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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is gonna be one of the big days in your life. Don't make it your last...
Doubtless inspired by the success of then-recent `period' gangster films such as Bonnie and Clyde and The Godfather, American International Pictures' 1973 film Dillinger is a somewhat derivative, rough-around-the-edges biopic of the famous Depression-era outlaw; however, it is also one of the most overlooked and underrated movies of the early 1970s. John Milius' film...
Published on 24 Jun. 2009 by Matthew Mercy

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stunning film, RUINED by DVD transfer
Dillinger is a fantastic film, puts Johnny Depps' Public Enemies to shame. I was excited when this came up for release, but this superb film is ruined with the copy of film to DVD. My copy has the audio slightly out of synch with the film itself. Looks like Im watching a dubbed version, its horrible and takes the pleasure from this 5* film.
I have contacted the...
Published 20 months ago by Alan Frehley


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is gonna be one of the big days in your life. Don't make it your last..., 24 Jun. 2009
By 
Matthew Mercy (Hertfordshire, England) - See all my reviews
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Doubtless inspired by the success of then-recent `period' gangster films such as Bonnie and Clyde and The Godfather, American International Pictures' 1973 film Dillinger is a somewhat derivative, rough-around-the-edges biopic of the famous Depression-era outlaw; however, it is also one of the most overlooked and underrated movies of the early 1970s. John Milius' film stars Warren Oates and Ben Johnson, who had previously appeared together as the Gorch brothers in Sam Peckinpah's masterpiece The Wild Bunch, as John Dillinger and his nemesis, FBI agent Melvin Purvis. With a strong supporting cast featuring Harry Dean Stanton, Geoffrey Lewis, Cloris Leachman, and Richard Dreyfuss (as Baby Face Nelson), this vibrant, energetic movie is ripe for re-discovery.
Despite its 1930s' setting, Milius' film resembles less Bonnie and Clyde, and more a film that also appeared in 1973, Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid; both movies share a theme of duality between the outlaw and the pursuing lawman, with the hunter obsessively tracking his quarry whilst envying his individuality and ill-gotten celebrity. Weapons enthusiast Milius stages his movie's many shootouts with remarkable intensity and realism, whilst the film's quieter sections are underlined with some wicked black comedy, and scenes of real emotional tug (especially memorable is the death of Pretty Boy Floyd, played by the little-known Steve Kanaly).
The film is not perfect. As a history lesson it is somewhat unreliable, and both lead actors, though excellent, are a little too old for the characters of Purvis and Dillinger, who were, respectively, thirty and thirty-one at the time Dillinger was killed (this is especially true of Johnson, who was in his mid-fifties when the film was made, and looks it). However, these are the only real complaints; unlike the distinctly underwhelming Michael Mann epic Public Enemies, Milius' version of the Dillinger legend does exactly what it sets out to do, and deserves to find a new audience on DVD.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I rob banks for a livin'. What do you do?", 14 April 2007
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First time director John Milius exploded into the movie business with this classic gangster movie. Following the success of BONNIE& CLYDE Hollywood had a brief romance with depression era crime sagas, and this is one of the best. Warren Oates is perfectly cast as the famous bandit, He actually looks like Dillinger. With Ben Johnson as his nemisis G man Melvin Purvis. The Film has pace romance and brilliant action sequences. This is defientally worth buying.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A neglected 1970s masterpiece, 10 Nov. 2010
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Michael Trolan "Von Croy's smarter brother" (Northumbria, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dillinger [DVD] (DVD)
As Clive James once remarked about a good BBC TV documentary "Sometimes you get an awful lot for your money". This low-budget gangster movie delivers a terse, well-written account of the short and eventful life of the FBI's first Public Enemy No 1, serving up in quasi-documentary style a mix of cranked-up gangster violence and sentimental Mid-West Depression nostalgia. There are two splendid performances from Warren Oates and Ben Johnson, ably supported by actors on the brink of substantial careers ... Harry Dean Stanton, Richard Dreyfus, Cloris Leachman, Geoffrey Lewis. Songs of the period such as "We're in the Money" are cleverly used as a sardonic counter-point to the machine-gun bursts and hectic car chases. Does director John Milius intend us to find in his film an old-fashioned moral? Despite Dillinger's claims to be "the best bank robber there is", their hauls seem modest and their quality of life likewise. Buy it anyway, and enjoy the movie of which Public Enemies is, alas, just a pale imitation. Favourite moment ... Dillinger taking a glass away from girl-friend Billie Frechette, snapping "You're an Indian. Indians shouldn't drink". Billie (grabbing her glass back) " I'm half-Indian and half-French. The French half drinks".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DILLINGER, 17 May 2013
