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Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: cigar joe on October 31, 2006, 09:19:34 PM



Title: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on October 31, 2006, 09:19:34 PM
I picked up this excellent DVD from Amazon the other day. Directed by John Milius, this is another great Warren Oates performance as Public Enemy #1, John Dillinger.

The film has a fantastic supporing cast with an equally great Ben "I'm going to smoke one of these cigars over each one of these crooks dead bodies" Johnson as G-Man Melvin Purvis in what has to be his best perfomance that I've seen (he practically steals the picture) and also MNIN's Geoffrey Lewis as Harry Pierpont, Harry Dean Stanton as Homer Van Meter, Richard Dryfuss as Baby Face Nelson, Steve Kanaly as Pretty Boy Floyd, Frank McRea as Reed Youngblood, Michelle Phillips as Billie Frechette, and Cloris Leachman as the "Lady in Red"

The film is entertaining through out, as good or even better than Bonnie & Clyde. with a lot more action sequences and a minimal love story that doesn't tie it down.

It could have stood to be a little longer and devloped the characters a bit more, it starts in the middle of Dillingers crime spree, so we don't really find out what drove him in that direction, but since it was the depression its probably similar to all the wayward biographies of the gangsters of that time period. Its a little loose with the actual facts ie., Harry Pierpont was actually executed by electrocution, not killed by the cops on a bridge, and "Baby Face" was killed 4 months after Dillinger. But its a drama not a documentary.

There is a sequence near the beginning during a getaway where a woman is brutally run over and the death scene of Baby Face Nelson is not to be missed, the death grin on Dreyfuss' face is pretty creepy.

All in all a great watch & worth it. A must for Warren Oates fans.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Arizona Colt on November 01, 2006, 10:49:00 PM
Warren Oates is also good in DRUM 1976 if a bit over the top. It's amazing the dialog he delivers here. Nothing like this could be done today. He is in good company though with Yaphett Kotto, Fiona Lewis, Pam Grier, Ken Norton (broke Ali's jaw in round 1!), John Calicos and Royal Dano among others.

Oates was equally adept at horror alongside Peter Fonda in the horror-action hybrid RACE WITH THE DEVIL 1975 one of the biggest hits of that year and set for a remake ??? directed by the great 70s action director Jack Starrett who played Gabby in BLAZING SADDLES 1974.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Leone Admirer on November 02, 2006, 06:37:07 PM
Hi Joe, have you seen the original Dillinger from 1945 starring the excellent and threatning Laurence Tierney and the excellent character actor Elisha Cook Jr? It can be found in the WB Film Noir Vol. 2 boxset. I also heartily recomend the new Bogie Vol.2 set the new transfer of the Maltese Falcon is incredible. I'm going to have a Bogie fest starting next week  ;D


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on November 02, 2006, 08:18:01 PM
I haven't seen it recently, but I do remember it.  ;)


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on June 23, 2009, 07:16:22 PM
I've got this film somewhere on my Netflix queue, I really hope I get to see it before watching Public Enemies.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: The Firecracker on June 23, 2009, 07:20:28 PM
I've got this film somewhere on my Netflix queue, I really hope I get to see it before watching Public Enemies.

You could always catch it on youtube...

Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqtrI_gCQq0&feature=related


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on June 23, 2009, 07:24:04 PM
Groggyfucius Say: If there be anyway to watch movie not on YouTube, take the opportunity.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on June 30, 2009, 08:34:35 AM
As the DVD is listed as being a "long wait" on Netflix, Groggyfucius may have to bend to the Firecracker's wisdom...


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Amaze on June 30, 2009, 09:51:40 AM
(http://www.moviegoods.com/Assets/product_images/1020/224816.1020.A.jpg)

Quote from: John Forehand
I have seldom seen better casting than in this gangster classic, which is without a doubt the best movie ever made on John Dillinger. I disagree with the reviewers who say Ben Johnson was miscast as Melvin Purvis. I think he was perfect in the role although his character really came out looking like a villian. I know that this film gets many facts wrong, but it is a movie, not a documentary. Warren Oates looks a lot like Dillinger & gives a flawless performance. I don't know why he didn't become a bigger star after this was released. Although filmed over 30 years ago, the shootouts are some of the best I've ever seen in any action movie. In fact, I think the only movie that tops "Dillinger" in shootouts is 1995's "Heat". This has a brilliant blend of action & romance that will command everyone's attention from start to finish. The dvd's picture quality is good but not great.

sounds good really. downloading it now


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on June 30, 2009, 10:15:49 AM
YouTube only has up to part six, whether from copyright issues or the gentleman hasn't gotten around to the rest of it.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on June 30, 2009, 07:54:07 PM
Watched this again tonight, lots of great action sequences, going to be hard to top, I guess we'll see. Now I wonder if Purvis is going to smoke a cigar over each dead body, or if the PC police will ban smoking from this flick, lol.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on July 04, 2009, 06:00:25 PM
Watched the Little Bohemia shootout and the killing of Dillinger from this film on YouTube. Both scenes are ludicrously inaccurate and I daresay not very well-staged either, particularly Purvis's killing Dillinger. Mann's portrayal of the former event is rather inaccurate too, but this is just ridiculous.

I still have this movie on my Netflix queue but it's listed as a "long wait" so I doubt I'll be seeing it anytime soon.

Was the cigar-smoking a Milius/Ben Johnson touch? Because nothing I've read indicated Purvis did that sort of thing (not to mention being half Johnson's age).


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on July 04, 2009, 09:47:43 PM
It was a Milius-Ben Johnson touch, Milius was going more for the Myth & Legend lager than life Dillinger vs larger than life Purvis, Mann was going for accuracy with an inaccurate time line.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on July 05, 2009, 08:00:35 AM
Seems fair enough to me, however I'll still go into the film proper with reservations.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Dust Devil on July 24, 2009, 02:24:27 AM
Started watching this today and barely finished it (had to cut it to three 40 minutes sessions). Gangster flicks were never really my thing, but I can recognize a classic, and Dillinger in not one of those in my book. I liked the action scenes (accurate or not, you be the judge), not so much the 'developed characters' and the dialogue, in which I couldn't find any of John Milius' notorious wittiness. Warren Oates and the rest of the cast get a positive grade, though. All in all blank gangsta flick, for fans of the genre only.


