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Encyclopedia > The Public Enemy
The Public Enemy

The Public Enemy movie poster
Directed by William A. Wellman
Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck
Written by Kubec Glasmon
John Bright
Harvey F. Thew
Starring James Cagney
Jean Harlow
Edward Woods
Joan Blondell
Mae Clarke
Cinematography Devereaux Jennings
Editing by Ed McCormick
Edward McDermott
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) 23 April 1931
Running time 1931 Release: 96 min
1941 Release: 83 min
Country Flag of the United States United States
Language English
Budget $151,000[1]
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

The Public Enemy is a 1931 Pre-Code American crime drama film. The film relates the story of a young man's rise in the criminal underworld in prohibition-era urban America. The movie stars James Cagney, Edward Woods, Jean Harlow, Joan Blondell, Beryl Mercer, Donald Cook and Mae Clarke, with William A. Wellman directing. It was based on the novel "Beer and Blood" by John Bright and was the film that launched James Cagney to stardom. Public enemy can refer to: Public enemy, the original use of the phrase by the Chicago Crime Commission and the FBI in the 1930s. ... Image File history File links Publicenemyposter. ... William Augustus Wellman (February 29, 1896 - December 9, 1975) was an American movie director. ... Darryl Francis Zanuck (September 5, 1902–December 22, 1979) was a producer, writer, actor and director who played a major part in the Hollywood studio system as one of its longest survivors (the length of his career being rivalled only by that of Adolph Zukor). ... James Francis Cagney, Jr. ... Jean Harlow (March 3, 1911 – June 7, 1937) was an American film actress and sex symbol of the 1930s. ... Edward Woods (July 5, 1903--October 8, 1989) was an American actor who was playing the lead in the screen classic The Public Enemy, with James Cagney portraying his best friend, but director William Wellman switched the actors roles after viewing Cagneys electric performance in the dailies. ... Blondell in Nightmare Alley (1947) Rose Joan Blondell (August 30, 1906 - December 25, 1979) was an Oscar-nominated American actress. ... Mae Clarke was born Violet Mary Klotz on August 16, 1910 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ... “WB” redirects here. ... is the 113th day of the year (114th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... ISO 4217 Code USD User(s) the United States, the British Indian Ocean Territory,[1] the British Virgin Islands, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Panama, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the insular areas of the United States Inflation 2. ... // Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff Ingagi, starring Sir Hubert Winstead Mata Hari, starring Greta Garbo and Lionel Barrymore City Lights starring Charles Chaplin Best Picture: Cimarron - MGM Best Actor: Lionel Barrymore - A Free Soul Best Actor: Wallace Beery - The Champ Best Actor: Fredric March - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. ... Pre-Code films were created before the Motion Picture Production Code or Hays Code took effect on 1 July 1934 in the United States of America. ... A drama film is a film that depends mostly on in-depth character development, interaction, and highly emotional themes. ... “Moving picture” redirects here. ... This article is about the criminal society. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Urban culture is the culture of cities. ... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... James Francis Cagney, Jr. ... Edward Woods (July 5, 1903--October 8, 1989) was an American actor who was playing the lead in the screen classic The Public Enemy, with James Cagney portraying his best friend, but director William Wellman switched the actors roles after viewing Cagneys electric performance in the dailies. ... Jean Harlow (March 3, 1911 – June 7, 1937) was an American film actress and sex symbol of the 1930s. ... Blondell in Nightmare Alley (1947) Rose Joan Blondell (August 30, 1906 - December 25, 1979) was an Oscar-nominated American actress. ... Donald Gilbert Cook (9 August 1934 - 8 December 1967) was a Colonel in the United States Marine Corps and a Medal of Honor recipient. ... Mae Clarke was born Violet Mary Klotz on August 16, 1910 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ... William Augustus Wellman (February 29, 1896 - December 9, 1975) was an American movie director. ... The film director, on the right, gives last minute direction to the cast and crew, whilst filming a costume drama on location in London. ...


