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Dillinger


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Product Details

  • Actors: Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, Michelle Phillips, Cloris Leachman, Harry Dean Stanton
  • Directors: John Milius
  • Writers: John Milius
  • Producers: Buzz Feitshans, Lawrence Gordon, Robert Papazian, Samuel Z. Arkoff
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: September 19, 2000
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792846877
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,468 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dillinger" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

From the writer of Apocalypse Now comes an electrifying crime saga about one of the most notorious gangsters of the 1930s. Starring Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman and Richard Dreyfuss, Dillinger sets the screen ablaze with explosive shootouts, daring escapes and magnificent performances. Bank robber John Dillinger (Oates) has become a folk hero to the people ofDepression-era America, capturing their imaginations with the exploits of his outlaw "super-gang." But time may be running out for Dillinger's violent band of fugitives; the FBI's finest agent (Johnson) is on the case, and his pursuit won't end until every member of the gang is behind bars...or dead! Charged with heartstopping action and riveting drama, Dillinger is an unforgettable experience hailed as nothing less than "brilliant" (San Francisco Chronicle)!

Customer Reviews

One of the best gangster movies.
Jim Haucke
Warren Oates was the only man to play the part of John Dillinger (he even looks like him).
Emmett C Jesberg
Having said all that, none of it alters the fact that this is one hell of a fun movie!
R D

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Terry Chance on September 11, 2003
Format: DVD
This is not a completely true story. This is not a documentary. It is just a fun movie to watch based very loosely on a few gangsters around the early to mid 1930's. The lead roles are bank robber John Dillinger and FBI agent Melvin Purvis. While trying to capture or kill Dillinger, Purvis runs across a few other notable gangsters of the day. If you want true history, don't get it from Hollywood, head to your local library. If you want to watch a fun movie, check this one out. I believe that many people write reviews to impress others with their knowledge of history. If I was sitting in a college class, that may be significant. While I am watching a movie, who cares?
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Westley VINE VOICE on February 24, 2002
Format: DVD
"Dillinger" is not a particularly well-known movie, but it stands up well against other 1970s movies that explored the 1930s (Paper Moon, Bonnie & Clyde). Warren Oates stars as the notorious bank robber, John Dillinger. Oates is a great character actor and its terrific to see him in a starring role. Why he did not become a bigger star is a mystery. The movie does a great job capturing the barren depression-era Midwest. Real-life news reels are mixed in with the action to help make it more authentic.
The supporting cast is also fantastic. Harry Dean Stanton is quite funny and Steve Kanaly (later a star of "Dallas") has one of his best movie roles as Pretty Boy Floyd. This is probably the best movie that director John Milius has made (he later made "Conan the Barbarian" and "Red Dawn"). The movie is fast-paced and fun. What is lacks in historic accuracy it more than makes up for with non-stop action. The DVD doesn't have any extras, but I still recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Erik North on May 8, 2009
Format: DVD
The Depression era was the boom time for criminal gangsters, and few were more feared, lionized, or despised than John Dillinger. The exploits of Dillinger and his gang garnered as much notoriety among the people of the Midwest as Bonnie and Clyde, until that day in Chicago in July 1935 when Dillinger himself was offed by the FBI's top man Melvin Purvis. This is the saga told and mytholigized in the 1973 cult classic DILLINGER, which marked the directing debut (albeit on a low budget courtesy of American International Pictures) of John Milius, one of Hollywood's few true political conservatives (and an old-school one at that).

As with BONNIE AND CLYDE, the 1967 Arthur Penn-directed classic that this film takes more than a few cues from, one can't expect anything remotely resembling a realistic portrait of one of America's most notorious criminals. But what Milius, a film buff par excellence, does give us in spades is an extraordinarily charismatic performance in the title role by Warren Oates, the fine charachter actor who came into his own via his appearances as part of Sam Peckinpah's stock company. Another Peckinpah regular (and John Ford stalwart), the always-reliable Ben Johnson, co-stars as his adversary, Melvin Purvis. Along for the ride are future "Dallas" star Steve Kanaly (as Pretty Boy Floyd); Richard Dreyfuss (as Baby Face Nelson); Geoffrey Lewis (as Harry Pierpont); Cloris Leachman (as the Lady In Red); Michelle Phillips, of the Mamas and the Papas (as Billy Frechette); and Harry Dean Stanton (as Homer Van Meter).

Milius and his cast, especially Oates (who looks very much like Mr. Dillinger), play the story for all its worth, mythologizing the gangster life in a time when only guns and money were involved.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Emmett C Jesberg on March 9, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This is one of the fastest moving movies you're likely to ever see. Warren Oates was the only man to play the part of John Dillinger (he even looks like him). When Harry Dean Stanton says "things aren't workin' out for me today", you gotta laugh. Whether it's romanticized or not, who cares. It's a fun movie to watch and if you like to see lots of spent brass flyin', you'll love it. My only 2 regrets are that it's not on DVD and that it's recorded in the LP mode on the VHS.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By P. Ferrigno on December 5, 2000
Format: DVD
Violent, intense and romantic tale of infamous Depression era gangster, John Dillinger by noted action / drama director John Milius is historically inaccurate, but still a very enjoyable gangster film for fans of the genre....and a bonus to now have it available on DVD !!
Cerebral actor Warren Oates plays fiery John Dillinger with aplomb, and Ben Johnson is the intrepid FBI agent Melvin Purvis, hot on the trail of America's Public Enemy number 1. Dynamic support cast portrays Dillinger's gang...Harry Dean Stanton as Homer van Meter, Geoffrey Lewis as Harry Pierpoint and John Ryan is Charlie Mackley. Additionally, Richard Dreyfuss is the cowardly killer, Baby Face Nelson and Steve Kanaly plays the "Robin Hood of the Cookson Hills", Pretty Boy Floyd.
Milius makes great use of color and monochrome shots (many portions of movie appear to be shot through a sepia colored filter) and racy newsreel look to selected sequences with hard edged jazz score accompanying the visuals. Film covers birth of gang and several high profile incidents including the deadly shoot out at Little Bohemia lodge, plus Dillingers daring escape from Indiana's Crown Point jail....and finally his comeuppance outside the Biograph Theatre in Chicago where he was shot dead by FBI agents.
If you like your gangster films fast paced and with machine guns blazing...then this one belongs in your collection !!
Interesting footnote: It was argued for years that it wasn't Dillinger shot dead outside the Biograph, but rather a look-alike, petty thief named Jimmy Lawrence. Dillinger was apparently aware of the FBI plot and decided to retire from the bank robbing game for good. During the mid 1970's a letter arrived at a Los Angelas newspaper, together with a photo of an old man, the writer claimed to be Dillinger and the letter apparently contained information about Dillinger that was not freely available...nothing further was ever heard from the writer !
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