5/10


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on July 24, 2009, 06:53:37 AM
Is this available online anywhere, preferably as streaming video? YouTube only has about half the film and Netflix has it listed as a "long wait" so no chance I'll get it before school starts.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on July 26, 2009, 05:11:38 AM
I've watched it three times now and it keeps improving with each viewing and am now considering it a minor classic. Its Ben Johnson's (Lee Van Cleef/Mortimer moment, he's the star that stands out similar to lee in FAFDM) and the Oates-Phillips relationship is way more sexy than Depp-Marion Cotillard relationship as shown in PE. Yea its got some over the top stuff (Billie firing a tommy gun and screaming for Johnny to escape at Little Bohemia), lol, but its a fun film. The more you watch it the more you realize how good it really is. The little vignettes that develop the films characters are great.

Its just the Dillinger Legend partly truth & partly fiction.

Its the way it should have been, not the way it actually was.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Arizona Colt on July 26, 2009, 09:27:49 AM
Is this available online anywhere, preferably as streaming video? YouTube only has about half the film and Netflix has it listed as a "long wait" so no chance I'll get it before school starts.

Well, Amazon has it new and used for the price it would be for a rental.

http://www.amazon.com/Dillinger-Warren-Oates/dp/0792846877

Great movie. I saw it years ago on television and they showed a lot of the violence intact. Buying the DVD when it came out, it was one of the most violent American action films of the 70's, especially for a "mainstream" movie (AIP was a few years off from becoming a major, but when they did it backfired on them). The accomplished action scenes were edited in a fashion as rapid fire as the dozens of machine gun bullets flying all over. The 'villain glorified as hero' motif is strong and a bit uncomfortable with some of the company Dillinger holds company with. But even those guys get spectacular, if undignified send offs. And as CJ said, Ben Johnson is great. The whole cigar smoking over each of their dead bodies was a nice touch. I do also like the way the film somewhat blurs the line between who is the "good guy" and "bad guy". And any movie with 'Red River Valley' featured prominently on its soundtrack can't be all bad. O0


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 16, 2009, 01:47:10 PM
Some fun sequences and Images from Dillinger 1973

The first is one of my favs, its got this surreal quality from being shot through teller window bars that are out of focus, Oates looks slightly demented which helps.

Hi, I'm John Dillinger.....

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/Gall.jpg)

Late of your County Jail....

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/ImJohnDillinger.jpg)

You are going to tell your grandchildren about this. This is one of the great days in your life.... don't make it your last.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/Dontmakeityourlast.jpg)



Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 16, 2009, 02:10:01 PM
And here is Ben Johnson who is a real hoot as super "G" Man Melvin Purvis:

G Man arrives at abandoned farmhouse that holds Wilbur Underhill the "Tri-State Killer"

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/GMan.jpg)

He asks for a vest.....

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/Vest.jpg)

gloves......

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/Gloves.jpg)

automatics......

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/Automatics.jpg)

and seegar, lol.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/Cigar.jpg)


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 16, 2009, 02:36:11 PM
Billie Frechette, we first see her and John Dillinger in a bar, perhaps soon after their initial meeting. He brings her back to the safe house to meet the gang:

He turns her to each member as he says their names.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/BilliesIntroductiontogang.jpg)

John finishes Billie's intro's and announces to the gang, "This is Billie Frechette, she's an indian....... don't ever give her a drink."

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/dontevergiveheradrink.jpg)


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on August 16, 2009, 03:08:09 PM
"I'd like to withdrawal my entire account."

Cool pics CJ.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 16, 2009, 04:03:49 PM
More Billie:

Back at the bar Billie and Dillinger were making smalltalk. Dillinger asks her "do you know who I am", Billie answers "as far as I'm concerned your Douglas Fairbanks". 

After the intros to the gang at the safe house Dillinger brings Billie back to his room, he stops at the dresser mirror and looks at himself and says "Douglas Fairbanks, huh?" and he flings Billie onto the bed.  He calls her a whore and she says don't ever call me that, He says theres nothing wrong with that "whorings the oldest profession," she slaps him and he smacks her back onto the bed.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/Whore.jpg)

Before the next job Billie goes back to the reservation to her mothers trailer.  After the job Dillinger goes and gets her:

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/Reservationtrailer.jpg)

He comes flying out of the trailer carrying Billie and dragging Billie's wailing mom, in a great little sequence, all that was missing (take it from one who has lived on the res) were about ten yapping dogs, lol.

PS note the cinder blocks holding down the tar paper on the trailer roof.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/stealingbillie.jpg)





Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on August 16, 2009, 04:14:29 PM
This movie just became available on Netflix! :o Hopefully I'll get to see it the whole way through before I go back to school.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 16, 2009, 04:16:22 PM
Billie wrapped in her Indian blanket sleeps on Johns shoulder as he drives off the Res in the back seat is a dying gangster shot through the stomach he asks John not to bury him in an unmarked grave, John tries to bolster him up saying you ain't gonna die. The next scene shows a makeshift cross tied together with a silk tie with a twenty dollar bill as a grave marker.

John gives a poignant eulogy to his buddy with explaining that he's burying him in an un-marked grave so the souvenir hunters don't dig him up. Its a beautiful sequence.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/nonameonthegrave.jpg)


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 16, 2009, 04:26:45 PM
Billie and John have a few nice romantic sequences together one in a car near the Mexican Border, the one below takes place to a pulsing red neon glow

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/Nobodylivesforever.jpg)

Billie asks John to promise her that she "won't have be there when they get him"  John replies that "nobody lives forever but I'd be a damn fool not to try."

