The Public Enemy Reviews

April 19, 2019
If there are to be gangster pictures, let them be like The Public Enemy, hard-boiled and vindictive almost to the point of burlesque.
October 30, 2007
Still a classic of the gangster genre, showing neither glorifying the life nor pulling its punches.
October 30, 2007
There's no lace on this picture. It's raw and brutal. It's low-brow material given such workmanship as to make it high-brow.
February 9, 2006
Cagney's energy and Wellman's gutsy direction carry the day, counteracting the moralistic sentimentality of the script and indelibly etching the star on the memory as a definitive gangster hero.
February 11, 2005
Contrary to popular opinion, the best moment in the film isn't when Jimmy Cagney shoves a grapefruit in his girlfriend's face.
March 10, 2003
Now a classic, this is the movie in which Cagney famously crams a grapefruit into Mae Clarke's face.
January 1, 2000
James Cagney's portrayal of a bootlegging runt is truly electrifying (he'd made five films, but this one made him a star), and Jean Harlow makes the tartiest tart imaginable.