The Public Enemy (1931)
A loud and horrific motion picture debut for James Cagney in the lead role of this gangster film The Public Enemy (1931) pitted against a world of beer barons who are fighting for supremacy on the mean streets of Chicago. We fist find Tom Powers and Matt Doyle (Edward Woods) as young boys who find themselves being taken in by a gang leader who trained young boys into petty thugs and criminals, the next generation of the mob, a training ground for the future.
We follow them into adulthood and the promised route into success and power during the mob lead prohibition era. As Power’s brother (Donald Cook) goes off to war, leaving his brother to look after his mother (Beryl Mercer). Not in the way he first thought, providing her with dirty to money, herself too innocent to realise the life he really leads.
A life that leads to danger, powerful enemies and ultimately is death. Along the way however he has his fair share of women, namely in the form of Jean Harlow who herself is still learning, unlike Cagney who is in his element, taking over the scenes, making them his own, along with his name in cinema history, alongside Edward G. Robinson as the hard men of cinema.
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