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/Dontwanttobetherewhentheygetyou.jpg)

Billie straightening the seam on her stockings while John calls Purvis.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/seamedstockings.jpg)


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 16, 2009, 04:44:44 PM
Big Jim Wollard in Tuscon does a bit of detective work he questions the Mexican help of a Tuscon Hotel while John Dillinger and the gang are enjoying a "Fordian" outdoor dance.

"You say their bags were heavy and that they tipped you with a hundred dollar bill?"

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/BigJimWollarddetectivework.jpg)

"them fellers are outlaws", his deputy asks how he knows this Big Jim Wollard replies, "decent folk don't live that good"

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/decentfolksdontlivethatgood.jpg)



Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Dust Devil on August 16, 2009, 05:21:06 PM
We should have never told you how to do those damn screencaps, CJ! :D


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 16, 2009, 06:03:34 PM
Quote
We should have never told you how to do those damn screencaps, CJ!

Yea I'm having fun with them now.

here's the lead up to the  Little Bohemia fiasco:

Purvis and agents driving into position.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/littlebo.jpg)

Love this little sequence of the FBI on foot approaching the lodge.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/littlebo1.jpg)

What's interesting is that Milius has the FBI positioning at night but chose to do the shootout in the early morning perhaps it was equipment/budget limitations on what actions you could show at night that made that decision for him.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/littlebo2.jpg)

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/littlebo3.jpg)


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 17, 2009, 06:48:38 AM
What's interesting is that Milius has the FBI positioning at night but chose to do the shootout in the early morning perhaps it was equipment/budget limitations on what actions you could show at night that made that decision for him.
Sure takes care of the unmotivated-light-source problem, don't it?

Great caps, Joe. They really make me want to watch this film again. O0


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 17, 2009, 04:01:29 PM
Its definitely worth re-watching, every time I do I up my estimate comparably to what passes for 90% of films these days:

Any way here is the last of my screen caps of another of my favorites.

Here is one of the opening sequences of the film after the credits the gang pulls into a hard hit depression town. The bank they were going to knock over is closed &  boarded up, one of the gang mentions that it was a thriving town in 1925 or so. They stop at a filling station an old codger is seated out front. Homer Van Meter (Stanton) hops out and tops off the radiator with water.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/gasstation.jpg)

Homer questions the station attendant about when the bank shut down. Attendant doesn't answer at first,  Homer asks again and Attendant says "I heard you the first time " after a funny exchange attendant answers "when they ran out of money"

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/FillingStation-1.jpg)

Homer tells the attendant to fill up the car the attendant tells Homer "to fill it yourself".  Homer pulls out his revolver and the attendant in answer spits into a spitoon.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/fillitup.jpg)

Harry Pierpont (Geoffrey Lewis) says "what you gonna do now Homer?'  flustered Homer hesitates, Harry then says "give him some money and lets get out of here" Homer reaches into his pocket and throws money at the attendant. Another gang member says from inside the car "what you giving him money for". Again Flustered Homer shoots the gumball machine and some of the oil cans and the plate glass window.

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/gumball.jpg)

Homer jumps into the suicide door and shouts "lets get out of here I got his gumball machine".

(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/Igothisgumballmachine.jpg)


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Dust Devil on August 17, 2009, 04:43:14 PM
I have to say that scene is really great, possibly the only part I truly enjoyed. O0


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 17, 2009, 06:29:14 PM
I have to say that scene is really great, possibly the only part I truly enjoyed. O0

It grows on you with repeated viewings  O0


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on August 18, 2009, 06:05:51 PM
I should be getting this film in the mail tomorrow. If this isn't the best damned movie ever, CJ, there'll be hell to pay.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 18, 2009, 06:12:43 PM
Its way more entertaining than PE, don't let the inaccuracies get in the way, remember its the Myth and Legend rather than the reality which PE took liberties with also.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on August 18, 2009, 06:19:59 PM
Hey, I hope I like it. I like some of Milius's stuff and love the cast. I just wish I'd gotten to see it before Public Enemies.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on August 18, 2009, 06:21:06 PM
(http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/cigarjoe/GMan.jpg)

That's Roy Jenson on the right, yes? He gives Ben a pretty good run for his money in the cool guy character actor department.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 19, 2009, 03:44:28 AM
Steve Kanaly is also in it as Pretty Boy Floyd and he's very good.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on August 19, 2009, 08:35:59 AM
Kanaly is (or was) a pretty good actor, yet his career seemed to die after he was on Dallas. Choice (I know he's also an artist) or just not able to get parts?


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on August 19, 2009, 01:19:40 PM
Just got done watching this (finally) so here's some hastily-typed thoughts.

My take is pretty mixed on the whole. There's a lot of good but also a decent amount of bad throughout.

The movie starts with a cool opening and I like the gumball scene so praised by CJ. At the very least I appreciate the film for giving the viewer some background info on the Kansas City Massacre and such (completely lacking in Public Enemies), and it does a much better job of capturing the Depression and popular support for Dillinger than Mann's film, which asserts Dillinger is popular and lets it be so.

The story however plods for most of the first hour. Purvis is by far the more interesting character of the two leads and quite frankly, Dillinger's scenes seem largely in the way. Oates' performance is good (not great) but I don't think Milius does a good enough job developing Dillinger's character; quite frankly, I found his gang mates more interesting in this film. Perhaps for this reason, I thought the movie really took off after Dillinger's jailbreak with the "Supergang"'s crime spree and Purvis in hot pursuit. This is a complete mirror of Public Enemies, where Dillinger is a fairly interesting character but no one else gets enough screen time to make any impression. If Milius had done a better job with his nominal protagonist he might have made a truly great film. As it was, I thought Ben Johnson and Dillinger's gang mates (particularly Harry Dean Stanton and Steve Kanaly) steal the film from Oates, which is only a bad thing considering the film is called Dillinger.

