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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #14 ~ Film vs. Book
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:11 am 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
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Also wasn't there a man who taught him all the tricks about robbing banks?


jdfan, that was Walter Dietrich who had been a student of Herman Lamm. While in prison, Dillinger was schooled by Dietrich in the finer points of bank robbery and prison escape known as the "Lamm Method". Dietrich was one of the inmates that escaped from the penitentary with the gang but he was not killed in the escape as was portrayed in the film.

As a matter of fact he was captured on Dec 6 1933 and returned to prison. His companion at time, Jack Klutas, wasn't as lucky, he was shot.



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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #14 ~ Film vs. Book
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:12 am 
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Hi all,

After reviewing the film once, I am going to say for Mr. Mann: You needed to drive your characters in this film! I have Bryan Burrough's book in which it was great, but too broad for this film. Dillinger -The Untold Story would have been better to use because the film really revolved on Dillinger, his gang, and the FBI going after him. Bryan's book really would been great as an mini series. I can understand that Mr. Mann wanted to use the book, because if was closer to the truth, but we found he took liberties from the book so what was the point! He took great pains in filming on the exact locations, but the story it self was lost.

I love Johnny's performance, but would like to see more interaction with his gang such as the different personalites in which these guys had. Again, we needed to see those characteristics come to life in his gang. I felt that those actors didn't get their dues on screen. I also would like to see more of Dillinger and Billie (it jumped around too much). I agree that they gave too much credit to the FBI. I would like to see more emotion from Purvis(C.Bale). If Michael Mann would have made a film on just Dillinger, it would of been fine. I have no problem in seeing this film again because of Johnny.



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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #14 ~ Film vs. Book
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:16 pm 
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Lotsa company and not much time to be here lately, but am in agreement with the general sentiment. I just felt that what I'd like now is a whole new movie based on this book! :applause2:



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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #14 ~ Film vs. Book
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:20 pm 
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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
Quote:
Also wasn't there a man who taught him all the tricks about robbing banks?


jdfan, that was Walter Dietrich who had been a student of Herman Lamm. While in prison, Dillinger was schooled by Dietrich in the finer points of bank robbery and prison escape known as the "Lamm Method". Dietrich was one of the inmates that escaped from the penitentary with the gang but he was not killed in the escape as was portrayed in the film.


Thanks. :perplexed: Why change that?



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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #14 ~ Film vs. Book
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:15 am 

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I posted most of my thoughts already on the movie discussion thread and in answering the Johnny/Jonnie question, but I'll summarize by saying that I concur with almost everything said here. I was actually quite relieved to find that I wasn't the only one who was distracted/upset by the historical liberties taken, and what I found to be an overly brutal Dillinger. The first time I watched PE I was horribly disappointed.

That said, I actually loved the movie by the third viewing. But only because of two things: First and foremost, I completely let go of everything I'd learned by reading PE and DTUS. I tried to go into the theater as a blank slate, and just said, "Ok, Michael Mann, entertain me", and he did. And second, by the 3rd time around I felt as though I really knew all the characters and I "caught" many things that I'd missed before, e.g., the civilians being shot at Little Bo. (By the 3rd time it's obvious they're ordinary bar patrons, but that point, and its ramifications, is lost on probably 95% of the movie going population.) The film just moves too fast to take it all in, especially in one sitting. In the movie discussion thread DB said
dharma_bum wrote:
I think Michael Mann shot a three-hour movie that may have been a masterpiece and delivered a two hour and twenty minute film that falls short of that ultimate greatness.
and I tend to concur with that view.

My hopes were too high for this movie. Like every other movie I've ever seen based on a book that I read first, I was disappointed because it was so different from what I expected. But, ultimately, I did enjoy the movie. I guess I've now come to view it as just a third account. There was PE the book, Dillinger the Untold Story, and PE the movie. Just another take on what happened, with the last version being the most artistic, the most romantic, and yes, the most fictional.


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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #14 ~ Film vs. Book
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:45 am 
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RamblinRebel, I went into it on my second viewing determined to let go of my previous knowledge and just watch the movie. It was more enjoyable when I was able to do that and I too caught more of the story. Unfortunately I think unless you knew some of the background, it was just too confusing on one viewing. Your atttitude about it just being another account, separate from the books is a good one.

jdfan, I agree. The only reason I saw was that later when Dillinger was a bit more desparate and willing to work with Baby Face Nelson, one of the gang members said something like...remember what Walter said about working with people you don't trust...and Dillinger responded something about being desperate. The only reason I can think of for including Walter's character in the beginning was to say that if Walter had still been there maybe they wouldn't have taken up with Baby Face Nelslon? Anothger historical moment alluded to (his relationship with Dietrich) but not explored.



