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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 »

Director:

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 Super Fly (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Manhunt
(uncredited)
Music by Jack Shaindlin
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User Reviews

 
Interesting but perhaps a bit too far-reaching
18 January 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is a documentary film about the so-called "Golden Age" for gangster films--the 1930s at Warner Brothers studio. Fortunately, the film makers were able to secure the rights to lots of film footage--in particular Turner Classic Movies' huge library of classic films. While I really enjoyed watching the old clips, there were two shortcomings to the film. First, there weren't that many new insights or behind the scenes information. I really wanted to learn more about the genre but felt this was of limited benefit. Second, at times, the documentary seemed to take on perhaps too much--looking at much older and newer gangster films as well. In particular, there were many important gangster films from the 1920s that were never mentioned and its discussion of Film Noir was so cursory you almost had the impression that this wasn't a very popular style or just a passing fad. I really wished the film had just stuck to the 1930s and perhaps 40s and then addressed these other things in subsequent films--or just made the documentary longer.

Still, for the average viewer, these concerns might not be a big issue. For a compulsive film watcher like myself (I have seen just about every film in the documentary), it probably isn't the most definitive look at the genre.


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