Also the. movie very much looked like the cheap movie it was. I know it was an AIP production so I won't be too critical but there's very little variance in locations, it looks like all the scenes were shot on the same farm in Oklahoma during the fall (even though most of the film's key events occurred in summertime). Also, the bit actors and extras are lousy actors - particularly the caricature Tucson Policemen -
another sign of a low budget. Public Enemies certainly looks a lot better, shaky cam and all; Milius uses a good amount of handheld set-ups and no better than Mann does.

Another area where Dillinger is really lacking is the romance.  I didn't much like the hackneyed soap opera romance in Public Enemies but it was miles better than what's here. I hate the way their love story "develops" - Dillinger kidnaps Billie, practically rapes her, and suddenly she's in love with him? I don't care what planet you're on, that's pretty darn misogynistic, and it really put me off. Besides that, Michelle Phillips is a lousy actress and she has no chemistry with Oates. Both films probably focus too much on the love story, but PE's is less obnoxious and disturbing to my way of thinking.

I'm not going to comment on historical accuracy for obvious reasons. Suffice it to say, the HUGE errors here are less glaring than in Public Enemies, which has pretensions to realism. I could take the film as primarily a work of fiction and I don't really care about "Super Purvis" or chronology of deaths.

The movie's strongest sequence is the whole Little Bohemia part of the film, from the shootout to the gang's escape and eventual deaths. Twenty minutes of brilliance by Milius - the pacing is perfect, giving each of the gang members their own unique death scene, the action well-staged if a bit over-the-top (Floyd chucking grenades at the G-Men kinda threw me off), the acting and writing top-notch - everything clicks, and this sequence easily surpasses everything in Mann's film aside from the shooting of Dillinger. If the rest of the film was on this level I'd agree with CJ's rating whole-heartedly.

I'm not sure what to rate it rate now - I'm leaning towards a 7 but an 8 is possible given the positives noted above. Slightly better than Public Enemies, but with its own set of flaws. Unless the TV movie with Mark Harmon is an overlooked masterpiece, I'd say the definitive Dillinger film still needs to be made.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Dust Devil on August 19, 2009, 01:43:05 PM
You made some good points, Groggy. Taking them in consideration I think an 8/10 would be too high, 7/10 maybe about right for gangster fans. I gave it 5/10 but as I said, there really aren't many pure gangsta flicks that I can digest.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on August 19, 2009, 02:42:48 PM
Full-length review (though not significantly longer than the above). I hope CJ doesn't mind my using one of his screencaps for my blog post.

Quote
Today I finally got around to seeing John Milius's Dillinger (1973), after months of futile attempts to see it. After seeing Public Enemies and the Godawful B-movie with Lawrence Tierney this summer, I was hoping that Milius would deliver a great take on John Dillinger, Melvin Purvis and their exciting lives, times and associates. Milius's film (his first theatrical effort) is a fairly entertaining action movie, but it's no masterpiece; it may surpass Michael Mann's recent effort in some ways, but it's got its own myriad flaws to compensate.

John Dillinger (Warren Oates) is a charismatic outlaw who becomes a folk hero to Americans during the Great Depression. With his gang of crooks (Harry Dean Stanton, Geoffrey Lewis, Richard Dreyfuss, Steve Kanaly) he sticks up an series of banks and makes a name for himself - also romancing Billie Frechette (Michelle Phillips) along the way. Hot on his tail is FBI Agent Melvin Purvis (Ben Johnson), a tough, old-school lawman seeking vengeance for the deaths of his agents in the Kansas City Massacre - a crime committed by one of Dillinger's men, Pretty Boy Floyd (Kanaly). Purvis's men gradually decimate the public enemies, while both men seem as interested in their public image as succeeding at their jobs.

Milius's film is a strictly mythical take on the Dillinger saga. Unlike Public Enemies, which went out of its way to appear accurate (in spite of many egregious flaws), Dillinger is , and as such mostly succeeds. It's basically a B-movie crime flick (produced by AIP), liberally crossing elements of The Wild Bunch and Bonnie and Clyde with a hint of John Ford. The movie does a much better job of establishing the film's historical background than Mann's film, and gives a real sense of the Depression and Dillinger's popularity with the masses. The movie doesn't match Mann for the period details, costumes or historical accuracy, but it makes up for it with an authentic, gritty feel. For this, Milius is to be commended. However, the movie has its own failings distinct from Mann's big-budget extravaganza.

One of the movie's biggest question marks is its protagonist. Warren Oates does a fine job as Dillinger but the film doesn't give him a lot to work with; he's basically a loud, violent egomaniac with few redeeming features. We do see that people love him, but unlike Johnny Depp's portrayal, he's not really likeable and it's hard to see what the public saw in him, and compared to his colorful supporting cast, Oates' Dillinger is not particularly compelling. This is a mirror image of the Mann film, where Dillinger is an interesting character but his supporting cast are interchangable goons and G-Men. This might not be a problem if this were meant as an ensemble crime flick, but as the film's ostensible focus is on Dillinger it's a noteable flaw. Perhaps for this reason (and the fact that Dillinger largely disappears after Little Bohemia), the final showdown outside the Biograph Theater doesn't work; there isn't a lot of tension or suspense due to sloppy build-up.

Another major flaw is the movie's romance, which embraces the old sexist gangster moll stereotypes and makes them even more repulsive. Here Dillinger kidnaps Billie (twice!), practically rapes her, and then, without any further interaction, the two are hopelessly in love? I don't care who you are, that's pretty blatant misogyny, and it lowered my respect for Milius a good deal. It doesn't help that Michelle Phillips, pretty as she is, is an atrocious actress, and she and Oates have little or no chemistry. I didn't care much for Public Enemies' hackneyed soap opera romance either, but at least it's not as repugnant as Milius's version.

