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Public enemies - Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard , Michael Mann

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Movie propaganda

In the action-thriller Public enemies, acclaimed filmmaker Michael Mann directs Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Academy Award-winner Marion Cotillard in the story of legendary Depression-era outlaw John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) - the charismatic bank robber whose lightning raids made him the number one target of J Edgar Hoover's (Billy Crudup) fledgling FBI and its top agent, Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale), and a folk hero to much of the downtrodden public. No one could stop Dillinger and his gang. No jail could hold him. His charm and audacious jailbreaks endeared him to almost everyone - from his girlfriend Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard) to an American public who had no sympathy for the banks that had plunged the country into the Depression. But while the adventures of Dillinger's gang - later including the sociopathic Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham) and Alvin Karpis (Giovanni Ribisi) - thrilled many, Hoover hit on the idea of exploiting the outlaw's capture as a way to elevate his Bureau of Investigation into the national police force that became the FBI. He made Dillinger America's first Public Enemy Number One and sent in Purvis, the dashing "Clark Gable of the FBI". However, Dillinger and his gang outwitted and out-gunned Purvis' men in wild chases and shoot-outs. Only after importing a crew of Western ex-lawmen (newly baptised as agents) and orchestrating epic betrayals - from the infamous "Lady in Red" to the Chicago crime boss Frank Nitti - were Purvis, the FBI and their new crew of gunfighters able to close in on Dillinger.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Public enemies theatrical one sheet image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film crime history FBI Thirties gangster police Hoover Federal Bureau of Investigation Great Depression true

Persons of interest

  • Christian Bale .... Melvin Purvis
  • Johnny Depp .... John Dillinger
  • Channing Tatum .... Pretty Boy Floyd
  • Billy Crudup .... J Edgar Hoover
  • Stephen Dorff .... Homer Van Meter
  • Leelee Sobieski .... Polly Hamilton
  • Emilie de Ravin .... Anna Patzke
  • Giovanni Ribisi .... Alvin Karpis
  • Marion Cotillard .... Billie Frechette
  • David Wenham .... Pete Pierpont
  • Rory Cochrane .... Carter Baum
  • Lili Taylor .... Sheriff Lillian Holley
  • Shawn Hatosy .... John Madala
  • John Ortiz .... Phil D'Andrea
  • Stephen Lang .... Charles Winstead
  • Stephen Graham .... Baby Face Nelson
  • Carey Mulligan .... Carole
  • Matt Craven .... Gerry Campbell
  • Michael Vieau .... Ed Shouse
  • James Russo .... Walter Dietrich
  • Branka Katic .... Anna Sage
  • Jason Clarke .... John 'Red' Hamilton
  • Luce Rains .... Edwin Norris
  • Peter Gerety .... Louis Piquett
  • Christian Stolte .... Charles Makley
  • Don Frye .... Clarence Hurt
  • Spencer Garrett .... Tommy Carroll
  • John Michael Bolger .... Martin Zarkovich
  • Ronan Bennett .... Screenwriter
  • Ann Biderman .... Screenwriter
  • Michael Mann .... Screenwriter
  • Michael Mann .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Even though Public enemies is based on true events, it's pretty dull. Perhaps it's because the story is based on true events that it's dull. If you know anything about Chicago in the 30s, you know that the big-name criminals were all caught or killed. When you have a story about an anti-hero like Dillinger you have to give the man a break. Road to Perdition is a lot more exciting.

The crime, history movie Public enemies is directed by Michael Mann and stars Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard .

Government security censorship classification


Surveillance time

* minutes (* hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 30 July 2009

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