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Thumbnail for The Public Enemy (1931) The Public Enemy (1931)

Basics Critics:94Viewers:74Rusty:78
Category: Crime, DramaNotable as: Crime FictionSub-Category: Black-and-white, Crime Fiction, Crime Drama, Gangster Film, DramaMain subject: organized crimeRuntime: 83 - 96 minutesLanguage: EnglishCountry: United StatesDirector: William A. WellmanCinematography: Devereux JenningsStars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Mae Clarke, Joan Blondell, Robert Emmett O'Connor, Snitz Edwards, Donald Cook, Leslie Fenton, Murray Kinnell, Beryl Mercer, Rita Flynn, Mia MarvinProducer: Darryl F. ZanuckAwards won: National Film RegistryAward nominations: Academy Award for Best StoryAward details: (details at IMDb)

The Public Enemy is a 1931 American all-talking pre-code crime film produced and distributed by Warner Brothers. The film was directed by William A. Wellman and stars James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods 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, Donald Cook, and Mae Clarke. The screenplay is based on a never-published novel by two former street thugs — Beer and Blood by John Bright and Kubec Glasmon — who had witnessed some of Al Capone’s murderous gang rivalries in Chicago.

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