Perfecting the New Gangster: Writing “Bonnie and Clyde”

Perfecting the New Gangster: Writing “Bonnie and Clyde” by Matthew Bernstein

Bernstein covers a few things in this article. First and foremost, he discusses how “More than any other film of the 1960’s, it brought the French New Wave’s free-wheeling riffs on the gangster film back home to Hollywood” (18). The screenwriters were fans of “the French New Wave” and examining their initial “treatment” it is clear that their screenplay was inspired by “the French New Wave”, “and how the sensibility and aesthetics of the two were so closely intertwined” (18).
In addition, the 60’s was a turbulent time in American history, it was a time of social change, protests, and being anti-establishment. Newman and Benton did not make their characters stylish by accident. They wanted to portray the characters as “hip”, “flower children” to reflect the current time although the period they were writing about was thirty years earlier.
Eliminating the “menage a trois” between Bonnie, Clyde, and the original character in the script W.D. Jones, (later replaced by the C.W. Moss less of a stud, and more of a goofy, childlike character) was a decision that Newman and Benton knew they had to make, or the movie would have never seen production because “The heroes were too bizarre and too violent for studio executive tastes” (21). Several revisions were made to the original script, including making Bonnie more sensitive and feminine. Newman and Benton, stayed as true to their original script as they could but did listen to criticism and ideas, and when they agreed, they revised the script to make it better. One way in which they did that was by making Bonnie and Clyde a more romantic couple.
Truffaut, the French director that both writers admired, helped them to revise the script with his insight and suggestions. He helped Newman and Benton immensely with his input (26). Director Arthur Penn’s sense of vision on how certain scenes should be shot, for example, the during “final ambush” Penn felt that “their death could be better visualized with the slow motion, multi-camera, multi-speed massacre” (28).
In conclusion, Bonnie and Clyde was an innovative film, inspired by “French New Wave”, that appealed to “younger moviegoers”, however, it went on to become a classic.

Chapters 13 & 20 French and New Wave Cinema

Chapter 13 begins with the rise of the Great Depression in the 1930’s. Every nation experienced disaster all but one. France was the only nation to feel the repercussions of the depression quite late. The film industry as a whole, took a major blow creating an unstable production system whereas, “French films had an influence around the world second only to that of Hollywood films”, however, even the French film industry was adversely affected {259}. The industry went from bad to worse with the country on the brink of World War II, following the German occupation in France; most filmmakers were forced to flee.
Filmmaking was a pivotal occupation for France, with the creation of sound on film, business boomed. The audiences were adamant about hearing the dialogue, which now increased competition with the American market, as well as creating the opportunity for corruption within the industry. Filmmakers were ultimately denied their earnings, as result French companies were trying to eliminate their competitors. Even with the production problems, the market did pick up, and “French films made up over half of the domestic market” {260}.
Chapter 20 stresses the beginning of the new youth cinema. “The French New Wave {Nouvelle Vague} is largely responsible for the romantic image of the young director fighting to make personal films that defy the conventional industry” {407}. Profits for New Wave skyrocketed, each film was shot on location, unknown actors were cast, and production could be filmed and finished for half of the original cost. The style of the film in essence, was notably that of a rebellious, hip generation. The all night parities, expensive cars and bars, the lack of respect for the law were portrayed in these New Wave films.
Most of the directors for the New Wave, had first been film critics. As suggested in the article Jean-Luc Godard: ‘From Critic to Film-Maker’, Godard explained that he along with others were always thought of to be filmmakers, as well as being a critic. Instead of writing, he directs that is his form of expression, a clear thought in which Godard highly insists that anybody can express themselves but what’s important is how they do it. It must suit them.

