Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Rollover text informationAmerican Experience Logo
Public Enemy #1











Funders
spacer above content
More about the film Public Enemy #1

%From 1933 to 1934, America was thrilled and terrorized by John Dillinger, a desperado, a bank robber, a bad man no jail could hold. His reputation grew until he was named the country's first Public Enemy #1 and hunted by virtually every cop in America. Operating during a time of great hardship, Dillinger became a mythic figure who struggled against authority and garnered the support of many ordinary Americans, particularly those hardest hit by the Great Depression. Dillinger finally met his match in J. Edgar Hoover, who used the outlaw's celebrity to burnish his own reputation and that of his national law enforcement agency, the FBI. Hoover won the day making sure in the process that the moral of Dillinger's tale was "crime doesn't pay."

Film Description
A synopsis of the film, plus film credits.

Transcript
The program transcript.

Primary Sources
Read Dillinger's fan mail, the true confessions of his sweethearts, and crime laws enacted to stop 1930s desperadoes.

Further Reading
A list of books, articles, and Web sites relating to the program topic.

Closed Caption Logo

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers by The Caption Center at WGBH.

Descriptive Video Services Logo

A special narration track is added to the series by Descriptive Video Service® (DVS®), a service of WGBH to provide access to people who are blind or visually impaired. The DVS narration is available on the SAP channel of stereo TVs and VCRs.



Site Navigation

The Film & More: Film Description | Transcript | Further Reading

Public Enemy #1 Home | The Film & More | Special Features | Timeline
Gallery | People and Events | Teacher's Guide

American Experience | Feedback | Search & Site Map | Shop | Subscribe | Web Credits

© New content 1999-2002 PBS Online / WGBH



Exclusive Corporate Funding is provided by:

CPB Sloan Scotts Liberty Mutual