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Dillinger

4.3 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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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)!

Special Features

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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 (Mono), Unknown (Mono)
  • 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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792846877
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,470 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dillinger" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Dillinger, made back in 1973 here, is the Best dang Warren Oates movie of all time. Bless his heart, Oates never got the recognition he so deserved. "Dillinger"...a true, fast-paced superb depiction of infamous John Dillinger & his Gang. Do purchase.
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Dillinger is a romantic vision of a tough bunch of people. Warren Oates is a vastly under-rated American actor. He delivers the goods in a recreation of the Depression Era, and a deeper examination of the popular love of crime and criminals vs the system and the fat cats. The action is graphic and sometimes hard to watch, a la Bonnie and Clyde. Ben Johnson's Melvin Purvis is a great foil for Oates' and smaller parts go to actors of the stature of Harry Dean Stanton and Richard Dreyfuss at early moments in their careers. Overall a thoroughly watchable slice of Americana a focussed lens.
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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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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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Format: DVD
I have seldom seen better casting than in this gangster classic, which is without a doubt the best movie ever made on John Dillinger. I disagree with the reviewers who say Ben Johnson was miscast as Melvin Purvis. I think he was perfect in the role although his character really came out looking like a villian. I know that this film gets many facts wrong, but it is a movie, not a documentary. Warren Oates looks a lot like Dillinger & gives a flawless performance. I don't know why he didn't become a bigger star after this was released. Although filmed over 30 years ago, the shootouts are some of the best I've ever seen in any action movie. In fact, I think the only movie that tops "Dillinger" in shootouts is 1995's "Heat". This has a brilliant blend of action & romance that will command everyone's attention from start to finish. The dvd's picture quality is good but not great & the only special feature is the theatrical trailer. But this dvd is so inexpensive that everyone who enjoys gangster films should buy it.
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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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Format: DVD
Following Arthur Penn's 1967 hit `Bonnie and Clyde,' Hollywood enjoyed a brief fling with Depression-era gangsters. The free-wheeling Woodstock generation found something to like about the anti-establishment, anti-authoritarian, legendary outlaws of their parents' youth.

Legendary bank robber John Dillinger certainly fit the bill. In John Milius's DILLINGER we meet the title character, played by Warren Oates, at the height of his career. John Dillinger is a notorious character with enough wit to recognize he's doing the rubes a favor, of sorts, every time he holds up a bank. It gives those robbed something to talk about and remember. Anyway, Dillinger seemingly relies on efficient professionalism over firepower. At least he don't shoot lessen he's shot at, which is a sight better than gun happy thug Baby Face Nelson (Richard Dreyfuss,) who joins the gang mid-movie. And, as such things were measured back then, probably better than what we get from Dillinger hunting alpha G-Man Melvin Purvis (Ben Johnson). We get an awful lot of Purvis in this movie - he supplies the periodic voice over narration and gets about equal screen time with Oates. Milius would write the teleplay for 1974's `Melvin Purvis, G-MAN,' which starred another gruff voiced character action, Dale Robertson.

The parallel story telling works well enough, although Dillinger gets lost a time or two. We get to tag along with Purvis a few times when he has big showdown with public enemies, and they're very well handled. The Depression, which has figured prominently as a social setting and explanation for do-badders, is set deep in the background and isn't much of a factor.
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