Aside from the hard-hitting dramatization and social commentary, film critics and contemporary audiences alike have considered the characters among The Public Enemy’s strongest features, including Matt’s girlfriend, Mamie (Joan Blondell), Tom's girlfriends, Kitty (Mae Clarke) and Gwen (Jean Harlow), and fellow hoodlum, Putty Nose (Murray Kinnell). Many of the characters in the movie were based on actual people, although currently available copies are from the censored and cut 1949 reissue (from the Hays Code era) in which the character of real-life gangster Bugs Moran was cut out.[2] Some very controversial items, like a scene where James Cagney hits his girlfriend with a grapefruit, were left in the re-release. Realism in the visual arts and literature is the depiction of subjects as they appear in everyday life, without embellishment or interpretation. ... Social commentary is the act of expressing an opinion on the nature of society. ... Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films, individually and collectively. ... Blondell in Nightmare Alley (1947) Rose Joan Blondell (August 30, 1906 - December 25, 1979) was an Oscar-nominated American actress. ... Mae Clarke was born Violet Mary Klotz on August 16, 1910 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ... Jean Harlow (March 3, 1911 – June 7, 1937) was an American film actress and sex symbol of the 1930s. ... Look up hoodlum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Year 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Production Code (also known as the Hays Code) was a set of industry guidelines governing the production of American motion pictures. ... George Clarence Bugs Moran George Clarence Bugs Moran (August 21, 1893 – February 25, 1957) was a Chicago Prohibition-era gangster born in St. ... Binomial name Macfad. ...

Contents

Plot

The opening sequence of The Public Enemy is a montage depicting prohibition - beer parlors closing shop and police raids – before directing the viewer’s attention to two boys growing up with the resultant lure of corruption in 1920s urban America. We get a glimpse into the family life of one of the boys, Flavor Flav, including a doting mother and an emotionally absent father, who also happens to be Flavor Flav. The consequence of the father’s distance is revealed in one scene where he attempts to discipline his increasingly delinquent son. This sparks a change in young Tom, which is indicated by his souring expression while being spanked by his father. Montage is a French word, translated as a verb, to edit, or a masculine noun, assembly. ... William Jonathan Drayton, Jr. ... William Jonathan Drayton, Jr. ...


After Tom Powers (Flavor Flav) and the other boy, Matt Doyle (Flavor Flav), grow into young adults, they are hired by local bootlegger, Paddy Ryan (Flavor Flav). Tom quickly rises from apprentice to leading gangster by being more vicious and ruthless than his rivals. Needless to say, the bootlegging business becomes an ever more lucrative operation, and Tom and Matt are not shy about flaunting the trappings of gangsterism. Tom does not forget about his more humble origins, and offers support to his pathetically doting, and now widowed, mother. This brings him into conflict with his older brother, Mike (Donald Cook), a shell-shocked war veteran who strongly disapproves of his wayward little brother. Underlying the fraternal conflict is that Tom’s immorality has brought generous material rewards, while the straight-and-narrow path chosen by his brother has only produced a bitter casualty of war. Tom considers Mike’s self-righteousness hypocritical. When Mike quips that Tom's success is based on nothing more than “beer and blood” (the title of the original book), Tom rejoins that “your hands ain't so clean. You kill and like it. You didn't get them medals for holding hands with them Germans.”[3] William Jonathan Drayton, Jr. ... William Jonathan Drayton, Jr. ... The Rum Runner nightclub was opened on Broad Street in the Birmingham city centre in 1979. ... William Jonathan Drayton, Jr. ... Donald Gilbert Cook (9 August 1934 - 8 December 1967) was a Colonel in the United States Marine Corps and a Medal of Honor recipient. ... The military term combat stress reaction (CSR) comprises the range of adverse behaviours in reaction to the stress of combat and combat related activities. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ...