Femininity by Design Vertigo

Richard Wharton 4/14/2010

History of Cinema 2

Femininity By Design, this article’s purpose is to examine that two of the master of suspense’s films { Alfred Hitchcock} where “ the spectator constructed by the film is clearly male.” Male protagonists, male point of view, it was rare to see the women’s point of view. Thus, in a film such as Vertigo, the audience sees what “Scottie” sees, as it was since the beginning of cinema Hollywood was predominantly known as a male cinematic enterprise.
From the start of the film, instantly the audience knows the reason for Scottie Ferguson { James Stewart} leaving the police force. As the movie continues, Scottie becomes obsessed with his friend’s wife Madeline Elster {Kim Novak}, who he is following at the request of his friend Gavin, follow Madeline to discover her odd behavior. Time goes on and both characters form a bond with each other. Scottie makes a desperate attempt to help Madeline battle her own demons, when ironically he has his own battle to deal with. However, she becomes overwhelmed and looks to end her nightmares, Scottie’s demons {the Vertigo} stop him from reaching the top of the bell tower where Madeline had jumped. Grief-stricken with guilt, Scottie wanders the streets, seeing a woman who resembles Madeline, only to discover that she is someone else, a women named Judy. When Scottie leaves, the camera for the first time follows the woman. “A flashback and a letter Judy writes and then tears up tells the whole story; Scottie was part of Gavin Elster’s plan to murder his wife, Madeline. Elster had made up Judy, his mistress, to look like his wife, in order to get Scottie to witness Madeline’s ’suicide’{89}”.
Before Scottie realized that Madeline and Judy were the same person, he re-created the Judy character as Madeline. Was the film’s fascination with women’s clothes borderline obsessive or “perverse”? In fact, another observation could be that the femininity portrayed in this film is a matter of traps, and persuasion. Even though we the audience seemed to be involved with Scotties thoughts and view’s, this is really a false perception since he is compulsively thinking about Madeline. Concentrating on her identification rather than Scottie’s vertigo, which provides information that he holds a feminine position. At the end of the film after Judy is transformed into Madeline, Scottie forces her to reenact the “suicide”. In doing so he loses her again, and through that pain, the loss of the woman he loved, not once but twice, he regained a sense of who he is and his cure for vertigo.

Cold War/ Melodrama

Richard Wharton 4/8/2010

History of cinema 2

At the end of World War II, Europe was in a state of complete poverty, almost every nation was in need of financial support. The U.S.A had risen to the status of superpower and starting with the treaty of Versailles, America began supporting their allies and former enemies with money helping to rebuild Europe into a great nation. On the contrary, the U.S.S.R struggled to keep a steady pace along side the U.S. for superior power. No one on either side would have thought that the end of one terrible war would now cause another. Competition began, the U.S.S.R wanted to be number one and for approximately fifty years tension built up between the Americans and the Russians, the Cold War had begun.
Thorough investigations were carried out in 1947  throughout the 1950’s, but the investigations quickly escalated to blacklisting. The government turned towards Hollywood, investigating any alleged communist activity. Those suspected of communist affiliations were observed very carefully by the F.B.I. The House Un-American Activities Committee {HUAC} hearings were on mission to prove that Hollywood actors and the Screen Writers’ Guild were run by communists. Naming names, so many people’s lives were ruined, careers flushed down the drain, not able to find work anywhere, but all that could change with the promise of the government, all they had to do was name names’.
The “Hollywood Ten” that were blacklisted involved “ scriptwriters John Howard Lawson, Dalton Trumbo, Albert Maltz, Alvah Bessie, Samuel Ornitz, Herbert Biberman, Ring Lardner, Jr., and Lester Cole; director Edward Dmytryk; and producer Adrian Scott-were unable to work openly in the film industry” {299}. However, back to Hollywood productions, there were many changes, one in particular was the melodrama genre. Douglas Sirk was the man behind this genre. According to senses of cinema, “ Sirk’s characters grapple with the same problems that have always afflicted men and women and parents and children, to do with love, death and social circumstance”.
Sirk added his own twist to the film’s genre, wanting to do more with the story and its characters. In a 1973 interview, Sirk said, “ These happy endings all express the weak and sly promise that the world is not rotten and out of joint but meaningful and ultimately in excellent condition”. He wanted the audience to understand the events portrayed as well as the reactions made, Written on the Wind {1956}was one of many films that expressed fatalism. The character’s of Sirk’s stories are compelled with their own feasible choices.

Ryan Wharton Ch 12 & Ch 16

When Stalin was in power in the USSR all artists had to abide by the rule of “Socialist Realism”.  There was no room for individual expression.

Therefore, no matter what the genre of film (or for that matter in any other art form) the product was propaganda. The four main genres were “Civil War Films”, “Biographical Films”, “Tales of Everyday Heroes”, and “Socialist Musicals” (244).  At the beginning of WWII, the USSR was one of the only countries to make “anti-Nazi” films (246). 

