Dillinger (1973) Arrow Blu-ray review
G-Man, Melvin Purvis, played by Ben Johnson (Town That Dreaded Sundown 1976), has a personal vendetta against gangsters after some of his fellow FBI agents are killed in a shootout. John Dillinger, played by Warren Oates (Race with the Devil 1975), is a ruthless gangster who loves robbing banks. As Dillinger and his gang go on a bank robbing spree they attract the attention of not only Purvis and the FBI but the general public. Dillinger is a fun ride full of bullets, hats, love and cigars.
I am a big fan of the classic gangster pictures like Scarface (1932) and Little Caesar (1931) and Dillinger certainly does a great job capturing the feel of those films. One main difference is the blood involved in this movie and boy is there a lot. There are a lot of amazing shoot out scenes and this film in particular has one of the best I’ve ever seen. The nearly 7 minute shootout ranks up there with Heat (1995) and Hard Boiled (1989). But Dillinger isn’t just about the shooting, it’s a great anti-hero story that is backed up by truly great acting, especially from Warren Oates. The writing, done by the great John Milius (Apocalypse Now 1979), is on point and really elevates the picture to something special. This is also Milius’s feature directorial debut. He went on to direct Conan the Barbadian (1982) and Red Dawn (1984) but this film has much more heart than they do.
As for the Blu-ray, it has an amazing 2K restoration that looks absolutely beautiful. Special features include an audio commentary by film author, Stephen Prince, a bunch of new interviews, revisable cover art and a collector’s booklet. I’m not too familiar with Arrow’s non horror releases but after watching this I most certainly will be seeking out some of the other non-horror releases they’ve done. So far I haven’t seen a US Arrow release that I wouldn’t recommend picking up and this release is no exception.