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Thread: Public Enemies

  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: England Maurice's Avatar
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    PUBLIC ENEMIES (dir. Michael Mann) released nationwide 3rd July

    Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, Christian Bale as FBI agent Melvin Purvis



    In The Times Saturday Review, Bryan Burrough unravelled "the true story of America's greatest crime wave and our Hollywood love affair with the mad and the bad." extract:



    "For all the notoriety that Dillinger received during his lifetime, his notoriety has dimmed over the decades, in large part because, unlike Nelson or Kelly, he never earned a memorable nickname or, like Bonnie and Clyde, attracted a top-tier director.



    "Yet Dillinger is in many ways the consummate American anti-hero, an incorrigible criminal who was nevertheless cheered on by thousands of ordinary Americans.



    "Part of this can be attributed to the Depression; people were out of work and angry at the banks and businessmen who they considered to have put them there.



    "They applauded Dillinger because, as a symbol of public outrage, he was able to do what they could not: fight back......"



    link http://entertainment.timesonline.co....cle6485337.ece

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    I would recommend Dary Matera's biography of Dillinger to anyone interested. It's the only one I've read, but invoked a real human being behind the legend - he liked to do the washing up ! Depp obviously has his counter culture heart in the right place, but I don't think he has the weight (in all its conatations) to pull a John Dillinger or his type off. I just saw the trailer, looked like Johnny Depp dressed as one of The Clash (circa London Calling) toting a Tommy Gun.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK Merton Park's Avatar
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    I saw the trailer in America many months ago and was very suprised at the "look" of the film. It seemed like it was shot in HD video not film, very disappointing. Since found out it was HD!!!



    Just been premiered in the US to very mixed reviews. I read several opinions from people who had seen sneak previews and none complimentary. Shame really, as I was looking forward to it, love a gangster film.

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    Do we have any opinions on the other John Dillinger flicks that have been made ? I believe there's a few of them ?

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    These are the ones I have seen ...



    Dillinger (1945) - excellent B film with Lawrence Tierney in good form. Not accurate with regard to the true facts but well worth a look.



    Young Dillinger (1965) - with Nick Adams. Again highly innaccurate but this time the film is not really very good. Adams is weak in the lead and the production values are poor even by B movie standards.



    Dillinger (1973) - the great Warren Oates certainly looks the part in John Milius' exciting (and rather more accurate) version of events. Highly recommended.



    Dillinger (1991) - TV movie with Mark Harmon, who is not bad in the role. Not too bad either with regard to the facts and is worth a look.

  6. #6
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    Cheers Bats, I've been meaning to watch the Warren Oates version for ages. As you say he certainly looks the part in the stills and I like Warren Oates !

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    The usual hype was on BBC1 this morning.Trying to make out that he really wasnt a bad guy just a Robin Hood.Some interviewer asking the most inane and banal questions .It is a gangster film so i will go but i am not expecting much.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    name='orpheum']The usual hype was on BBC1 this morning.Trying to make out that he really wasnt a bad guy just a Robin Hood.Some interviewer asking the most inane and banal questions .It is a gangster film so i will go but i am not expecting much.


    I can't believe anyone could mistake Dillinger for a 'Robin Hood' .... the man was a vicous murdering thug.

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    I know i just found the whole thing so ridiculous that if i had been not previously going to see the film it would have turned me off it.All they are doing is glamourising violence which is repugnant to me.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    I think Dillinger was regarded as a Robin Hood figure at the time as he was seen to be hitting back at the banks who were seen as being responsible for The Great Depression and the financial hardship of many ordinary folk. It makes it quite a contemporary story in many ways, a point Im sure not lost to its director Michael Mann. Pretty fortunate timing for a film like this and Im sure audiences will relate to Dillinger's motives, of course he has become a romanticised figure but its a good story. As a great admirer of Mann, Depp and Bale I will look forward to seeing this.

  11. #11
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    Calling Dillinger a "Robin Hood' is taking matters a bit too far. But there was a definite affinity with (to?) him amongst parts of the poorer population. It was felt in some sections that the the already unpopular banks were claiming Dillinger had taken more than he actually had and were corrupt. Also Dillinger (for awhile) evaded the cops who many viewed as inept.

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    Strange that so many comments on this American gangster, Britfillms is a British site for the discussion of British interests in British cinema,British actors,British tv. Not some American gangster.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: England Maurice's Avatar
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    Reviewer Wendy Ide is disappointed that a movie with a reported budget of $80

    "has the production values of a bargain-basement, made-for-television flick."



    British actor Stephen Graham (Billy Bremner in THE DAMNED UNITED) provides a relatively brief performance as Baby Face Nelson.



    According to IMDb., his next role is Al Capone (in "Broadwalk Empire") - a wiser choice of gangster if an actor hopes to survive longer in a movie or television series.



    link - http://entertainment.timesonline.co....cle6618752.ece

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    name='Merton Park']I saw the trailer in America many months ago and was very suprised at the "look" of the film. It seemed like it was shot in HD video not film, very disappointing. Since found out it was HD!!!



    Just been premiered in the US to very mixed reviews. I read several opinions from people who had seen sneak previews and none complimentary. Shame really, as I was looking forward to it, love a gangster film.


    That "Look" can be all-important. I watched "Mobsters" last night and it looked too clean and the costumes just a little too tidy and new. It just didn't have the grubbiness that we see in documentaries of the lower East-Side. I turned the colour down and watched it in B&W - made a huge difference. Try it on the next modern gangster movie you watch. These guys will never replace Edward G or George Raft but taking away the colour adds to the atmosphere.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: UK Merton Park's Avatar
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    Or James Cagney, Mickey Rooney or Rod Steiger !! The only gangster film that seemed ok in colour was Bonny & Clyde, they need to be in black and white. I agree with you, the "look" is key.

  16. #16
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    name='Maurice']Reviewer Wendy Ide is disappointed that a movie with a reported budget of $80

    "has the production values of a bargain-basement, made-for-television flick."



    British actor Stephen Graham (Billy Bremner in THE DAMNED UNITED) provides a relatively brief performance as Baby Face Nelson.



    According to IMDb., his next role is Al Capone (in "Broadwalk Empire") - a wiser choice of gangster if an actor hopes to survive longer in a movie or television series.



    link - Video: Public Enemies - Times Online


    I'm not surprised it looked bargain basement if it only had a budget of "$80"!

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: UK Merton Park's Avatar
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    Finally got round to seeing it. Very disappointing indeed, big let down. Far too many close ups, it's virtually cinema verite. Does not do the gangster genre any favours. Weak.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: England Maurice's Avatar
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    name='pelam']I'm not surprised it looked bargain basement if it only had a budget of "$80"!


    well-spotted, pelham!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    I have this book, "Villains Paradise, a History of Britain's Underworld." I know they made a movie about the Krays, but how about some of the others, like Jack Spot and Billy Hill?

  20. #20
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    I saw Public Enemies last week and found it very slow moving and diappointing. I nodded off and several other audience members, when I woke up and looked around, did so as well! The look of the film, as many have commented, was all wrong - it was shot on video and looked like it, making it look like we were seeing a very well acted student film.



    After Miami Vice and this I really don't want to pay to see any more Michael Mann films. Whatever he once had he's lost.

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