Friday, May 22, 2015

The Public Enemy, 1931

Directed by William A. Wellman
Written by Kubec Glasmon, John Bright, and Harvey F. Thew
Starring ,

Not just the movie that made Cagney, but a gangster classic. It's a little stagey, which isn't surprising given its vintage, but it takes a little getting used to. The framing has a disingenuous feel to it ("For your own good, you need to see these bad people doing bad things."), but maybe that let them be a little less sentimental (but it has a dose of that already). It looks great, most of the performances are right on. Plus, when you next see the image of the grapefruit, it won't just look iconic -- you'll see what a jerk Cagney's character is being.

Just a little malevolent.

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