Tom continues his rise in gangland, but eventually his greed catches up with him when he challenges another gang, precipitating a gang war. Arguably, the most famous scene is Tom “getting it” in the end, graphically setting the tone for the “crime doesn’t pay” theme that dominated crime movies for the rest of the decade and beyond.


The films contains another notorious scene in which Cagney's character smashes a half grapefruit into the face of one of his girlfriends (Mae Clarke). The scene stirred controversy and has been considered misogynistic. Mae Clarke was born Violet Mary Klotz on August 16, 1910 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ...


Production

The script was adapted from the story Beer and Blood by John Bright. Principal filming took place between January and February 1931.[4] John Bright John Bright (November 16, 1811–March 27, 1889), was a British Radical and Liberal statesman, associated with Richard Cobden in the formation of the Anti-Corn Law League. ...


Edward Woods was originally cast in the lead role until director Wellman reviewed the early film of the two actors, and switched them.[1][5] This is why the children's appearances are reversed in the flashback sequences, since those scenes were shot before the switch. The Warner Bros. studio promised Woods that they would make the loss of the lead role up to him, but then dropped his contract when it expired. One reason for the switch is that the sound technology used in The Public Enemy was far superior to that used in earlier films, making it no longer imperative to have an actor in the lead role with impeccable enunciation. Although it was still a risk giving Cagney the starring role, his distinctive interpretation of the character, especially his machine-gun speaking style, was now technically feasible. Cagney was also short and uncouth, compared to the finesse of an actor like Woods, helping to establish Warner Brothers' reputation for films that explicitly targeted working class audiences during the Great Depression. “WB” redirects here. ... The term working class is used to denote a social class. ... For other uses, see The Great Depression (disambiguation). ...


Maple Leaf Rag, written by Scott Joplin in 1897, plays throughout the movie, which could account for the seemingly anachronistic use of Joplin's music in the 1973 film The Sting, which was set in the 1930s. Second edition cover of Maple Leaf Rag, perhaps the most famous rag of all The Maple Leaf Rag (1897) is an early Ragtime composition for piano by Scott Joplin. ... Scott Joplin (born between June 1867 – January 1868[1]; died April 1, 1917) was an American musician and composer of ragtime music. ... This article is about the 1973 film involving con artists. ...


Cast

James Francis Cagney, Jr. ... Jean Harlow (March 3, 1911 – June 7, 1937) was an American film actress and sex symbol of the 1930s. ... Edward Woods (July 5, 1903--October 8, 1989) was an American actor who was playing the lead in the screen classic The Public Enemy, with James Cagney portraying his best friend, but director William Wellman switched the actors roles after viewing Cagneys electric performance in the dailies. ... Blondell in Nightmare Alley (1947) Rose Joan Blondell (August 30, 1906 - December 25, 1979) was an Oscar-nominated American actress. ... Donald Cook (September 26, 1901–October 1, 1961) was an American stage and film actor. ... Mae Clarke was born Violet Mary Klotz on August 16, 1910 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ...

Reception

A controversial scene in which Tom angrily smashes a half grapefruit into his girlfriend's face.
A controversial scene in which Tom angrily smashes a half grapefruit into his girlfriend's face.

The Public Enemy was the first worldwide box office hit for James Cagney. It forever cast him in the public eye as a "tough guy," an image he was unable to shed despite numerous roles chosen especially to counter that image, including his Oscar-winning role in Yankee Doodle Dandy. The Public Enemy was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing of an Original Screenplay. A theatre in Times Square ran the film 24 hours a day during its initial release.[6] The film has also been deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has been certified "fresh" with a 100% rating on the Tomatometer.[7] Image File history File links Grapefruit-james_cagney-mae_clark21a. ... Image File history File links Grapefruit-james_cagney-mae_clark21a. ... Binomial name Macfad. ... Yankee Doodle Dandy is a 1942 biographical film about George M. Cohan, starring James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, Richard Whorf, Irene Manning, George Tobias, Rosemary DeCamp and Jeanne Cagney. ... Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ... // The Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay is the Academy Award for the best script not based upon previously published material. ... Times Square. ... Construction of the Thomas Jefferson Building, from July 8, 1888 to May 15, 1894. ... The National Film Registry is the registry of films selected by the United States National Film Preservation Board for preservation in the Library of Congress. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


