Released 1973




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Movie Summary

John Milius
True-life story of gangster John Dillinger. His violent life of crime made headline news in the thirties, as he robbed banks across the midwest. A folk hero of sorts, Dillinger was caught in a whirl of machine guns, fast cars and beautiful women. But it came to a bloody end in 1934 when the FBI gunned him down.

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • John Dillinger: [to bank customers during a robbery]: You're being robbed by the John Dillinger gang. That's the best there is.

    • John Dillinger: [to customers of a bank he's robbing]: This could be the most memorable day of your entire life. Make sure it isn't your last.

  • NOTES (2)

    • One consequence of the story of this film is nowhere noted in it. Melvin Purvis, the FBI agent who made it his life-mission to bring John Dillinger to book, gained so much publicity from his actions (publicity he clearly much enjoyed) that he angered J. Edgar Hoover, the legendary chief of the Bureau. Hoover always discouraged his men from having any personal public profile. Purvis resigned from the Bureau and set up his own private detective agency, but he was unsuccessful in this field and often claimed that Hoover had deliberately discouraged big companies from employing him out of spite. He killed himself in 1960, although this probably had at least as much to do with the fact that he was dying of cancer and in great pain. Hoover did not attend his funeral.

    • John Dillinger was, in real life, shot dead by FBI agents outside the Biograph Theatre movie-house in Chicago in 1934. The film's account of his death is entirely accurate - unlikely as it sounds, Dillinger did enjoy the movie (Manhattan Melodrama) so much that he insisted on seeing it around a second time, alarming the FBI men so much that several of them entered the cinema as patrons to make sure he hadn't sneaked out. The fact that several of them were obviously armed alarmed the management, who had not been advised of the operation. Nor had the police, who, on being called, arrested several of the Bureau agents. However, the confusion was cleared up before the end of the second evening showing, and the G-men were in place by the time Dillinger left the building, and thus were able to kill him.


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Biography, Crime