Still, Dillinger is a generally entertaining movie by its own standards. The production values are often shoddy due to budget, but Milius shows a strong flair for direction throughout; he stages action sequences with bloody aplomb that Peckinpah would envy, with a generally good pace and a strong, well-written script. In particular, the film has one absolutely brilliant sequence - the Little Bohemia shootout, and the lengthy scenes of Dillinger's gang attempting to escape the FBI dragnet. This sequence is near-perfect - well-staged if over-the-top action, brisk, engrossing pacing, pitch-perfect acting and writing - and if Milius had been able to match the brilliance of those twenty minutes, we might well have a masterpiece on our hands. Fortunately, he would show a much firmer hand on his next picture, The Wind and the Lion, even if that film's ludicrous climax lets it down a bit.

One area where the film excells is its supporting cast. Though the movie, it vividly portrays Dillinger's gang, not as interchangable supporting thugs and bullet fodder, but as distinct criminals with their own personalities and quirks. The portrayal of Purvis as a kickass super G-Man is at odds with the historical record, but it certainly works for the story, and Purvis emerges as the more interesting of the two protagonists. Again, this is perhaps detrimental to the portrayal of Dillinger, but on the other hand it helps involve the audience in the film and its characters; all of Dillinger's sidekicks get their own distinct death scenes, and the audience feels for them when they die - something Mann was unable to achieve.

The film's cast is mostly excellent, aside from Phillips. Warren Oates is a fine Dillinger although as mentioned above he's hampered by the script. Ben Johnson steals the movie with a fine performance; he's a no-nonsense, old-school tough guy and Johnson plays the role to the hilt. Harry Dean Stanton and Steve Kanaly are standouts among Dillinger's co-horts, though Richard Dreyfuss is perhaps a bit too over-the-top as Baby Face Nelson. Other roles are well-handled by dependable veteran talent: Cloris Leachman, Roy Jenson, Geoffrey Lewis, Frank McRae.

Dillinger is a good, entertaining gangster flick that occasionally comes close to greatness, but never quite reaches it. It may be slightly more entertaining than Public Enemies but is no closer to masterpiece status. Unless the Mark Harmon TV flick from the early '90s is an overlooked gem, I'd say that the definitive Dillinger movie has yet to be made.

Rating: 7/10 - Recommended

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2009/08/dillinger.html (http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2009/08/dillinger.html)


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 19, 2009, 07:04:48 PM
Quote
As it was, I thought Ben Johnson and Dillinger's gang mates (particularly Harry Dean Stanton and Steve Kanaly) steal the film from Oates, which is only a bad thing considering the film is called Dillinger.
So if the film had been called something else--say, "Public Enemies"--you would have enjoyed it more?


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 19, 2009, 08:49:50 PM
No problem with the screen caps Grogy,  I would suggest that you watch it a few more times though, it grows on you, but not right away, at least that was the case for me. I felt the same way initially but repeated viewings over a few months upped my estimate.

There are not that many films in this Mid West non city/Gangster sub genre all I can think of are, Bonnie & Clyde, Dillinger 1973, Machine Gun Kelly 1958, Big Bad Momma (1973), Bloody Mama 1970, Ma Barker's Killer Brood (1960), Guns Don't Argue(1958), Public Enemies (2009) and maybe Paper Moon (con artists though)

I think I stated that this was Ben Johnson's Lee Van Cleef/Mortimer moment similarly practically stealing the film like Van Cleef did from Eastwood in For A Few Dollars More.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 20, 2009, 05:55:19 AM
Quote
I'd say that the definitive Dillinger movie has yet to be made.

The problem is inherent with the facts, there really is no way to have a typical protagonist/antagonist story using Dillinger as a subject, it was him against the system of law enforcement figures and entities.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on August 20, 2009, 06:51:31 AM
The problem is inherent with the facts, there really is no way to have a typical protagonist/antagonist story using Dillinger as a subject, it was him against the system of law enforcement figures and entities.

Well it doesn't need to be a strictly conventional film, just one that manages to get most everything right. Disregarding the awful Tierney film, Dillinger and Public Enemies get some things right but mess up others in telling the story. Public Enemies needed a stronger narrative drive/cohesion (better script really) and better use of supporting characters. Dillinger needed a stronger portrayal of Dillinger and a better love story (and higher production values). If the two approaches were blended by a great director (which I'm not convinced Mann or Milius are), a great film could definitely be made of the material.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on August 20, 2009, 06:53:15 AM
So if the film had been called something else--say, "Public Enemies"--you would have enjoyed it more?

It's a (failed?) attempt to be clever.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: mike siegel on August 20, 2009, 03:16:29 PM
I always liked DILLINGER. Next to BIG WEDNESDAY one of my Milius favorites.
The film has the AIP smell all over yet he really achieved something, just being
28 years old and on a shoestring budget.
It has a raw wild quality I miss so much in so many films (pretending to have
a 'wild subject'). Nothing clean here. Hommages to his heroes (there a lot
of Ford, in WEDNESDAY a lot of Peckinpah).
Got to see it in a theatre with Milius in 1995 which was very nice.
(http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/16445514/372360914.jpg)


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on August 23, 2009, 07:59:41 PM
Not to steal CJ's thunder but the Internet Firearms Database has a lot of cool screencaps. Here are some good ones:

(http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/6/69/Dil-1911a.jpg/800px-Dil-1911a.jpg)
"I'd like to withdraw my entire account!"

(http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/6/6d/Dil-1911h.jpg/800px-Dil-1911h.jpg)
Steve Kanaly as Pretty Boy Floyd

(http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/3/31/Dil-1911j.jpg/800px-Dil-1911j.jpg)
You don't look big enough to be a center!

(http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/3/3b/Dil-tommy4.jpg/800px-Dil-tommy4.jpg)
Dillinger has a close shave

(http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/e/e0/Dil-tommy12.jpg/800px-Dil-tommy12.jpg)
Nelson makes a getaway

(http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/e/e5/Dil-tommy13.jpg/800px-Dil-tommy13.jpg)
Agent Cowley ready for action

(http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/2/2e/Dil-tommy17.jpg/800px-Dil-tommy17.jpg)
Billie covers the gang's retreat

(http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/f/f0/Dil-tommy19.jpg/800px-Dil-tommy19.jpg)
The death of Baby Face Nelson

(http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/4/42/Dil-1911.tommy.jpg/800px-Dil-1911.tommy.jpg)
Gunning for Pretty Boy Floyd

(http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/7/71/Dil-1911k.jpg/800px-Dil-1911k.jpg)
"JOHNNY!"

