Synopsis by Paul Brenner
John Milius's first directorial effort in its own small way set the stage in the 1970s for a subgenre of action films that depict a nostalgia for historical figures tinged with a hard-edged skepticism. Warren Oates stars as John Dillinger, whose short-lived career as Public Enemy No.1 was, at least according to Milius, promoted by Dillinger with a self-absorbed boosterism, comforting his victims by telling them, "Someday you'll tell your grandchildren about this." The film captures the highlights of Dillinger's criminal career, as seen through the eyes of Melvin Purvis (Ben Johnson), the FBI agent whose obsession with capturing Dillinger led to Dillinger's death in the back alley of Chicago's Biograph Theater.
gangster, criminal, career, federal-agent, bank-robbery, movie-theater, shoot-out, ego