Public Enemies Question #1 ~ Johnny as Dillinger

by Bryan Burrough

Moderator: Liz

User avatar
Forever Alice
Posts: 2866
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:44 am
Location: Falling down the rabbit-hole

Status: Offline

Unread postby Forever Alice » Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:59 pm

Endora wrote:I'm interested to hear that many of you from the US weren't that familiar with all the characters. I thought it was just me getting lost in amongst all the gangsters, because I thought you in the US knew about them all as sort of folk heros, maybe like we over here know about Robin Hood. I have found this a hard book to get through, and I'm still struggling with it.

An alias?I'll just stick with being the blonde. :angel:


That's surprising too. I'm familar with everyone.
It's a interesting time.

Yes, I see Johnny as Dillinger.
I wonder what sources will Johnny refer to.

No Alias for me. :yuck2: :yuck: :biglaugh: (Sorry, I had to do it.)
My nickname: Spook Image
Jack Sparrow: Did no one come to save me just because they missed me?

User avatar
fansmom
Posts: 2059
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 4:50 pm
Location: Olney, Maryland

Status: Offline

Unread postby fansmom » Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:05 pm

I agree with all the comments about why Johnny took the role. When I read that he had, I thought, "Come on, Johnny, not another charismatic criminal; you've done that several times already." But as I read PE, I confess that I, too, found Dillinger to be irresistible. Especially that grin.

User avatar
Forever Alice
Posts: 2866
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:44 am
Location: Falling down the rabbit-hole

Status: Offline

Unread postby Forever Alice » Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:17 pm

I could definitely relate to the bank robbing.
My previous job was a vault teller.
One time, we had 6 guys case our bank out for about 2 weeks & disappeared for a few days. Then one morning, they were there.
But the police had been watching & stepped in.
It all happened in slow motion. It's a scary experience.
So, I relate & visualize

Johnny is definitely better looking than Dillinger.

I'm still brewing the questions.
Jack Sparrow: Did no one come to save me just because they missed me?

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:32 pm

suec wrote: I also like the bit about the reporters doing a double take when interviewing Dillinger, and he having better diction than theirs. That's pretty similar to Johnny too, who knows what it feels like to be under-estimated.
I think the issue of fame is something they also have in common. In the end, Dillinger's fame became a burden, restricting his lifestyle, despite his enjoyment of the spotlight at times - restrictive enough for him to undertake cosmetic surgery.

Maybe Mae, very good comparison in regards to their articulation! And Dillinger’s cosmetic surgery brings to mind Johnny’s attempts to remain under the radar.

the blonde, I was only familiar with Bonnie and Clyde (and not even them that much). I was familiar with the names Pretty Boy Floyd, Machine Gun Kelly and Baby Face Nelson in that they were gangsters. But I am embarrassed to admit that although I was aware that John Dillinger was an outlaw, I thought his time was much earlier…..like a century prior. Thanks to Johnny, I’ve expanded my knowledge yet again.

Too-Tall Tula, I agree with the comparison to CJS.

Spook, that is really scary! Were you aware while it was happening that the police had it under control?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
gemini
Posts: 3907
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:28 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Status: Offline

Unread postby gemini » Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:40 pm

I'm not much on dreaming up nicknames, which is how I ended up with my astrology sign. I guess I'll be Calamity Gem. :grin:

While my first thought was the same as everyone else that it takes place in Johnny's favorite era. I think Johnny is a sucker for the underdog and with the newly released FBI files used in this book it brings out that these guys were used to create a reason for the FBI to exist. He may want the real story out. He also loves being the anti-hero and I'm getting the feeling he likes dying in his films. And I think Dillinger probably piqued
his interest.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

Charlene
Posts: 1407
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:37 pm
Location: VA

Status: Offline

Unread postby Charlene » Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:07 pm

I agree with everything said...hmmm, I think as icing on the cake, Johnny saw a chance to finally get a prosthesis...ok, it's not a nose, but a chin......if they are going to include the plastic surgery in the movie, well, he's gotta change, and getting rid of that dimple, should bring us face to face with the Johnny we know and love before he bites the dust. OK, I did take pause when they said they smoothed out his wrinkles...come on, the guy wasn't that old...so I guess they'll have to add a few to Johnnie, so that Johnny can shine through in the end. BTW, that surgeon must have been good if Dillinger could go out in public so fast....in my minds eye he was looking like a patched up Frankenstein with a big patch of skin from near the ear stuck in the middle of his chin. Well, ewwww.

Also, wasn't Johnny interested in The Ballad of The Whiskey Robber (didn't IN buy the rights?), another gentleman robber, who robbed from the government, not the people...perhaps he already was caught up in loving a role like this, and since that seems to be tabled for now...this just fell in his lap, and he already had some ideas in mind.

Raven, I love that tombstone tidbit...reminds me of the article I read about the woman who had "Gone to Walmart " etched on hers (she was a big Walmart shopper). Maybe we should all consider etching in JDZer on the corner of ours....or better yet...a member of the ONBC...dedicated to JCD...that will keep people wondering.
Last edited by Charlene on Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Forever Alice
Posts: 2866
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:44 am
Location: Falling down the rabbit-hole

Status: Offline

Unread postby Forever Alice » Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:07 pm

Liz wrote:
suec wrote: I also like the bit about the reporters doing a double take when interviewing Dillinger, and he having better diction than theirs. That's pretty similar to Johnny too, who knows what it feels like to be under-estimated.
I think the issue of fame is something they also have in common. In the end, Dillinger's fame became a burden, restricting his lifestyle, despite his enjoyment of the spotlight at times - restrictive enough for him to undertake cosmetic surgery.