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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #14 ~ Film vs. Book
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:57 pm 
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I find your theory of why they included Deitrich in the film very interesting. In the book "Handsome Harry" Pierpont mentions how Dillinger is forced to create a new second gang of Van Meter, Hamilton ( the only one from both gangs) and Baby Face Nelson.
He doesn't think much of the second gang as he was also schooled by Lamm and Dietrich. Harry (Pete Peirmont) never liked Van Meter from prison days and refused to let Dillinger bring him into the first gang. He also didn't like Baby Face Nelson.

That there were two gangs, is another thing not clear in the film.When Harry Pierpont, Charles Makley, and Russell Clark were arrested in Tuscon they had only been out of jail 4 months. Harry keeps tabs of Dillingers gang from death row and he speculates that Dillinger would go to Van Meter because he was always friendly with him in prison , but must be desperate to take on Baby Face. This seems to be pretty true. Harry seems to have agreed with your theory DITHOT.

Just to add for anyone interested in reading "Handsome Harry". It is a good story and even though it is fiction as far as the author making up all the dialog in the story, he does name all the real gang members, girlfriends , dates and events in the correct order and sticks to the facts we learned in the two books. There is still one more book I want to read before I let go of Dillinger and that is "Don't Call Us Molls, Women of the John Dillinger Gang."



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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #14 ~ Film vs. Book
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:37 pm 
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A review in the Washington Post of the new Harry Potter movie said, "While in my heart of hearts I imagine the perfect Potter adaptation as a 30-hour miniseries in which every scene in the book is reproduced verbatim, I'm willing to accept that Hollywood adaptation is the art of omission and collage."
Same goes for PE, right?


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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #14 ~ Film vs. Book
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:43 pm 
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gemini, I want to read the Molls book as well. The website is really interesting if you haven't seen it.

fansmom I sort of agree with you. When a work of fiction is made into a movie I expect the changes more so than with a true story. Althought I know HP fans hold the texts sacred!



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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #14 ~ Film vs. Book
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 4:44 pm 
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OK, better late than never. I'm sad to say I didn't read this second book on Dillinger. . . just too much going on in life. But I read the reactions to this question and see that there are many disappointed fans - of the movie version.

I've seen the movie once, was in on the first books discussion. . . the one thing I missed the most was the fact that we didn't get to SEE Dillinger's "Robin Hood effect", of giving back to the people. People made him out a hero and as I remember the only place in the movie were we see this was when he was being walked, handcuffed, and the crowd was cheering him. The only other place I remember was just dialog, of someone saying he gave the money to people. I've always learned that in movies it's . . . show don't tell.

I have enjoyed all your comments so far and sure agree with all about Johnny's performance. . :love: You know we would all go no matter what he played in.

On that note, I may see it again today. You always miss something the first time.
Lady Jill



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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #14 ~ Film vs. Book
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:34 pm 
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gemini wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
Quote:
Also wasn't there a man who taught him all the tricks about robbing banks?


jdfan, that was Walter Dietrich who had been a student of Herman Lamm. While in prison, Dillinger was schooled by Dietrich in the finer points of bank robbery and prison escape known as the "Lamm Method". Dietrich was one of the inmates that escaped from the penitentary with the gang but he was not killed in the escape as was portrayed in the film.

As a matter of fact he was captured on Dec 6 1933 and returned to prison. His companion at time, Jack Klutas, wasn't as lucky, he was shot.

To add to my own post I ran across a post by Dietrichs grandaughter on IMBD discussion of the film. Thought it interesting.

Updated Sun Jul 26 16:36:39
I am a relative of Walter Dietrich who was killed within the first five minutes of this film. Besides the fact that this was a very bland film, I will say that based on the way they treated my grandfather, it was historically inaccurate. Walter Dietrich did not die in the Michigan City jail break. I am his granddaugter and was at his funeral in 1979...not 1933. Here is what I know...he made it through the jail break and was re-arrested. He went to jail for 20 years. Made parole and married my grandmother in the early 60's. He went straight from then on and lived a very simple life with my grandmother in St. Louis. And to me he was just a grandpa...and I learned about his former life after he died. There you have it. The truth...not Hollywood stuff.



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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #14 ~ Film vs. Book
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:17 pm 
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Very interesting! Thanks for sharing. :cool:



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