Movies that are slightly off.
The life of American public enemy number one who was shot by the police in 1934.
Warren Oates is Letterboxd's superstar Todd Gaines favorite actor. Based on Todd's recommendations....I have found myself watching more Oates' movies. Dillinger is one of Oates' few starring roles that I have come across over the last year. I know I am not a Warren Oates expert....but I think his role as Dillinger might be his career highlight.
In this movie we get to follow John Dillinger as he travels around the MidWest robbing backs and becoming a celebrity. Hot on his trail is Melvin Purvis (Ben Johnson). It is hard to watch this movie and not compare it to the Johnny Depp/Christain Bale Public Enemies Dillinger movie. Well I think Public Enemies is more historically accurate....but Dillinger is a much…
All my life I wanted to be a bank robber. Carry a gun and wear a mask. Now that it's happened I guess I'm just about the best bank robber they ever had. And I sure am happy.
- John Dillinger
this would make a great double-bill with public enemies if for no other reason than to contrast the interpretations of dillinger's story and the contextual information relayed by the directors. obviously oates is infinitely greater than depp could ever hope to be but the real point of interest is the difference between mann and milius. mann wants to turn dillinger into myth - the final hero of the old america - in a conscious retelling of the story where…
I think I just developed a man-crush on John Milius!
He invented the phrase "Go ahead, make my day", is the inspiration for the creature called Walter Sobchak, he proposed to have Rush Limbaugh drawn and quartered, his debuts as a director (also wrote the script) with Dillinger (wich was a blast) and, of course, he smokes cigars and sports a smashing, grey beard.
Warren Oates (another man-crush times infinity) actually looks a lot like John Dillinger. And leads the line pretty well, with a pretty awesome support cast having his back. Harry Dean Stanton, Ben Johnson, Geoffrey Lewis, Richard Dreyfuss, Chloris Leachman and Michelle Phillips.
Even if the criminals are portrayed rather humane, I think Milius favoured…
Talk about B-movie heaven! Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, and Harry Dean Stanton! In addition, there's Michelle Philips, Geoffrey Lewis, Cloris Leachman, and... Richard Dreyfuss? I do have to admit, it was great to see Dreyfuss take a knee in the balls. Directed by John Milius of Red Dawn and Conan the Barbarian.
The amount of ammunition fired is second only to Black Hawk Down. My word, they expend a ton of rounds. This is certainly post-Penn's Bonnie and Clyde. Lots and lots of people die, many more than did in reality.
Speaking of reality, this movie isn't too concerned with it. They get a lot of names right, and some dates, a few details, but who was with the gang…
Milius version of bank robber John Dillinger is a rough and violent one. With Warren Oates as the famous outlaw. The most odd thing is Ben Johnson as Melvin Purvis, the famous federal agent played like an avenging psychotic angel getting rid of all the rats on the federal list of public enemies in the 1930's. Good Tommy gun action here.
Ever since I saw the documentary on John Milius I wanted to see this. I was not disappointed. Warren Oates gets a rare chance to shine as a lead that's not a total scuzzball. As you'd expect from Milius' first film, it's a violent, manly escapade with multiple shoot-outs and terrifically manly performances. Even Richard Dreyfuss, playing the cowardly and psychotic Babyface Nelson, takes the role by the balls and machine guns it out of the park.
Incidentally this film is much better than Michael Mann's shiny and overlong re-do Public Enemies. Largely because Milius just doesn't give a fuck about anything or anyone. He just wants to do Dillinger justice. I think he did.
John Milius' take on the story of John Dillinger is his first film as writer/director. Rather than the romantic myth approach taken by Arthur Penn in his classic BONNIE AND CLYDE, Milius' script is satisfied to print the legend of Dillinger (Warren Oates) and his gang of bank robbers set against a well realized Depression era America. It's all here, the escape from Crown Point Jail, the shootout at the Little Bohemia Lodge, a bank robbery that goes bad as his gang finds themselves facing an armed group of lawmen and citizens, a sequence that seems to mirror the opening of THE WILD BUNCH, the Biograph Theatre and MANHATTAN MELODRAMA. The film is designed as a series of set pieces,…
For the most part, this movie is basically just a series of episodes featuring John Dillinger and his gang getting in bank robberies and then being hunted by FBI agents and vigilantes. It gets better in the second half, when everybody is desperately on the run and the suspense ratchets up nicely. Until then, it's a fairly unsurprising gangster shoot 'em up, although Milius brings a nice sense of toughness to the material. I liked Warren Oates as Dillinger, Ben Johnson as Purvis (although he looked nothing like him), Frank McRae as a black jail escapee who excitedly tags along with the gang, Harry Dean Stanton as a gangster who never quits complaining ("Things ain't working out for me today!"),…
20 Words or Less Recommendation/Review: Warren Oates is the greatest. Opening is just perfect. Everything that follows is just as perfect. Action done right.
Dillinger is a rather fascinating and ambitious film, stylizing the history figure as a sort of enigmatic and often unpredictable ball of charm, thoughtfulness, coldness, and ferociousness. Director John Milius' debut is rough around the edges, sacrificing some narrative steam to try and incorporate various moments of the rise and fall of the famous bank robber (even going as far as to add in an awkward voice over to keep things running smoothly), but the film makes up for a lot of its faults in some seriously effective moments where the silence of the drama drums as loud as the machine guns in the action set pieces. It's not a perfect film, but it is ambitious and it features a spunk that carries it through.
"Decent folk don't live that good."
Can't believe this gem has been sitting unwatched on my shelf for about 7 years but am very happy I caught up with it.
With a cast of character actors to make any cinephile spontaneously ejaculate in their seats and assured direction by John Milius, Dillinger delivers.
One of the best holed-up gang shoot-outs I've seen that makes The Devil's Rejects opening set-piece look like amateur night.
Arrow is releasing the blu-ray in April...cannot wait.
John Milius' first film as writer/director.
While Dillinger won't prove enlightening to the individuals who are already intimate with the famous outlaw's story, Milius and (his exceptional leading man) Oates conjure up just enough of their own cinematic magic to make the ordeal a thrilling, sometimes barbarous affair.
In many ways a better film than Public Enemies, Oates is a more believable Dillinger.
A narratively by-the-numbers bio-crime pic, elevated by Milius's hard as nails direction and a brilliant performance by Warren Oats, who really is the absolute double of the Dillinger.
Now I don't know how much of this movie is historically accurate but if Milius say's Harry Dean Stanton was running around firing a machine gun twice his size then I'll believe him. Why aren't there more movies featuring a machine gun-toting Harry Dean Stanton?? This also ranks as one of Stanton best death scenes - and in a career full of them, that's a strong compliment. It's fucking brutal.
In fact, the entire movie is brutal. Just an endless run of action scenes culminating in men with fadora's shooting other men…
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