(http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/1/1d/Dil-rev4.jpg/800px-Dil-rev4.jpg)
Homer Van Meter about to eat it. "Things ain't workin' out for me today."

(http://www.imfdb.org/images/thumb/2/2f/Dil-bar3.jpg/800px-Dil-bar3.jpg)
Harry Pierpont has an inconvenient jam


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 23, 2009, 08:24:07 PM
http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Dillinger_(1973) (http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Dillinger_(1973))


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on August 24, 2009, 03:46:44 AM
Thank Grogs for initially mentioning it.  O0


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on August 24, 2009, 06:57:38 AM
No sweat. It's a really cool and useful website for those of us who care about such things. O0


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 25, 2009, 09:23:09 PM
I was thinking of starting a thread on guns in Leone's films but this site is better than anything I could come up with.

Not much on Colossus of Rhodes or Duck You Sucker but great screen caps and gun info from Leone's other movies:

A Fistful of Dollars (http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/A_Fistful_of_Dollars)

For a Few Dollars More (http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/For_a_Few_Dollars_More)

The Good The Bad and The Ugly (http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Good%2C_The_Bad%2C_and_The_Ugly%2C_The)

Once Upon a Time in the West (http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Once_Upon_a_Time_in_the_West)

Once Upon A Time In America (http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Once_Upon_A_Time_In_America)
Great find! O0 O0 O0 The SL Encyclopedia needs those links as well, so I am duly appropriating them.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: noodles_leone on December 01, 2009, 06:50:30 AM
Great find! O0 O0 O0 The SL Encyclopedia needs those links as well, so I am duly appropriating them.

Great website! However, these links don't work for me, they lead to other articles...


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: noodles_leone on December 01, 2009, 07:04:52 AM
I saw this version of Dillinger a couple monthes ago and posted something on the Rate The Last Movie You Saw thread but I couldn't find it. Anyway, here is what i thought:

Good movie, much better than PE IMO. First of all, there is a real purvis/dillinger opposition, something that you only feel 2 times in PE (1-the face to face when Dillinger is in jail 2-when dillinger is in purvis' office), where it was supposed to be THE point of the movie. Here, the whole movie is based on that concept, without having to underline the opposition in the title. This is achieved mostly by the voice over and the iconisation of the two characters (especially melvin purvis), and it ties up the whole movie (which, basically, follow the same (lack of) plot than PE).
The cinematography is pretty good, although we could point out a certain lack of visual inventivity: nice orange colours (not the cheap over contrasted and destarurated sepia we do today) and very violent and brutal action scenes that still work ok today. While the movie never reaches the technical level of The Wild Bunch, the influence of Peckinpah is easy to spot, and the peckinpah-esque cast makes it even more obvious.
Speaking of the cast, there are numerous big names in it, and they all do a good job, but only Oates is at his best. It's very nice to see all these guys in a single movie though, and it sure adds a lot to the charm the movie has nowadays. The feminin cast is ok too and the scenes between gangsters and their girlfriends are better writen than the (pointless) ones in PE: you actually FEEL there is something between them.
Last (and may be least), the score has nothing special but is fine to me. I just had to add a line about it in order not to be murdered by some old guy.

All in all, I'd rate it something like 7/10. Could easily have been 8 or 8.5 with a Coppola or Peckinpah behind the camera and more involved actors.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on December 01, 2009, 12:15:02 PM
Not a bad commentary although I disagree with you on two points.

1. I think Oates is a good Dillinger but the script short-changes him with a cliched one-dimensional gangster role. The supporting cast really outshines him IMO, particularly Kanaly and Stanton and Johnson.

2. I found the romance plot disgustingly misogynistic here, as I've said a few times before. Plus Michelle Phillips cannot act to same her life.

I think I like it slightly better than Public Enemies on the whole, but neither is a great film IMO. If a film could be made that blends what each got right together, we would potentially have a masterpiece.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: noodles_leone on December 01, 2009, 12:31:40 PM
If a film could be made that blends what each got right together, we would potentially have a masterpiece.

We agree on this! Although both movies have a different approach: PE goes for "realism" or at least "realistic looking", and Dillinger tried a "myth" approach (in a Peckinpah way rather than a classic way: brutal, violent, dark and with a lot of iconisation).


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on December 01, 2009, 12:48:29 PM
That's fair enough, though Dillinger seems more cartoonish than mythic to me.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 27, 2016, 10:13:44 AM
New special edition Blu-ray coming soon!

Quote
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
•Brand new 2K restoration of the film from original film materials
•High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray and Standard Definition DVD presentations of the film
•Original mono soundtrack (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
•Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
•Audio commentary by Stephen Prince, author of Savage Cinema and Screening Violence
•Newly-filmed interview with producer Lawrence Gordon
•Newly-filmed interview with director of photography Jules Brenner
•Newly-filmed interview with composer Barry De Vorzon
•Stills gallery
•Theatrical trailer
•Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips
•Collector s booklet containing new writing by Kim Newman on fictional portrayals of John Dillinger, plus an on-set report containing interviews with writer-director John Milius and others, illustrated with original production stills


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on April 19, 2016, 02:02:35 PM
Savant reviews the Blu-Ray:

http://trailersfromhell.com/dillinger/#.VxaOO4-cGP9 (http://trailersfromhell.com/dillinger/#.VxaOO4-cGP9)

It's a shame they couldn't get Milius for the commentary, but I suppose his stroke makes that impractical.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 19, 2016, 02:28:34 PM
Ordered!


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on April 19, 2016, 04:36:17 PM
Nice  O0


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 20, 2016, 05:47:27 PM
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film5/blu-ray_reviews_71/dillinger_blu-ray.htm


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 26, 2016, 10:41:03 AM
Blu-ray/DVD dual format Arrow edition in da house!


