The Public Enemy
The Public Enemy (Enemies of the Public in the UK) is a 1931 American all-talking pre-Code gangster film produced and distributed by Warner Bros. The film was directed by William A. Wellman and stars James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Donald Cook and Joan Blondell. The film relates the story of a young man's rise in the criminal underworld in prohibition-era urban America. The supporting players include Beryl Mercer, Murray Kinnell, and Mae Clarke. The screenplay is based on an unpublished novel—Beer and Blood by two former newspapermen, John Bright and Kubec Glasmon—who had witnessed some of Al Capone's murderous gang rivalries in Chicago. In 1998, The Public Enemy was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
As youngsters in 1900s Chicago, Irish-Americans Tom Powers (James Cagney) and his lifelong friend Matt Doyle (Edward Woods) engage in petty theft, selling their loot to "Putty Nose" (Murray Kinnell). Putty Nose persuades them to join his gang on a fur warehouse robbery, assuring them he will take care of them if anything goes wrong. When Tom is startled by a stuffed bear, he shoots it, alerting the police, who kill gang member Larry Dalton. Chased by a cop, Tom and Matt gun him down. However, when they go to Putty Nose for help, they find he has left town.
|author||Harvey F. Thew Kubec Glasmon|
|award||National Film Registry|
|director||William A. Wellman|
|editor||Edward Michael McDermott|
|genre||crime drama historical|
|keywords||beg bootleg dead body gang member gang war holding hands horse riding accident kidnap kill nothing older brother petty theft prohibition prohibition in the united states riding accident robert emmett o\'connor rum-runner settle scores wedding reception world war i wound|
|nomination||Academy Award for Best Story|
|producer||Darryl F. Zanuck|