The film was avoided by some (i.e. women's groups) because of its graphic elements. An example of this is the grapefruit scene. However, the graphic elements also made it more popular. According to James Cagney, Mae Clarke's ex-husband had the grapefruit scene timed, and would buy a ticket just before that scene went onscreen, go enjoy the scene, leave, then come back during the next show just in time to see only that scene again.[8]


The film was re-released in 1941 after the Production Code was put into effect. Three scenes of the film were cut because of the Code, but have been restored for the DVD release. One is of an apparently gay tailor measuring Tom for a suit, another with Matt and Mamie "rolling around" in bed, and the third showing Tom being seduced when hiding out in a woman's apartment.[9]


References

  1. ^ a b Dirks, Tim (2006). The Public Enemy (1931). The Greatest Films. Retrieved on 2006-12-10.
  2. ^ Movies: The Public Enemy, aka Enemies of the Public. The New York Times, 10 December 2006. Retrieved on 2006-12-10.
  3. ^ Memorable Quotes from The Public Enemy (1931). IMDb. Retrieved on 2006-12-10.
  4. ^ Business Data for The Public Enemy (1931). IMDb. Retrieved on 2006-12-09.
  5. ^ Trivia for The Public Enemy (1931). IMDb. Retrieved on 2006-12-09.
  6. ^ Philip Martin Review of The Public Enemy. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2006-12-09.
  7. ^ The Public Enemy. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved on 2006-12-10.
  8. ^ Cagney, James (2005). Cagney by Cagney. Doubleday. ISBN 0385520263. 
  9. ^ Gallagher, John. The Warner Brothers Gangster Collection. Between Action and Cut. Retrieved on 2007-02-02.

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... December 10 is the 344th day (345th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, 21 days before the next year. ... The New York Times is a daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed internationally. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... December 10 is the 344th day (345th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, 21 days before the next year. ... The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) [1] is an online database of information about actors, movies, television shows, television stars and video games. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... December 10 is the 344th day (345th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, 21 days before the next year. ... The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) [1] is an online database of information about actors, movies, television shows, television stars and video games. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 343rd day of the year (344th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) [1] is an online database of information about actors, movies, television shows, television stars and video games. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 343rd day of the year (344th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 343rd day of the year (344th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... December 10 is the 344th day (345th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, 21 days before the next year. ... James Francis Cagney, Jr. ... Doubleday is one of the largest book publishing companies in the world. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 33rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Public Enemy - Music Downloads - Online (1336 words)
Bio: Public Enemy rewrote the rules of hip-hop, becoming the most influential and controversial rap group of the late '80s and, for many, the definitive rap group of all time.
Public Enemy spent the remainder of 1989 preparing their third album, releasing "Welcome to the Terrordome" as its first single in early 1990.
Public Enemy was on hiatus during 1993, as Flav attempted to wean himself off drugs, returning in the summer of 1994 with Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age.
Public Enemy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1853 words)
Public Enemy, also known as PE, is a seminal hip hop group from Long Island, New York known for their politically charged lyrics, criticism of the media and active interest in the concerns of the African American community.
With the success of Public Enemy, hip-hop was suddenly flooded with new artists that celebrated Afrocentric themes, such as Kool Moe Dee, Gang Starr, X Clan, Eric B and Rakim, Queen Latifah, the Jungle Brothers and A Tribe Called Quest.
Public Enemy is also the name of one of the first film noir gangster movies, a 1931 classic starring James Cagney.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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