A Prohibition-era story of gangsters fictionalized from firsthand accounts of Al Capone’s reign of terror in Chicago, THE PUBLIC ENEMY (1931) was the breakout for James Cagney and Jean Harlow – two stars later named by AFI among cinema’s greatest screen legends. Cagney would go on to be recognized with the American Film Institute’s highest honor for a career in film, the AFI Life Achievement Award – and his iconic portrayal of wicked Tom Powers would land the character on AFI’s list of America’s greatest screen villains.
AFI Movie Club: THE PUBLIC ENEMY
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