German films during the Nazi regime, were also primarily propaganda films, advocating the Nazi Party and its ideology.  “Goebbles later ordered the production of anti-Semitic films” (249).  On the other hand, while Italy did produce some propaganda films under Mussolini, they were not the only films produced (254).  The two main genres of Italian films during this era were “romantic melodramas” and “comedy” (255). 

After WWII American movies were once more viewed in Europe.  There were mixed feelings towards the US after the war because Europeans felt torn between appreciation of the aid America gave, and maintining their own national pride.

However, the post-war era initiated film festivals, the “prototype” being the “Venice festival” (327).  These film festivals not only awarded monetary prizes, but also advanced the careers of actors, directors and producers,  (327).

“The most important filmmaking trend of the era appeared in Italy between 1945 and 1951 (330).  “Neorealism” is defined as placing the emphasis of films on that were realistic, happening in the present, and presented “the life of the working class” (333).

Ryan Wharton’s Film Noir Blog

Ryan Wharton 3/13/10

The Big Clock

Blog Journal Entry
“Notes on Film Noir” Paul Schrader (1972)
“Women in Film Noir” Janey Place

“Film Noir” is often mistaken for a “genre” of film, however, these readings have explained that the term “film noir” transcends all genres, from “melodrama” to “gangster” to “western” and at times even “musical”. As Raymond Durgnat explained, “it is not defined, as are the western and gangster genres, by conventions of setting and conflict, but rather by more subtle qualities of tone and mood” (“Notes on Film Noir” page 53). These types of movies were popular after WWII ended because the audience had dealt with the depression and the war so during the years prior to WWII, Hollywood produced movies simply to entertain the masses and let the people forget about their everyday troubles. However, once the war ended, the American people were more cynical, and “this immediate post-war disillusionment was directly demonstrated in films” (“Notes on Film Noir “ page 55). Servicemen came home to find they no longer had jobs, women who were a part of the work force during the war were now expected to return to their more traditional roles of housewife and mother, and so with the mood of the American people, came the mood and tone of the “film noir”.

The films of the 1940’s through early 1950’s became increasingly dark, with respect to theme, lighting, acting, and writing. These films realistically portrayed heroes, heroines, and antiheroes in the same way; fate determined the path of the characters. According to one of Durgnat;s themes, “The small-time gangster has now made it big and sits in the mayor’s chair, the private eye has quit the police force in disgust, and the young heroine, sick of going along for the ride, is taking others for a ride” (“Notes on Film Noir” page 58). Barbara Stanwyck in “Double Indemnity” portrays a true film noir woman who uses her sexuality as a means to an end. As said by Janey Place in “Women in Film Noir” “the evil seductress who tempts man and brings about his destruction is among the oldest themes of art…” (page 47). Barbara Stanwyck is the powerful character, using her sensuality to prey upon Fred MacMurray’s character, eventually convincing him to kill her husband. However, one must remember that not all heroines in film noir were evil by nature, the traits they had in common were strength, allure, independence (or the desire for independence) and sex appeal. Joan Crawford played the title role in “Mildred Pierce”, her only crime was trying to protect her ungrateful daughter, and in “Laura” Gene Tierney’s character is believed to be dead, so it is in fact the portrait of Laura that fascinates the detective, and all other men in her life (“Notes on Film Noir” page 58, “Women in Film Noir” page 58). The men who become obsessed with these women cannot help themselves, yet the women of film noir did not necessarily choose to destroy the men in their lives.

“Film Noir” utilized camera movement rather than having the actors move around the set. There were recurring motifs including “mirror shots” and “portraits” (“Women in Film Noir” page 58). However, aside from all aspects mentioned before, the common thread of film noir is the use of shadows, black, darkened figures, settings including rain, alleyways, and nighttime shots. This “visual style conveys this mood through the expressive darkness; both real, in predominantly under lit and nighttime scenes, and psychologically through shadows and claustrophobic compositions which overwhelm the character in exterior as well as interior settings” (“Women in Film Noir” page 51).
In my opinion some of Hollywood’s finest achievements were “film noir” movies. If you haven’t seen “Laura”, “Mildred Pierce” or “The Big Clock” I would suggest that you spend some time with these movies.

