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The Public Enemy

The Public Enemy(1931)

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  • The Public Enemy

    • Dashiell Barnes
    • 8/5/12

    This & "Little Caesar" are the best early gangster films that has become the predecessor for other films to follow. Cagney gives a dynamite performance, as do the the too-brief Blondell & Harlow. Storywise, this film has shown it's age, but Cagney's performance that will be remembered. A great, unforgettable film from the gritty Warner Bros. gangster filmography. I give it a 4/5.

  • The Public Enemy (1931)

    • Jeff
    • 6/28/11

    This was the best of the gangster movies until The Godfather (1972) knocked it off of its longtime pedestal. The film had the most impact on the Prohibition audiences, opposed to such good films as Little Caesar (1931) and Scarface (1932). The film is about how Tom Powers (James Cagney) rises in the gangster world. Cagney is electrifying in his star making turn and this may be his best performance ever, which is pretty hard to beat. Edward Woods, Donald Cook, Leslie Fenton, Jean Harlow, Robert O'Conner, and Murray Kinnell are also underrated yet flawless in their roles. William A. Wellman does a great job directing and David Mendoza hands in another overrated part of the film-the very iconic score. This film is tough, as is it's title character.

  • The Public Enemy

    • Mark Sutch
    • 4/8/11

    ****

  • "I Ain't So Tough..."

    • Craig
    • 11/23/10

    A lot of people remember this one for the scene where Tom Powers smashes Kitty in the face with the grapefruit. I'll always remember this one for the scene where Tom, in the pouring rain, goes to Schemer Burrns' hideout alone to avenge Matt's assassination, is wounded in the gun battle, and staggers into the gutter saying "I ain't so tough...". No studio made gangster films like Warner Brothers.

  • The Public Enemy (1931)

    • Jay Higgins
    • 8/3/09

    This is the film that made James Cagney a star and also is the film with classic scene of him pushing a grapefruit in Mae Clarke's face. Cagney is outstanding. A powerful and great classic. The pace is excellent.

  • A Film For The Ages!

    • Steve Paul
    • 7/16/09

    Cagney and Wild Bill Wellman give us an unforgettable movie because of it's unforgettable scenes; the grapefruit scene (kudo's to Mae Clarke for being a real trooper; Cagney walking across the street in the rain scene - who can forget the look in his eyes; and the famous final scene when Tom Powers' (Cagney) corpse is "delivered" back home.Yes, one for the ages!

  • Iconic Cagney Role

    • Bruce Reber
    • 6/18/09

    James Cagney's portrayal of bootlegger Tom Powers in "Public Enemy" is the role that would forever project his image (and also type cast him) as a tough guy-gangster, and it foreshadows his explosive performance as psychotic mother-fixated Cody Jarrett in "White Heat" 18 years later. Although Cagney played other types of characters in all genres of film, he will always be remembered for his gangster roles like Tom Powers, Rocky Sullivan and of course Cody Jarrett. But I guess that's the way I and most every other classic movie fan love seeing him.

  • Entertainment versus boredom

    • Minky
    • 6/17/09

    The Public Enemy proves, once again that the earlier films were made to entertain an audience while the newer films were made to bore you.

  • a classic...

    • kevin cline
    • 9/4/08

    just one word ladies and gentlemen. classic........

  • Public Star

    • theresa
    • 5/1/08

    Everyone knows this was James Cagney's star-making turn. Watch it and see why. He was a natural; a power packed dynamo in a small package. Jean Harlow, in her acting debut, leaves something to be desired, but it's forgivable. Leslie Fenton was great as jaunty, gum chewing Nails Nathan. Death scene was one of best on screen.

  • Public Enemy

    • Mike
    • 10/17/06

    A Wellman monument, with iconic cast, O'Connor, Fenton, Kinnell in support.

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