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: titoli on April 26, 2016, 10:43:00 AM
Blu-ray/DVD dual format Arrow edition in da house!

Which room?


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on April 26, 2016, 11:07:48 AM
The bathroom.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: titoli on April 26, 2016, 12:25:12 PM
The bathroom.

Does he sleep there?


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on April 26, 2016, 08:01:07 PM
He's got a 40 inch flat screen installed above the loo. That way, he can watch even the biggest shit in HD. O0


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: titoli on April 26, 2016, 11:13:58 PM
He's got a 40 inch flat screen installed above the loo.

You mean in front of? Or the screen is on the ceiling?


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: T.H. on April 27, 2016, 10:30:06 PM
I probably prefer Dillinger '73 to Bonnie and Cylde, but it's been a long time since I've seen the latter. It's one of the better 70s Depression exploitation/gangster movies. Milius is on point and Oates is the man, as I'm sure we all agree with.

I'll be picking this one up at some point.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on April 28, 2016, 07:49:57 AM
I've never been a big fan of Bonnie and Clyde, to be honest. It's cutesy in the same way as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, except it takes itself way too seriously.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: titoli on April 28, 2016, 11:18:37 AM
Saw this on tv in the '80's. Saw it again today here (alas, dubbed):

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2bithl_dillinger-ita-1973-poliziesco_shortfilms


I give it 8/10. It proceeds by "yanks", not in a linear fashion centered on the main character. I prefer it like that, without the politically correct dribble and the female oriented romantic hogwash. And it is visually rich, never saw so many old cars around getting destroyed. Lots of good scenes and very well delineated minor characters (and some of them look like their models).


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Novecento on April 28, 2016, 11:24:49 AM
I've never been a big fan of Bonnie and Clyde, to be honest...

Nice bit of editing though


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 28, 2016, 02:41:10 PM
And it is visually rich, never saw so many old cars around getting destroyed.
Absolutely. You can't destroy old cars anymore, they're too valuable. I was wowed last night watching model Ts and whatnots overturning and getting smashed and burning up.

The Stephen Prince commentary on the new disc is very useful. He points out the occasional homage to Peckinpah or Welles or whoever, then starts going to town on every set-up Milius owes to Ford. The number of those is prodigious.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: mike siegel on April 29, 2016, 01:28:16 AM
I'm just preparing my audio-commentary for the German blu-ray, haven't seen the film in 20 years. Strange, my only two audio-commentaries in three years are Oates' two leading roles in 1973.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 29, 2016, 06:13:18 AM
This is over at IMDb:
Quote
This picture's cinematographer Jules Brenner has said of this film on his blog about his work on the VariaGallery website: "This was a great film to work on for a lot of reasons, starting with the experience of working for John Milius. He has always been a brilliant and naturally gifted writer, and this was his first effort as director. John deals in images that he visualizes in his mind's eye and I was, as his cinematographer, his instrument to realize them. From the get go, John expressed his vision of the film as the conveyance of the myth of John Dillinger. As is typical of a Milius hero, Dillinger was a larger than life individual who lived his life according to his own instinctive drive and carved out a full chapter in the annals of legend. The visual elements, the colors, compositions and photographic concept of the film was to further the idea of doing a "romance" of a historical figure. I don't believe I've ever worked for any director, before or since, with whom I felt a greater collaborative kinship than I did with John. The photographic paths I was taking at his inspiration were closely allied with my own visual aesthetics. One "effect" or style of photography that I employed was to control, through filtration and lab manipulation, the Kelvin responses of the film medium. My objective was to exploit a range of colors that were at once realistic and surrealistic. It created a picture that wasn't exactly what the mind and brain might render but, rather a "stretched out" palette of color. Not realistic, but I think it acted subliminally to further the romance concept. Some writers have criticized the film for its lack of faithfulness with the known facts, as though the film were intended as a documentary and it somehow fell short. Some call it "over-romanticized", failing to perceive the intentions and the style while so many of its viewers "got it" and went with it. While John had all the facts, known and surmised, his take on the story was, perhaps, to suggest why an audacious bank robber could capture the imagination of the public while his hand was in their pockets. It's no error of history that a myth built up around Dillinger, who was killed at the mere age of 31 years".
There is an interesting interview with Brenner on the Arrow disc where he says Millius spent his time working with the actors and pretty much left the cinematography up to him. That being the case, Brenner has to get a lot of credit for the look of the film, which is truly remarkable. Reportedly, the film cost a little more than a million to make but it looks like the studio (AIP) spent more like (in 1973 dollars) 10 million on it. The Oklahoma locations were very, very well used.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on April 29, 2016, 06:22:29 AM
The Wind and the Lion got epic battle scenes and location shooting out of a $2,000,000-ish budget. Milius was really great at working within restrictive budgets.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 29, 2016, 02:18:17 PM
I'm just preparing my audio-commentary for the German blu-ray, haven't seen the film in 20 years. Strange, my only two audio-commentaries in three years are Oates' two leading roles in 1973.
Your very next assignment should be Cockfighter (1974).


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: titoli on April 29, 2016, 06:31:10 PM
A great mystery about this movie is bound to be why Michelle Phillips got a Golden Globe for it.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Groggy on April 30, 2016, 06:27:09 AM
For what, Best Shriek?


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Novecento on April 30, 2016, 08:31:08 PM
Your very next assignment should be Cockfighter (1974).

I've always been curious to watch this, although somewhat concerned that I will find the actual footage of cockfighting a little disturbing given that it is generally illegal.

There is a Blu-ray release in Japan although I don't know what the quality is like.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 05, 2016, 11:11:50 AM
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Dillinger-Blu-ray/147497/#Screenshots


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: Kurug3n on May 05, 2016, 11:26:23 AM
This is over at IMDb:There is an interesting interview with Brenner on the Arrow disc where he says Millius spent his time working with the actors and pretty much left the cinematography up to him.

