The Public Enemy

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Released 1931

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Movie Summary

Director:
Donald Siegel
Released:
1931
Rating:
Not Available
The Public Enemy is the classic 1931 crime drama that made James Cagney a star. During the prohibition era, best friends Tom Powers (James Cagney) and Matt Doyle (Edward Woods) make their living with bootleg liquor and work their way up the hierarchy of the Chicago underworld. While Ma Powers (Beryl Mercer) can only see the best in her son, Tom's upright brother, Mike (Donald Cook), sees how success makes him more brazen and violent in his crimes. Tom continues on his heartless path, juggling three women, including his mistress Kitty (Mae Clarke), who famously receives a grapefruit in her face for loving him, and the flirtatious Gwen (Jean Harlow). When a gang rivalry heats up due to a freak accident, Tom's boss, Paddy Ryan (Robert O'Connor), wants the boys to lay low, but Tom has other plans which leads to a full-scale mob war. William A. Wellman directs this gritty crime thriller.
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    Categories

    Drama, Suspense

    Themes

    Classics, Film Noir, Crime