Maybe Mae, very good comparison in regards to their articulation! And Dillinger’s cosmetic surgery brings to mind Johnny’s attempts to remain under the radar.

the blonde, I was only familiar with Bonnie and Clyde (and not even them that much). I was familiar with the names Pretty Boy Floyd, Machine Gun Kelly and Baby Face Nelson in that they were gangsters. But I am embarrassed to admit that although I was aware that John Dillinger was an outlaw, I thought his time was much earlier…..like a century prior. Thanks to Johnny, I’ve expanded my knowledge yet again.

Too-Tall Tula, I agree with the comparison to CJS.

Spook, that is really scary! Were you aware while it was happening that the police had it under control?


Yes.
At the beginning of it all, they had been at my window.
I tipped off our security guard & we watched as everything unfolded.
We had to watch them for 2 weeks. That's all we could do.
You just get this feeling. They were studying us.
I was noticing little things & behaviors.
We were like hens in a cage, with wolves circling us.
They would come in as pairs.
It was never the 6 men all at once, until that early morning that they were going to come in.
I was openning and inside the bank when their car pulled up.
That morning you could just FEEL IT.
The police were near by & watching.
They never got in, because the police went over to them.
It was very scary.
I never want to work at a bank again.

I could see Johnny being Dillinger.
But if he was right in front of me doing that.
I'd freak out!
Jack Sparrow: Did no one come to save me just because they missed me?

User avatar
Theresa
JDZ Webmaster
Posts: 26856
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 1:21 am
Location: Houston, Texas

Status: Offline

Unread postby Theresa » Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:25 pm

When the announcement was made that Johnny was going to be in Public Enemies, I did wonder what he would ever see in what was obviously going to to be a cops and robbers shoot-'em-up movie. But then I started reading the book and was just captivated by Dillinger's charisma.

It was the part in the book (and I don't have my book with me, so I can't quote it) where Dillinger spread the coat out on the floor so the bank customer wouldn't have to lie on the cold floor. That, even more than Dillinger's counter-vaulting, is what convinced me that Johnny would really be perfect for the role.

User avatar
magpie
Posts: 28142
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:39 am
Location: in the South

Status: Offline

Unread postby magpie » Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:26 pm

I still haven't finished the book yet, but I'm hoping to read along with the discussion too.

I agree with what's been said already--about the time period, the clothes, physical build, etc. However, I keep remembering the author saying Dillinger was the first 'celebrity criminal' or something to that effect, and how the press made a turn-around in how they portrayed him. Dillinger had a certain charisma, and Johnny certainly has that, too!

Miss Maggie :noodlemantra:
I'm having a thought here. . . .
. . if you simply try to tell the truth you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
--C.S. Lewis

User avatar
suec
Posts: 1381
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:57 pm
Location: uk

Status: Offline

Unread postby suec » Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:07 pm

gemini wrote:I'm not much on dreaming up nicknames, which is how I ended up with my astrology sign. I guess I'll be Calamity Gem. :grin:

I'm getting the feeling he likes dying in his films.


:lol: Thanks Calamity Gem, for the chuckle. I like your point about wanting the real story to be told. I think that's an excellent point.
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."

User avatar
Betty Sue
Posts: 1430
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 7:37 pm

Status: Offline

Unread postby Betty Sue » Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:53 pm

Ma Dillinger checking in (what else for Betty Sue ? :grin:), a little late. Great answers all around!! :cool: Can't think of much to add except that I think Johnny always brings great feeling to family situations. His scenes with his dad in Blow were heartbreaking, and I trust the interplay with the Dillingers will be equally devastating.
"I never wanted to be remembered for being a star."

User avatar
Betty Sue
Posts: 1430
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 7:37 pm

Status: Offline

Unread postby Betty Sue » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:09 pm

Mr. Betty Sue just came up with another reason Johnny wanted to do the movie: he knows I live in Wisconsin! :-O :lol:
"I never wanted to be remembered for being a star."

User avatar
Lucky13
Posts: 2027
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2006 4:51 pm
Location: Riding Shotgun with Dillinger

Status: Offline

Unread postby Lucky13 » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:14 pm

Betty Sue wrote:Mr. Betty Sue just came up with another reason Johnny wanted to do the movie: he knows I live in Wisconsin! :-O :lol:


Sounds like a good reason to me !!! :cool:
~ Yah, I wanna take that ride with you!

I'd rather have a moment of wonderful, than a lifetime of nothing special. April 7, 2008

User avatar
fansmom
Posts: 2059
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 4:50 pm
Location: Olney, Maryland

Status: Offline

Unread postby fansmom » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:54 pm

Betty Sue wrote:Mr. Betty Sue just came up with another reason Johnny wanted to do the movie: he knows I live in Wisconsin! :-O :lol:
:rotflmao:

User avatar
nebraska
Posts: 29212
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:15 pm
Location: near Omaha

Status: Offline

Unread postby nebraska » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:56 pm

Good answers, everyone! The clothes, the time period, the physical similarities, the Robin Hood/Jack Sparrow aura to Dillinger.......

I was familiar with the names of the gangsters and a bit familiar with stories of Herbert Hoover's personality, but I knew very little detail of what really happened. I had always heard Dillinger's name, and thought he was supposed to be an exciting dashing character, but knew little or nothing about him. I had no idea why Johnny would want to play Dillinger.......but as I read, there was a moment when I went aha! . :bounce: I think it was on page 136 when I read that his mother died when he was 4 and his father worked all the time and had no interest in him. Then his father remarried and started a new family. Dillinger was Damaged! Dillinger, from his sad childhood to his good manners in the middle of a bank robbery to his grins for the reporters, could be portrayed as a character wanting to be "good enough to be loved." The Dillinger/Billie love story is another facet of that need. Johnny will do something absolutely fabulous with all of this!

I am still thinking about my gangster name....... :-?


Return to “Public Enemies”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests