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The Public Enemy Overview:

The Public Enemy (1931) was a Action - Crime Film directed by William A. Wellman and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck.

The film was based on the novel Beer and Blood written by John Bright published in unpublished.

The Public Enemy was inducted into the National Film Registry in 1998.

Academy Awards 1930/31 --- Ceremony Number 4 (source: AMPAS)

AwardRecipientResult
Best WritingJohn Bright, Kubec GlasmonNominated
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BlogHub Articles:

Revisitando o “Inimigo P?blico” (1931) / Revisiting “The Public Enemy” (1931)

By L? on Dec 9, 2018 From Critica Retro

Revisitando o “Inimigo P?blico” (1931) / Revisiting “The Public Enemy” (1931) ESTE ARTIGO TEM SPOILERS THIS ARTICLE HAS SPOILERS Assim como a maioria dos adolescentes, eu era rebelde e nem sempre me dava bem com a minha fam?lia. Ao contr?rio da maioria dos adolesc... Read full article


DOUBLE BILL #12: The Public Enemy (1931) and Angels With Dirty Faces (1938)

By Carol Martinheira on Mar 9, 2018 From The Old Hollywood Garden

DOUBLE BILL #12: The Public Enemy (1931) and Angels With Dirty Faces (1938) On March 9, 2018 By CarolIn Uncategorized James Cagney once said about acting, ?Learn your lines, find your mark, look ?em in the eye and tell ?em the truth.? And he did. That was the thing abo... Read full article


Pre-Code Crazy: The Public Enemy (1931)

By shadowsandsatin on Feb 1, 2015 From Shadows and Satin

I love gangster movies from the 1930s, but for reasons that are not quite clear to me, I usually don?t watch them over and over like I do with so many of my other favorites. (Hmm.) As a result, when I recently watched?The Public Enemy?(1931), my Pre-Code Crazy pick for this month, I felt almost as i... Read full article


The Public Enemy*: the Crime Flick with No Glamour?

By Judy on Jul 31, 2014 From Cary Grant Won't Eat You

Having attacked James Cagney in a previous post, but seen few of his films, I thought I owed it to him to watch one of his hits. I found The Public Enemy on a streaming site and rec list (thanks, John!) and was instantly sucked into this understated gem. The hyperbolic title of the film suggests it... Read full article


The Public Enemy (1931)

By 4 Star Film Fan on Jun 7, 2013 From 4 Star Films

Starring James Cagney, the story follows Tom Powers as he and his friend Matt grow up in Chicago and eventually get involved with the gangsters?of the Prohibition era. Tom’s life of crime gives him money and?female?company. However, it causes a division with his older brother. He sticks with h... Read full article


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Quotes from

Tom as a boy: [Tom grabs his pants just as his father is about to spank him] How do you want 'em this time, up or down?


Tom Powers: [Tom shuffles to the breakfast table in his pajamas. He's just finished a demanding call with Nails Nathan] Ain't you got a drink in the house?
Kitty: Well, not before breakfast, dear.
Tom Powers: [immediately annoyed] ... I didn't ask you for any lip. I asked you if you had a drink.
Kitty: [sheepishly] I know Tom, but I, I wish that...
Tom Powers: ...there you go with that wishin' stuff again. I wish you was a wishing well. So that I could tie a bucket to ya and sink ya.
Kitty: Well, maybe you've found someone you like better.
[Tom is enraged and disgusted by her implication. He grimaces and shoves a grapefruit in her face as he leaves the table]


Tom Powers: So beer ain't good enough for you, huh?
Mike Powers: Do you think I care if there was just beer in that keg? I know what's in it. I know what you've been doing all this time, how you got those clothes and those new cars. You've been telling Ma that you've gone into politics, that you're on the city payroll. Pat Burke told me everything. You murderers! There's not only beer in that jug. There's beer and blood - blood of men!
[Mike throws the keg into the corner, smashing Mrs Powers' table and causing a racket]
Tom Powers: [Stands] You ain't changed a bit.
[Tom walks away, but turns for the last word]
Tom Powers: Besides, your hands ain't so clean. You killed and liked it. You didn't get them medals for holding hands with them Germans.


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Facts about

At about half an hour into the film, there is a sign indicating a showing of the Duke Ellington film, Black and Tan. Since "The Public Enemy" has much to do with prohibition, this is a clever pun by the filmmakers, as a black and tan is also a common mixed drink (typically stout and ale, hence its name).
Louise Brooks was offered Jean Harlow's role in this film.
The infamous grapefruit scene caused women's groups around America to protest the on-screen abuse of Mae Clarke.
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Best Writing Oscar 1930/31











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National Film Registry

The Public Enemy

Released 1931
Inducted 1998
(Sound)




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Also directed by William A. Wellman




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Also produced by Darryl F. Zanuck




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Also released in 1931




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