History Of Public Enemies

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Public Enemies was originally marketed as a historical non-fiction book written by Bryan Burrough. However, in 2009, Public Enemies was released as a motion picture, under the direction of Michael Mann (“Public”). This book and film focused its attention on the notorious gangsters and criminals during the twentieth century’s organized crime era of the 1920s and 1930s. Likewise, it additionally focused on the development of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and how these crimes helped the institution evolve into what it is today. Therefore, the main characters include: FBI Special Agent Melvin Purvis, John Dillinger, Charles Makley, “Red” Hamilton, Baby Face Nelson, Harry “Pete” Pierpont, and Homer Van Meter (“Public”). After the worldwide…show more content…
For example, Ian Nathan from Empire magazine stated: “Intelligent and challenging: Mann'’s crime epic could take two viewings to fully absorb, but it's worth every devoted minute” (Nathan). In continuation, James Rocchi from Common Sense Media exclaimed: “Public Enemies is a thoroughly watchable piece of thriller cinema, anchored by a great star turn in [Johnny] Depp's John Dillinger” (Rocchi). Therefore, Public Enemies proved to be a successful addition to today’s historical entertainment.
As briefly mentioned, Public Enemies portrayed to viewers what the infamous gangsters we have come to dramatize were truly like, and how those individuals subsequently influenced the advancement of the FBI. Some key historical events and turning points that are emphasized in this film include: John Dillinger’s escape from the Indiana State Penitentiary; Dillinger’s relationship with his girlfriend, Billie Frechette; Dillinger’s polarized arrest in Tucson, Arizona; Dillinger’s Crown Point jail escape; the FBI-gangster gunfight at Little Bohemia Lodge; and Dillinger’s death. Furthermore, this film portrays these characters to accommodate a mixture of factual accuracy and entertainment
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Furthermore, Burrough was interested in taking on the challenge considering no one in literary history had attempted this (Burrough). In terms of the filmmakers, director, Michael Mann, read a section of Burrough’s book and began developing a script with producer, Kevin Misher, soon thereafter (“Michael”). The overall goal of the production was to introduce to the world the most accurate depiction of the War on Crime, how it ultimately led to the development of the FBI, and its overall influence on American history. In the end, despite some minor inaccuracies, this film holds up as a solid piece of historical analysis. This is because it portrays a relatively reliable timeline of the War on Crime/Dillinger’s life and how that, in turn, strengthened the FBI as a federal institution. As a result of this portrayal, it is pellucid that Dillinger and his gang made the FBI into what it is today. In other words, during this time period, the FBI was still a fairly new, unorganized organization; however, Dillinger’s gang forced its agents to evaluate their performance in order to successfully end the organized crime era. Of course, J. Edgar Hoover played a vital role in this amelioration, but without the motivation to end these contemptible

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