Quickie Summary [courtesy of Wikipedia]
After killing Pretty Boy Floyd (Tatum), FBI agent Melvin Purvis (Bale) is promoted by J. Edgar Hoover(Crudup) to lead the hunt for John Dillinger (Depp).
In between a series of bank robberies, Dillinger meets Billie Frechette (Cotillard) at a restaurant and woos her by buying her a fur coat. Frechette falls for Dillinger even after he reveals his identity, and the two become inseparable.
Purvis leads a failed ambush at a hotel where he believes Dillinger is staying; an agent is killed by Baby Face Nelson (Graham), who escapes with Tommy Carroll (Garrett).
Purvis requests that Hoover bring in professional lawmen who know how to catch criminals dead or alive, including Texan Charles Winstead (Lang).
Police arrest Dillinger and his gang in Tucson, Arizona, after a fire breaks out at the Hotel Congress. Dillinger is extradited to Indiana, where he is locked up in the Lake County Jail in Crown Point, by Sheriff Lillian Holley (Taylor).
Dillinger and other inmates use a fake gun to escape.
Dillinger is unable to see Frechette, who is under tight surveillance.
Carroll goads Dillinger into a bank robbery in Sioux Falls with Baby Face Nelson. During their escape, both Dillinger and Carroll are shot, and they have to leave Carroll behind.
The group retreat to the Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, and realize their haul is significantly less than Nelson said it would be. Dillinger hopes he can free the rest of his gang from prison, including Pierpont (Wenham) and Makley (Stolte), but “Red” Hamilton (Clarke) convinces him this is unlikely.
Purvis and his men apprehend Carroll and torture him to learn the gang’s location.
Purvis organizes an ambush at Little Bohemia.
Dillinger and Hamilton escape separately from the rest of the gang. Agents Winstead and Hurt (Frye) pursue Dillinger and Hamilton through the woods, engaging in a gunfight in which Hamilton is fatally wounded.
Trying to escape, Nelson, Shouse, and Van Meter hijack a Bureau car, killing Purvis’s partner Carter Baum (Cochrane) in the process.
After a car chase, Purvis and his men kill Nelson and the rest of the gang. Hamilton dies that night.
Dillinger meets Frechette, telling her he plans to commit one more robbery that will pay enough for them to escape together.
When Dillinger drops her off at a tavern he thinks is safe, she is arrested.
Frechette is beaten during interrogation to learn Dillinger’s whereabouts, which she does not reveal; Purvis and Winstead eventually arrive and intervene.
Dillinger agrees to participate in a train robbery with Alvin Karpis (Ribisi) and the Barker Gang, intending to flee the country the next day.
He receives a note from Billie through her lawyer, Louis Piquett (Gerety), telling him not to try to break her out of jail.
Through Zarkovich, Purvis enlists the help of madam and Dillinger acquaintance Anna Sage (Katić), threatening her with deportation if she does not cooperate.
Dillinger and Sage see Manhattan Melodrama at the Biograph Theater.
After the film, Purvis signals other agents upon seeing them leave.
Dillinger spots the police but is shot before he can draw his gun.
Winstead listens to Dillinger’s last words. Purvis goes to inform Hoover of Dillinger’s death.
Winstead tells Frechette, still incarcerated, that he thinks Dillinger’s dying words were, “Tell Billie for me, ‘Bye bye Blackbird’.”
The closing text reveals that Melvin Purvis quit the FBI in 1935 and died by his own hand in 1960, and that Billie lived out of the rest of her life in Wisconsin following her release in 1936.
A man like Jack Dillinger all lives inside of us. A man as daring as society who goes beyond his limits. He sees something and he goes for it. He believes in what he does and wants to do. I believe that is why he made it as far as he did. Where there are heroes such as, Agent Purvis from the Bureau of investigations, there are villains like Jack Dillinger. This movie is your typical cops and robbers movie, which I tend to enjoy. A man proud of what he does states so to the public press while being arrested. He is and was a fearless notorious man.
I commend his bravery. I too commend his boldness to step right in to the enemy’s territory with no fear, aware of the consequences. It was all like a game to him. Taunting the police force. He was nearly a heroic figure to all, not ashamed of what bad deeds he knowingly committed as he stated so to the public and press whilst being arrested in Indiana.
Regardless of all the like-wise gangster, mafia or robber movies I have seen I would have to say that Jack’s and Billie’s relationship was one my favorites. It is clear to say that although Dillinger portrayed a tough notorious character, there was a whole other side to him that he let us see the moment he fell in love with Billie Frechette. It struck me to see him act the way he did when he went to get her from her workplace. Especially when she was arrested and Dillinger drove away nearly in tears truly showed his sentimental and sensitive side. It was a touching relationship. His heart was broken, his pals were all dead and he was left alone. Very alone and vulnerable.
I liked Jack Dillinger as a villain. He was simple and straightforward. It didn’t take him too much profound thinking to go ahead and do what he wanted to do. He just did it, but with brains. Always aware of his surroundings.
During the last scene of his death I was actually nervous. It almost felt like I was on Dillinger’s side. The more he kept walking away from the Biograph Theatre the more I wanted him to escape, but it was evident that the Biograph Theatre would be the location where he would experience his downfall, especially after he watched that movie with Clark Gable in it. It seemed like it was almost a reflection of his life.
I’ve learnt that a fearless, brave and daring man stepping in to his after life is more remembered than a man who followed the life of society and not his own.
I absolutely loved the way the movie was made itself. The fact that they used several of the actual real settings where Jack Dillinger was present in the movie added to its historical accuracy. I believe that this made the movie more credible, accurate and appreciative. The use of high-definition digital when panning added to the effect of the violence especially during the bank robbing scenes further letting us visualize how tough times may have been during the great depression during the 1930s.
Top 5 Favorite Quotes
- Dillinger: “That’s your money, mister? We’re here for the bank’s money, not yours. Put it away.”
- Dillinger: “What if we could get out of here altogether? You wanna take that ride with me?”
Billie: “Yeah, I wanna take that ride with you.”
- J. Edgar Hoover: “We are in the modern age, and we are making history. Take direct, expedient action. As they say in Italy these days … ‘Take off the white gloves.”
- ***Dillinger: “We’re having too good a time today. We ain’t thinking about tomorrow.”
- ***Dillinger: ” Tell Billie for me, Bye Bye Black Bird.”