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Public Enemies Movie With Johnny Depp - The Book Behind the Movie

This article was in Vanity Fair and is quite informative about the book behind the Public Enemies movie with Johnny Depp that was filmed in Crown Point

Director Michael Mann (left) and actor Johnny Depp (right), with Jeff Scalf, nephew of the Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger.

There’s always a slight tension when you sell a book to Hollywood, especially a nonfiction book. The author wants his story told intact; the nonfiction author wants it told accurately. A moviemaker, though, has to have his own storytelling priorities, and these may or may not be the same as the author’s. And when the book, one I wrote called Public Enemies, tells the story of legendary American gangsters like John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson, there’s every reason to believe those priorities will diverge.

Because, let’s be honest, Hollywood has a poor track record of telling these stories accurately. Bonnie and Clyde, while one of the best movies ever made, was far more interested in portraying Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker as romantic anti-establishment Robin Hoods than what they really were: white-trash spree killers. Dillinger, who will be the focus of the Public Enemies movie the director Michael Mann is now preparing to shoot in rural Wisconsin, hasn’t fared any better. I only dimly remember the 1945 Lawrence Tierney Dillinger, and, thankfully, I never saw the 1990s-era Dillinger starring, of all people, Mark Harmon.

The Dillinger most people remember was John Milius’s 1973 movie, starring Warren Oates as Dillinger. A terrific film, I grant you, but it had little basis in fact. Both the hippie princess Michelle Phillips, as Dillinger’s hard-living girl Billie Frechette, and stolid Ben Johnson as the F.B.I.’s Melvin Purvis, were woefully miscast. The story itself ignored most every fact of Dillinger’s career. Milius was more interested in the look and feel of Dillinger’s Depression than accuracy.

Which is the main reason I was so pleased when Michael Mann bought the rights to Public Enemies. (And not just because his check didn’t bounce.) Mann, whose reputation for historical accuracy arose from his filming of 1992’s The Last of the Mohicans, has rooted his screenplay in the facts of Dillinger’s life. He will film at the actual Little Bohemia lodge in northern Wisconsin where Dillinger, in his most famous gunfight, shot it out with the F.B.I. And at the real Crown Point jail in Indiana where Dillinger staged his most famous escape.

Just the other day, Mann and his Dillinger, Johnny Depp, stopped by the old Dillinger homestead in Mooresville, Indiana, where they chatted with the outlaw’s nephew, Jeff Scalf, and poked their way through the home where Dillinger was raised. The French actress who will portray Billie Frechette, Marion Cotillard, meanwhile, has been spotted at the Wisconsin Indian reservation where Billie grew up, interviewing women there in hopes of picking up Frechette’s vocal inflections.

I’ve read the Public Enemies script and, no, it’s not 100 percent historically accurate. But it’s by far the closest thing to fact Hollywood has attempted, and for that I am both excited and quietly relieved.

Link to the Official Site for Public Enemies Movie Clip and Information

Here is a link to the official site for Public Enemies that shows the movie trailer

John Dillinger Public Enemies Movie Coming to Crown Point, Indiana- Sneak Preview in Merrillville

C.P. sponsors early screening of 'Public Enemies'

* Movie filmed in city will raise funds to restore Old Sheriff's House.

May 27, 2009

CROWN POINT -- Only the first 600 lucky people who buy tickets will get to see an advanced local screening of "Public Enemies" the day before its release nationwide July 1, the city announced Tuesday.

Crown Point teamed up with The Old Sheriff's House and Jail Foundation and the South Shore Convention & Visitors Authority to highlight the fact that scenes from the movie, showcasing notorious outlaw John Dillinger, played by Johnny Depp, were filmed in the Old Lake County Jail, from which Dillinger actually escaped.

"Universal Studios gave us their blessing and it's a go," Sheriff's House Foundation spokesman Dan Rohaley said.

Kerasotes Showplace 12, at 2590 Southlake Mall Drive, Hobart, will offer two showings June 30 of the action-thriller from director Michael Mann, which also stars Christian Bale and Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard.

The first showing is slated for 6 p.m. and the second for 9 p.m. Tickets for the first show are $50, including concessions and a pass to the John Dillinger Museum inside the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond, plus a voucher to tour the Old Sheriff's House and former Lake County Jail. The 9 p.m. showing will set moviegoers back $75 each or $125 a couple, but offers a lot more glitz.

Those ticketholders will get to attend a VIP cocktail party at the Hall of Justice, where guests 21 and older will enter on a Hollywood-style red carpet, according to Crown Point's director of special events Jennifer Young.

Mayor David Uran will formally welcome guests, who will be eligible to win door prizes.

"The best part is that all the proceeds will go toward the continued restoration of the Sheriff's House," Rohaley said.

"Ever since the film wrapped last year we've been talking about what we can do," Young said. "Universal Studios was so accommodating.

