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Movie Review: The Man Who Got J. Edgar Hoover’s Attention: John Dillinger

John Dillinger drove the FBI nuts, robbing banks with a machine gun in tow. Now actor Johnny Depp plays Dillinger in the movie “Public Enemies”. Here’s a trailer and a review below.


By Richard Corliss
Time

To become rich and famous in the depression ’30s, a fellow could make movies, play baseball or rob banks. John Dillinger chose Way 3, and for a while he enjoyed the celebrity of a Clark Gable or a Lou Gehrig.

Newspapers breathlessly limned his exploits as he made sizable withdrawals from vaults throughout the Midwest, using his machine gun as collateral.

But killing cops puts a man at greater risk than hitting a homer or kissing the girl. Dillinger stirred the hunter’s blood in J. Edgar Hoover, the young director of the FBI, and Hoover’s most resourceful agent, Melvin Purvis.

They, and Dillinger too, knew that a life of crime was not a profession from which one gracefully retired. Purvis and his team caught up with their public enemy as he emerged from a theater showing a Gable gangster film. The real-life tough guy was 31 when he died on that Chicago street.

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