth a watch, especially if you like the period portrayed. I give this movie 7 stars for a just-above mediocre production. I hope this review was helpful. -MovieJuice

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Frequently Asked Questions

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USA | Japan



Release Date:

1 July 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Public Enemies See more »


Box Office


$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,271,675, 5 July 2009

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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