Chapters 12 & 16 3/10/10

Richard Wharton 3/9/2010
History Of Cinema II
Richard Wharton 3/9/2010 History Of Cinema II Chapters 12 and 16 Chapter 12 sums up the early cinema in Europe during 1930-1945 [U.S.S.R, Germany, and Italy]. With the rise of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Benito Mussolini in the 1930’s came the rise of dictatorship. The cinema became the main function for propaganda. Under the Doctrine of Socialist Realism, the government would have a say in there policy, knowing exactly how there writers and artists were working. And there were only two options, which were to be loyal, meant to do the “correct style” [240] and remain working, or to not accept the new style, in which the outcome would be much discomfort. Since 1928, Stalin had his secret police watch, spy, and study who they thought were to be enemies of the communist party. “The government conducted purges, whereby party members who were considered not to support Stalin wholeheartedly were expelled, imprisoned, exiled, or executed” [240]. However, Nazi Germany was based on Nationalism. The Nazis felt that they were the most powerful, yet equipped nation in the world. Hitler too saw potential in the cinema, as did Dr. Josef Goebbels [the minister of propaganda]. The Nazi propaganda films began before the regime had any power, portraying the struggle of Hitler’s supporters for the Third Reich against the communist party [ as well as the democratic party]. This new form worked like a river going down stream, first with the Germans having to protect themselves against the Jew’s, then against Gypsies and Catholics. To be part of the Aryan master race; was to be blue-eyed, blond hair, and protestant. Then after Germany, came the anti- British films, basically, in Hitler’s eyes the world needed Nazi occupation. Then there’s fascist Italy, which shared the same ideology as Germany which was nationalism, however, Mussolini’s party wasn’t as stable or commanding as its allies the Nazis and the Communists. The government wanted to only involve public life not private. “ It assisted industries, but it did not nationalize them” [253]. Chapter 16, however, discusses the techniques that Europe must utilize in order to survive after the war. All of Europe must start clean, all over again. But how? In 1947, The United States decided to help Europe rebuild, supporting the new plan, called the Marshall Plan, which offered billions of dollars to the effort. This plan also relied on the political allegiance in Europe. Due to NATO [ North Atlantic Treaty Organization] Europe was divided into two political categories, democracy and communism. American films were being marketed again, through MPEAA. The exports of these films were to bring about Democracy, [these films were heavily shown in Germany] a new attempt to end fascism and communism with American Propaganda. In the following years, countries all over Europe were trying to resist viewing films from the US. Each country argued that there should an equal amount of time devoted to the American cinema as well as to the native language cinema (French, Italian, etc). A number of strategies were introduced, but the Film Festivals had seemed to sky rocket throughout the continent. Films were to be shown as a form of competition between other nations. The plan worked, production and business started too boom. During the 1950’s both Hollywood and European cinema’s shared a stable market in film. Chapters 12 and 16
Chapter 12 sums up the early cinema in Europe during 1930-1945 [U.S.S.R, Germany, and Italy]. With the rise of Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Benito Mussolini in the 1930’s came the rise of dictatorship. The cinema became the main function for propaganda. Under the Doctrine of Socialist Realism, the government would have a say in there policy, knowing exactly how there writers and artists were working. And there were only two options, which were to be loyal, meant to do the “correct style” [240] and remain working, or to not accept the new style, in which the outcome would be much discomfort. Since 1928, Stalin had his secret police watch, spy, and study who they thought were to be enemies of the communist party. “The government conducted purges, whereby party members who were considered not to support Stalin wholeheartedly were expelled, imprisoned, exiled, or executed” [240].
However, Nazi Germany was based on Nationalism. The Nazis felt that they were the most powerful, yet equipped nation in the world. Hitler too saw potential in the cinema, as did Dr. Josef Goebbels [the minister of propaganda]. The Nazi propaganda films began before the regime had any power, portraying the struggle of Hitler’s supporters for the Third Reich against the communist party [ as well as the democratic party]. This new form worked like a river going down stream, first with the Germans having to protect themselves against the Jew’s, then against Gypsies and Catholics. To be part of the Aryan master race; was to be blue-eyed, blond hair, and protestant. Then after Germany, came the anti- British films, basically, in Hitler’s eyes the world needed Nazi occupation. Then there’s fascist Italy, which shared the same ideology as Germany which was nationalism, however, Mussolini’s party wasn’t as stable or commanding as its allies the Nazis and the Communists. The government wanted to only involve public life not private. “ It assisted industries, but it did not nationalize them” [253].
Chapter 16, however, discusses the techniques that Europe must utilize in order to survive after the war. All of Europe must start clean, all over again. But how? In 1947, The United States decided to help Europe rebuild, supporting the new plan, called the Marshall Plan, which offered billions of dollars to the effort. This plan also relied on the political allegiance in Europe. Due to NATO [ North Atlantic Treaty Organization] Europe was divided into two political categories, democracy and communism. American films were being marketed again, through MPEAA. The exports of these films were to bring about Democracy, [these films were heavily shown in Germany] a new attempt to end fascism and communism with American Propaganda.
In the following years, countries all over Europe were trying to resist viewing films from the US. Each country argued that there should an equal amount of time devoted to the American cinema as well as to the native language cinema (French, Italian, etc). A number of strategies were introduced, but the Film Festivals had seemed to sky rocket throughout the continent. Films were to be shown as a form of competition between other nations. The plan worked, production and business started too boom. During the 1950’s both Hollywood and European cinema’s shared a stable market in film.

