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The Public Enemy The Public Enemy

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The Public Enemy

The Public Enemy (released as Enemies of the Public in the United Kingdom) is a 1931 American Pre-Code crime film starring James Cagney and directed by William A. Wellman. The film relates the story of a young man's rise in the criminal underworld in prohibition-era urban America. The supporting players include Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Joan Blondell, Beryl Mercer, Donald Cook, and Mae Clarke. The screenplay is based on the novel Beer and Blood by John Bright. The Public Enemy was selected in 1998 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." After Tom Powers (James Cagney) and his childhood friend, Matt Doyle (Edward Woods), grow into young adults, the film follows them as they gradually progress from small crimes (such as stealing watches from a department store as children) to worse crimes (such as killing a policeman during a botched robbery attempt as teenagers), after being hired by local bootlegger Paddy Ryan (Robert Emmett O'Connor). Tom quickly rises from apprentice to leading gangster by being more vicious and ruthless than his rivals. The bootlegging business becomes an ever more

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Genre: Drama

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