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The Public Enemy

Friday, May 30 - Sunday, June 1, 2014

35mm print

“Hard to believe that it was the aptly named Edward Woods and not James Cagney who was originally slated for the lead role of Tom Powers, the part that rocketed Cagney to stardom and typecast him as a trigger-happy punk. Now, of course, the film seems the archetypal Cagney vehicle as he graduates from petty theft to big-time bootlegging and murder, but it’s fairly seminal for other reasons: the acknowledgment that crime is at least partly the product of poor social conditions, the emphasis on booze as the mainspring for the Mob’s illegal income, the deployment of events and characteristics from the lives of real-life gangsters (in this case Hymie Weiss) to create myth from fact… Cagney’s energy and Wellman’s gutsy direction carry the day… indelibly etching the star on the memory as a definitive gangster hero” – Time Out (London)

  • Country USA
  • Rating NR
  • Year 1931
  • Running Time 85 minutes
  • Director Wiliam A. Wellman