The Public Enemy (released as Enemies of the Public in the United Kingdom) is a 1931 American Pre-Code crime film starring James Cagney and directed by William A. Wellman. The film relates the story of a young man's rise in the criminal underworld in prohibition-era urban America. The supporting players include Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Joan Blondell, Beryl Mercer, Donald Cook, and Mae Clarke. The screenplay is based on a never-published novel by two former street thugs — Beer and Blood by John Bright and Kubec Glasmon — who had witnessed some of Al Capone’s murderous gang rivalries in Chicago.
The Public Enemy was selected in 1998 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
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