This review is from: Dillinger [DVD] (DVD)
This is a brilliantly staged, action-packed account of John Dillinger's incredible story by John Milius with Warren Oates giving a career defining performance as Public Enemy Number One. Michael Mann's PUBLIC ENEMIES has much to recommend it but, for me, Johnny Depp was fundamentally miscast in the central role. Warren Oates was born to play Dillinger - he's the spit of the man and has the right combination of ruthlessness, confidence and ingenuity that were his signature. Ben Johnson is captivating as Melvin Purvis, the G-Man despatched to bring him to justice (a government gangster ritualistically despatching hoods with twin pistols and a commemorative Monte Cristo); the period is nicely evoked throughout (from the vintage cars to the interstitial archive mash-ups of old movies and real newsreel); there are some excellent cameos (including Richard Dreyfuss as Baby Face Nelson)and the whole thing rips like a bullet towards its inevitable denouement with not a scene to spare. Great stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stunning film, RUINED by DVD transfer, 19 Sept. 2013
By 
Alan Frehley - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dillinger [DVD] (DVD)
Dillinger is a fantastic film, puts Johnny Depps' Public Enemies to shame. I was excited when this came up for release, but this superb film is ruined with the copy of film to DVD. My copy has the audio slightly out of synch with the film itself. Looks like Im watching a dubbed version, its horrible and takes the pleasure from this 5* film.
I have contacted the distributor for an explanation............and heard nothing at all.
NOT a fault with Amazon, and I'd happily purchase again IF assurances were made the DVD is as it should be!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't make em like this anymore, 2 July 2013
This review is from: Dillinger [DVD] (DVD)
The late 60s through to the late 70s produced some wonderful movies. Dillinger was certainly one of them. Warren Oates is magnificent as John Dillinger. I bet the real gangster didn't have as cool a swagger as delivered by Warren Oates.
A must-see movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great film from Hollywood's last golden age, 25 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Dillinger [DVD] (DVD)
Dillinger was one of the better films based the life and crime of John Dillinger and even though there are a few libities taken with historic fact, it makes up for those gripes with some of the best shoot-outs put on film and also introducing a few fresh-faced actors, notably Richard Dreyfuss as Baby-face Nelson. I would recommend this film for those who like to see a film without the slickness and CGI effects you get in so many hollywood film these days. From the acting (all the cast are excellent) to the direction and production, this is one of the best films to come out of the last golden age of American cinema.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dillinger Review, 11 Aug. 2009
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S. Holmes (GB) - See all my reviews
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I enjoy this film a lot - more than the recent Public Enemies which may be more historically correct - but is not as good entertainment wise. Warren Oates is a perfect Dillinger. It is a movie I recommend - get it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE gangster movie, 3 Aug. 2011
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Mrgvase - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dillinger [DVD] (DVD)
to my mind the critic`s and other reviewers have got it wrong,The Godfather films are rubbish,compared to this little beauty,top of the range action all the way,fast story,good acting,ben and warren are just superb,and it cost a tenth of the big name films,have seen this twice and would watch again tonight,a must buy in any film buff`s collection,even better than some of the new gangster flicks.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great film and brilliant actors - never mind that Oates ..., 11 April 2015
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This review is from: Dillinger [DVD] (DVD)
Great film and brilliant actors - never mind that Oates and Johnson are not in their late twenties, as were the characters they are portraying. The Icon R2 DVD offers a anamorphic widescreen transfer with good picture quality. If you don't mind the grainy look of 70's films. Better than R1 DVD from MGM, plus Icon has English subs, which the MGM DVD has not.
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Dillinger [DVD]
Dillinger [DVD] by John Milius (DVD - 2010)
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