Somewhere in this (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5101153-warren-oates?from_search=true&search_version=service) Warren Oates biography, theres a passing mention from someone (can't remember the name) where they mention that Milius didn't have any directing when it came to acting. I'll try and find the page and quote.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: mike siegel on May 05, 2016, 02:02:50 PM
I've always been curious to watch this, although somewhat concerned that I will find the actual footage of cockfighting a little disturbing given that it is generally illegal.

There is a Blu-ray release in Japan although I don't know what the quality is like.

I saw it only once but liked it very very much. Next to TWO-LANE maybe my favorite Hellman film.
Wonderful soundtrack.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 05, 2016, 03:06:51 PM
I saw it only once but liked it very very much. Next to TWO-LANE maybe my favorite Hellman film.
Wonderful soundtrack.
Wow, that's quite a recommendation. Maybe I'll pick up the blu on my next trip to Tokyo in June.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 17, 2017, 12:23:45 AM
Just saw this movie for the first time (on TCM) and IMO it is trash. I am sorry for all you Warren Oates fanboys. I am an Oates fan, too; but a big mistake was made here in how they made the Dillinger character - though I can't know for sure if Milius or Oates is to blame for this: Dillinger is a truly repugnant character and not enjoyable to watch or likeable. You can have a main character whio is a crook, but you cannot have a main character who is not even a gentlemanly crook, or not great fun to watch, or annoying as hell, thoroughly rude to everyone he meets.

 Many many great movies have been made with main characters who are bad people in real life, but it's a movie, so we don't care – the movie gives us some reason to like him. It could be like Jesse James are frank James, who the movie made as a sort of Robin Hood character getting back at the evil railroad barons. It could be the tragic hero in, or the guy who just couldn't catch a break or living in the wrong times, like Cagney or Bogart in Angels With Dirty Faces or High Sierra.  It could even be a thought really bad kid it with no read deeming value at all, like Cagney in the public enemy, but we love him anyway because he so much damn fun to watch. It can be THE GODFATHER, who, despite certainly being an immoral character,  does have his own code of honor, his own sense of honor in his own twisted world. Or The Man With No Name, who is do damn cool.
 But in this movie, the Dillinger character is rude, really bad, as gruff and crude with women as with men, has no redeeming value (faling in love halfway theough the movie, by which time I already despise him, is too little too late), is so goddamned annoying with everyone as well as the viewer .... right then and there, the movie becomes a bad movie. Amd the rest of the cast is mostly terrible, too.

Yeah, the  cinematography is nice, as are the 1930s locations, production design, costumes, cars, guns etc etc. That's what the movie has going for it. So does the far better Bonnie & Clyde and numerous other gangster movies set in that period.

Also, the  narration with Ben Johnson is ridiculous, just reduces the tension.

The shtick  Johnson does with a cigar would be cool if He would pull out the cigar AFTER he killed the people, BUT pulling it out beforehand- every time -  is just one of several examples where Milius is clueless. It is like Milius can't WAIT til the end of the scene to show the shtick -- he tells the punchline before telling the joke, thereby ruining both.

One more example: when Dillinger busts out of the Indiana prison,  I could not believe that Milius is actually shows us Dillinger making the fake gun with the wood and the shoe polish and then pointing it at the guards. that is so stupid!. It would've been much better if Dillinger had suddenly  just pointed the gun at the guards - and  we wonder, just as the guards do, how he got the gun  - escape and only after he escaped do we realize that it was fake. UGH just a bad film all the way around

5/10


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 17, 2017, 01:59:49 AM
You can have a main character whio is a crook, but you cannot have a main character who is not even a gentlemanly crook, or not great fun to watch, or annoying as hell, thoroughly ride to everyone he meets.

 :o


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: cigar joe on January 17, 2017, 03:46:05 AM
 ::)


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 17, 2017, 08:20:42 AM
thoroughly rude*
  ;)


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 17, 2017, 12:14:28 PM
But in this movie, the Dillinger character is rude, really bad, as gruff and crude with women as with men, has no redeeming value (faling in love halfway theough the movie, by which time I already despise him, is too little too late), is so goddamned annoying with everyone as well as the viewer ....
No, not the viewer, YOU, Drink. There are plenty of people who enjoy Oates for who he is and what he does on screen--even here. I will always take Oates in whatever role over the Yankee Doodle Faggot. He's even more interesting than Bogart (well, sometimes). Oates is da Man! Drink is da Bed Pan!


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: mike siegel on January 17, 2017, 01:12:55 PM
Warren saves the day of course. I was never a big fan of the film for it is what it is - a directorial debut with limited funds. I did an audio-commentary last year for the Blu-ray and while researching etc. I began to like the film a bit better. It is uneven and has serious flaws, but also some nice stuff. Being a John Ford fan I found, as I recall, at least 10 homages :). And the first big robbery is pretty violent and very intensely directed. For what it is it is quite good, after it all it was an AIP cheapie. For them of course  it was a rather big production, nevertheless a very low-budgeted film. Milius soon showed what he could do with the much better WIND & THE LION and the excellent BIG WEDNESDAY. But I think he sees himself more as a writer than a director. Anyway, any show with Warren can never be a bad time at the movies :).


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 17, 2017, 01:31:45 PM
No, not the viewer, YOU, Drink. There are plenty of people who enjoy Oates for who he is and what he does on screen--even here. I will always take Oates in whatever role over the Yankee Doodle Faggot. He's even more interesting than Bogart (well, sometimes). Oates is da Man! Drink is da Bed Pan!

IMO Oates was a very good actor, but can't touch Bogart and Cagney.

I do not love Bogart as gangster - I prefer his non-gangster roles. For Cagney I like his gangster stuff; I do not watch musicals.


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 17, 2017, 01:33:14 PM
Mike, Can you list some of the Ford homages? Thanks


Title: Re: Dillinger (1973) (Gangster Flick)
Post by: mike siegel on January 17, 2017, 01:48:36 PM
You are the guy that called my "an idiot". We should have no contact with each other.