"This is a once-in-a lifetime event," Young said. "There were thousands of people out there watching during filming every day.

"Years from now kids will go back there where their parents were kids watching the filming. It's a legacy to their children."

Young said the event is a piece of history, in perfect timeing with the 175th anniversary of the city of Crown Point.

"I can't think of a more amazing way to market it," Young said.

"Public Enemies" is rated "R" and no one under age 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

Tickets must be purchased in advance at the Mayor's Office of Special Events, 662-3290 or the Crown Point Parks Department, 661-2271.

Contact Diane Krieger Spivak at 648-3076 or Comment on this story at

Crown Point's Hall of Justice Hosts Johnny Depp and Region Idol

Singing up a storm: Hall of Justice readies for Region Idol

April 4, 2008

The former Lake County Criminal Court building at 220 S. Main St. has reverberated with excitement this year.

While in Crown Point to film "Public Enemies," Johnny Depp stopped by a section of the structure that is now used as a banquet hall.

"He ate directly under the chandelier in the middle of the room -- just sat at a big, round table," said Phil Struebig, who, along with his wife, Joi, owns the building.

The cinematic superstar dined in what is called the Hall of Justice -- a support area during the recent filming. Actors, crew, wardrobe and makeup wound up there.

The Hall of Justice also happens to be the home of the fourth annual Region Idol competition.

With auditions tonight and the start of the actual contest next Friday, Region Idol is based in a building that may still be radiating show-biz vibes from the shooting for the Universal Studios release.

Crown Point's Hall of Justice boasts even more buzz: John Dillinger -- who's played by Depp in the movie -- was arraigned there in 1934. The old county jail where Dillinger escaped from is next door.

Those competing this year in Region Idol are hoping to make their own bit of noise by doing well in the singing contest that's based on Fox's wildly popular "American Idol."

The trio of judges for Region Idol is intended to mimic the television panel -- Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson.

Returning this year will be veteran judges Tracy Payne and Marc Malone, both of Crown Point. They'll be joined by new Region Idol judge Vince Galbiati, president of the Northwest Indiana Forum.

Galbiati realizes contestants have their hearts in it.

"They're taking this seriously," he said. "I will be taking it with equal seriousness."

The judges have seasoned performers to review for the '08 edition. That's because some contestants who did well last year plan to return.

"We have numerous finalists that have signed up again for this year, so the talent's gonna be top-of-theline," said Struebig, who directs the contest, while his wife serves as producer.

New in 2008 is the OK for an entrant to use a single musical instrument like guitar or harmonica.

"We hadn't allowed that prior to this time, but now they can," Struebig, a Crown Point resident, said.

Self-confidence can be built by competing in Region Idol, said Erika Scheeringa, public and community relations manager for the Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Watching contestants is also intriguing, she said.

"People have their favorites; they like to kind of follow their story," Scheeringa noted. "So you get a little piece of what they're like, where they come from and kind of what they do."

Proceeds from the contest benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Indiana chapter.

A Top Male Vocalist and Top Female Vocalist will be named. An overall winner will be crowned Region Idol on the final night of the competition, slated for Friday, May 23.

Contact Bob Kostanczuk at 648-3144 or

Region Idol rundown

Where: Hall of Justice, 220 S. Main St., Crown Point

When: The competition runs consecutive Fridays from April 11 through May 23. Show time is 7 p.m.

Admission: $5 for those watching auditions and nights of competition, but $10 for the final night. Larger donations are also accepted.

Charity: Proceeds benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Indiana chapter.

At stake: More than $2,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded.

Auditions: 7 p.m. tonight at the Hall of Justice

Deadline extended: Those wishing to test their talent will have more time to sign up. Entries will now be accepted through Thursday. The entry fee is $25. Contestants must be at least 21 years old. More details: or 661-1811.

Region Idol theme nights

The music performed by contestants will vary; here's the tentative schedule.

April 11: Singer's choice

April 18: Country

April 25: '70s disco

May 2: '80s pop

May 9: Rock 'n' roll

May 16: Motown sound

May 23: Two different themes -- Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.) and singer's choice

Johnny Depp Offering Autographs to Fans in Crown Point

Additional Johhny Depp Update:

We have found out that yes, he was giving autographs.  The person we spoke with shook his hand and handed him a pic and pen and Johnny did sign for her.

As mentioned before - we know he was meeting fans in the evening and shaking hands.

What a pleasure to have such a class act of a guy in Crown Point!

Did you go to the filming? Get an autograph? Have a Johnny Depp sighting? Be sure to comment and let us know!

Johnny Depp Continues to Mesmerize Crown Point, Indiana

Johnny Depp continues to mesmerize Crown Point! 

In response to a question from Grace regarding autographs - is Johny giving any autographs out?  We personally do not know - maybe a reader does -if so - please comment and let us know.

