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Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film (2008)

An exploration into the invention of the crime genre in storytelling and the impact it would have during the infant years of cinema. Early Hollywood stars and directors are examined through... See full summary »

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Constantine Nasr
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Cast

Credited cast:
Alec Baldwin ... Narrator (voice)
Rudy Behlmer ... Himself
Robert Benton ... Himself
Sheri Chinen Biesen Sheri Chinen Biesen ... Herself - Interviewee
Joan Blondell ... (archive footage)
Humphrey Bogart ... (archive footage)
John Bright John Bright ... Himself (archive footage)
Daniel Bubbeo Daniel Bubbeo ... Himself
James Cagney ... (archive footage)
Drew Casper Drew Casper ... Himself
Bernard Dick Bernard Dick ... Himself
Christopher Frayling Christopher Frayling ... Himself
Alan Gansberg Alan Gansberg ... Himself
Patricia King Hanson ... Herself
Molly Haskell ... Herself
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Storyline

An exploration into the invention of the crime genre in storytelling and the impact it would have during the infant years of cinema. Early Hollywood stars and directors are examined through their contributions to film history and their creations influence on public society. Written by Robin Graves

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1940s | 1920s | 1930s | mobster | arrest | See All (25) »

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Enemigos públicos. La edad dorada del cine de gángsters See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New Wave Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

References State's Attorney (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

Blood in the Gutter
(uncredited)
Music by Laurie Johnson
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User Reviews

 
Nice look at the evolution of the gangster film
11 January 2009 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film" is an extensive look at the gangster film from the very early days of the silents and follows its evolution through the Depression, World War II and beyond. And of course, no gangster film documentary would be complete without the genre's great stars, shown in various scenes and in one amusing outtake: Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, George Raft, and Paul Muni.

"Public Enemies" demonstrates what a great match Warner Brothers was for this particular type of film and talks about some of the producers and directors influential in getting these movies onto the screen: Darryl F. Zanuck, Jack Warner, William Wellman, Raoul Walsh, Michael Curtiz.

It's a fascinating look at the effect that various happenings had on the gangster movie: the advent of sound, Prohibition, the Hayes Code, the Depression, WW II, interest in psychiatry, and the documentary gets into the melding of the crime film with the film noir. There are interviews with authors and film critics like Leonard Maltin and Molly Haskell, but also old interviews with Edward G. Robinson, Virginia Mayo, Joan Leslie, Raoul Walsh, William Wellman, and Joan Blondell that are great to see.

Highly recommended.


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