The Public Enemy
William A. Wellman
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Oscar-winner James Cagney ("Yankee Doodle Dandy," "Angels with Dirty Faces") became a superstar with his gritty performance as a prohibition-era Irish-American street punk who tries to make it big in Chicago's organized crime world. Features the famous grapefruit-in-your-face scene with co-star Mae Clark ("Frankenstein"). Co-starring the original Blonde Bombshell, Jean Harlow ("Dinner at Eight"). Recently selected by the prestigious American Film Institute as one of the 400 greatest American films of all time. Inducted into the Library of Congress National Film Registry.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 26
- Fresh: 26
- Rotten: 0
- Average Rating: 8.4/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: There's no lace on this picture. It's raw and brutal. It's low-brow material given such workmanship as to make it high-brow.
Fresh: James Cagney's portrayal of a bootlegging runt is truly electrifying (he'd made five films, but this one made him a star), and Jean Harlow makes the tartiest tart imaginable.
Fresh: Cagney's energy and Wellman's gutsy direction carry the day, counteracting the moralistic sentimentality of the script and indelibly etching the star on the memory as a definitive gangster hero.
Fresh: Still a classic of the gangster genre, showing neither glorifying the life nor pulling its punches.