Last night my daughter waited with the crowd and was able to shake hands with Johnny Depp - Needless to say she is still speechless today. If you have talked with Johnny, shook his hand, got an autograph - please comment as many, many readers are asking for information.

In the meantime - we'll look for more info and post it here as soon as we find out.

Depp Video Clip - Class Act

As you'll see when you click on this YouTube link - Johnny Depp is simply a class act and takes time to acknowledge his fans.  The child at the end of this clip is simply beyond cute!

On location for the filming of Public Enemies in Crown Point, Indiana, Reilly meets Johnny Depp, AKA John Dillinger.

Public Enemies Wisconsin Filming Pics

This is a neat link that shows pictures of filming in Wisconsin for Public Enemies

Read below for numerous Crown Point, Indiana updates on the filming of Public Enemies

New Depp Photos


How fun is this dude’s job? Over at AICN, yet more spy pics have surfaced of Johnny Depp as ’30s gangster John Dillinger along with some of his fellow goons in Michael Mann’s Public Enemies. Still no sign of co-star Christian Bale’s fed. The wardrobes, fedoras, cars and tommy guns are all spot on; even the money bag looks mind blowing. Okay, maybe that’s utter hyperbole but if someone told you “the bag is yours if you tap dance and whistle” we’d have a Slashfilm jamboree on our hands.

Public Enemies

Public Enemies

 You can also find set photos on Flickr, here and here.

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9 Responses to “New Photos of Johnny Depp as John Dillinger in Michael Mann’s Public Enemies”

  1. Gravatar

    This just made my day. How awesome does this look? Can’t wait.

  2. Gravatar

    great pics, im sure its been mentioned but can someone remind me when this will hit theaters?

  3. Gravatar

    Like I’ve said - this is possibly Mann’s most commercially accessible flick to date. Hope it rakes in the moolah so he can make his Dicaprio led 1930’s Hollywood noir flick.

  4. Gravatar

    And I just finished watching The Last of The Mohicans


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  6. Gravatar

    He is so HOT. I wanna be his moll …

  7. Gravatar

    Michael Mann. Johnny Depp. Christian Bale. This movie is gonna be awesome. The tommy guns are sick. I wish there were more movies with tommy guns.

  8. Gravatar

    I was an extra for a scene shot last wednesday. Dillinger’s Araignment in Crowne Point Indiana. Lili Taylor was also in the scene, playing Sheriff Holley.

    I’m writing up my experience tomorrow, and I’ll shoot you guys a link when I’m done.


Johnny Depp Public Enemies Crown Point Filming Continues

The Hammond Times is all over this!  Here's another great article - be sure to read the other ones below too. The Hammond Times really deserves credit for the great coverage of the filming in Crown Point.

| Tuesday, March 25, 2008 |

CROWN POINT | The city will make an estimated $28,608 from the filming of the movie "Public Enemies."

(Visit our John Dillinger special section to read stories, watch videos, view slideshows and more about Dillinger and the movie, "Public Enemies.")

The city's Board of Public Works signed a location agreement Thursday with PE Productions LLC for the use of city-owned property at 590 E. Anderson St. during the filming of the movie, which stars Johnny Depp and details the life of infamous bank robber John Dillinger and his escape from the Lake County Jail in 1934. The agreement, released Monday, outlines the terms of using the building and how much the city stands to make.

According to the agreement, the city will earn $2,000 for allowing the movie to use the building for four days. The remaining amount paid to the city is for personnel costs -- for public works employees, a member of the Crown Point Fire Department, eight Crown Point police officers and Crown Point emergency management.

"The plans the city had are working as well as can be expected," Keith Stevens, the mayor's chief of staff, said during filming Monday. "We've never been through this before."

Although it's an otherwise quiet residential street, one end of Anderson bustled Monday as men moved giant panels off a truck and into the building numbered 590, which is labeled as belonging to the Lake County Highway Department. A man working on a truck with "Universal Studios" written on the door said the building is where cars are stored for the scene where "Dillinger steals the sheriff's car."

The agreement says the company will have completed any filming at the building by Thursday and has the right to duplicate the property if necessary.

"Michael Mann is a very meticulous director about detail. Johnny Depp is a very meticulous actor about detail. It will add something special to the film that they did go to the expense and time and effort to film in Crown Point," said David Fulton, a "Public Enemies" publicist.

Here's how Crown Point will make money from "Public Enemies":
-- Use of a utilities garage at 590 E. Anderson St. for four days at $500 per day, or $2,000
-- Four public works employees for eight hours a day for three days, $3,073
-- One Crown Point firefighter for 12 hours a day for four days, $1,408
-- Seven Crown Point police officers for 14 hours a day for four days while shooting, $14,974
-- One Crown Point police officer for 10 hours a day for four days for nighttime security, $1,528
-- Road project set up, road blockages, 911 dispatch additions, $3,625
-- Crown Point Emergency Management, $2,000