Ryan Wharton (cannot access my blog)

Ryan Wharton                                                                          2/22/10

Journal Blog Entry

“Interview With Orson Welles” by Peter Bogdanovich

For the longest time I have been a huge fan of Orson Welles not because of how great of a filmmaker he was, but how he spoke and presented himself like a true professional. After reading the interview with Orson Welles by Peter Bogdanovich there was something about Mr. Welles that struck me as him being a man with class who shows respect for himself and others. He is a man who elaborates when ever a question is asked, when he answers he does not go off bragging just get’s to the point of things to answer the interviewers question. I found the article was interesting on levels, I was surprised that the interview was not only about Orson but gave us little back story behind “Citizen Kane”.  

 It seemed at first that they were shooting this picture in the dark since Orson Welles was not a professional in making movies; in fact this was his first major motion picture. I haven’t seen the film in a long while but I can’t stress how I’m anticipating watching the film again. I believe that once I view the film again, it will feel like the first time watching due to the small gaps that were right in front of our eyes and how the smaller things in the movie actually have more meaning then the audience would expect. Not in the film itself, but from what I have learned about the back story, what went on behind the camera. There are actually a few scenes in particular that I am keeping an eye out for that Orson Welles had spilled some minor secrets, for example, the I.D. bracelet he forgot he was wearing, (31) about in the film. I find it quite amusing that when watching a film for the first time without having any knowledge about the film or the back story because as a member of the audience I am clueless as to certain aspects that are being revealed that shouldn’t have been.

This article has given me an even greater respect for the people behind the camera, making not only this film but all films. I truly believe that people behind the camera the “camera crew” the set crew etc. truly do not get the respect that they deserve. They literally go through hell in my opinion, because of the time and effort exerted in order to get a simple shot such as a “low angle shot”. 

 For example, while making Citizen Kane in the scene where Kane loses the election to Leland, Welles wanted an extreme low angle shot of the character Kane, to convey to the audience the position Kane is in after losing the election. That camera must relay to the audience that the character is feeling weak or losing strength as if all the power was drained out of him. Welles wanted Kane to look like a “fallen giant” that was about to topple over. (34) Apparently the crew couldn’t just take a regular low angle shot, they actually had to dig a hole, and drill into the concrete floor to get the extreme low angle shot. The point I’m trying to make is that making movies is obviously no walk in the park, and it takes team effort, patience, and passion in order to make the movie you would want to make. However the scene was very successful and clear.  Another thing that I found particularly interesting is the fact that in this particular scene something that was not a part of the movie was revealed. In this scene Kane’s ankle is showing and it is revealed that Welles is wearing a steel brace that he got by spraining his ankle in another scene that he shot. (34) He took a real chance by shooting this scene especially knowing that his ankle would be visible to the naked eye of the audience. Orson felt that during this scene the audience would not be focused on his character but on Leland. Welles had a great instinct about knowing where to place the camera in each scene and what shots were appropriate for the scene.
 Most directors usually plan out what they are going to do, while Welles just went with gut instinct and his heart to create movies based on how he envisioned them. He reminds me of a painter, especially when certain painters actually go with the flow on their canvas and create unique drawings not from planning it out, but creating them or visualizing them as they are going along painting or sketching on their canvas.  Instead of planning out an idea of what they would like to sketch or paint they just take their pencil or paint brush and create things as they go along, trusting their artistic ability to produce the precise work envisioned in their heads. This is what Orson does with his films, he just places the camera where feels it needs to be placed and shoots the scene.  I have the utmost respect for Orson Welles because it takes a lot to go out and make a movie that you dreamed of making particularly when one has no knowledge or background on how to make a film. Yet he persevered, and taught himself how to learn to shoot with cameras.  I was also very impressed with how humble he was in the interview, giving praise and credit to cameraman Gregg Toland for his patience and willingness to help Welles make “Citizen Cane” the way he wanted it to be done.

Orson Welles and Gregg Toland: Their Collaboration on “Citizen Cane

Richard Wharton                                                                                     2/23/2010

Journal Blog-Orson Welles and Gregg Toland: Their Collaboration on “Citizen Cane”

Reading about the collaboration on “Citizen Kane” really gave me an insight on the challenges of directing and producing. I’ve followed Orson Welles for sometime now, however after reading the article; I am truly fascinated by Gregg Toland. This film was a challenge plus a counter challenge. Welles was untrained but any idea he came up with, no matter how difficult or new, was put into place by the incredible cinematographer Toland.
            Personally, I love insight to films for the reason that the team behind the scene (project) gives the reader first hand knowledge and information about the technical aspects of creating a movie. Until now, I had no knowledge of the production problems that this film encountered, including camera experimentation. Afterwards, because of the “Citizen Cane” crew’s efforts, new and improved camera shots evolved. It’s quite fascinating how long the crane shot took to shoot, considering that is all one shot. This sequence was able to portray “continuous movements” (656) throughout the scene.       

       Toland was well known throughout Hollywood for being a rebel. Toland preferred to work at Samuel Goldwyn Studios were he could freely experiment with his equipment.  Welles was insistent in working with Toland on “Citizen Kane”. He saw his techniques as unique and challenging, which interested Welles even more. Welles was not dissuaded by worrying about the budget for the film. Instead, both Welles and Toland began shooting before RKO even realized that the film was in progress.
For these reasons Welles and Toland made the perfect team, both wanted to expand their horizons. They were never satisfied with being safe, there always had to be a challenge; a challenge for a new director or team to match what they’ve done and make it better. I can imagine what an honor it must have been for anyone to work with these two men, to be put to the test and find out what they were capable of bringing to the screen.

Chapters 9 & 10 Journal entry

Richard Wharton                                                                                  2/11/2010

Film History Cinema 2

            The introduction of sound, to me is an interesting process simply because of the amount of time and effort that was put into the films for our enjoyment. I have followed movies all my life, I knew even before reading the chapters that “The Jazz Singer” was the first film to have sound. What’s fascinating to me is the fact, how most individuals {including myself until I started studying film} didn’t realize all the equipment involved to create certain sounds on film. “Filmmakers and technology workers struggled to cope with the unfamiliar, often clumsy, new technology. Microphones were insensitive and hard to move, it was difficult to mix sound tracks; and scenes frequently had to be shot by multiple cameras in soundproof booths.” {179} Despite the technical problems, other production companies {Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount, and Universal} wanted to be part of the sound creation. Then when the depression hit, unemployment rose. The local movie theaters would give an all day matinee for a dime, even when World War II began; Americans spent countless hours in movie theaters, just to clear their minds. The movies became an escape for the harsh reality of daily life. Hollywood had eight companies in the film industry. There was first the Big Five including, Paramount, MGM, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., and RKO. Then there was the little three which included, Universal, Colombia, United Artists. There were some particular genres of film that stood out to the world more than others. Horror films like Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Invisible Man began the Universal horror cycle which shocked and frightened the audience. Another was the gangster genre, which in a way spoke to the common man, these films were close to the real world, families starving, nobody working, the poor only get poorer, while the rich get richer.

            The gangster films were a huge success and very profitable for Hollywood. Actors like James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, and Humphrey Bogart played the ruthless gangsters as well as the tough police men. Many of theses films portrayed the decade of the 1930’s, with such incidents as Prohibition and the crash of the stock market. The Public Enemy in 1931 for example, shows how two brothers grow up during the Depression and went in completely different directions. One brother went to school and grew up to have an honest job, while the other portrayed by James Cagney never bothered with school. Tom Powers {the gangster in Public Enemy} led the life of crime, which offered cars, money and women.  Unfortunately, it shows the tragic end to almost every gangster movie, the moral being that while life may not be as exciting or profitable, in the end, an honest life is more worthwhile.

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