John Dillinger (Lawrence Tierney) was an Indiana farm boy who had a thirst for cash, once realising where the cash was, Dillinger rose to become the 1930s public enemy number 1. This portrayal of a man who not only terrified the public, but also captivated them wholesale, benefits from an excellent screenplay courtesy of Philip Yordan. The picture's strength is not in purely aiming for entertainment values in guns and robbery rampage, it begs the questions of what made Dillinger the man he was? Was it an early stint in the big house that marked his life out for him? was his unison with Specs Green merely igniting a murderous rage within? or was Dillinger just a greedy bastard who was rotten to the core?
Running at only 70 minutes, and filmed on a "B" movie budget, Dillinger comes out as something of a triumph within the gangster genre. Posing questions and providing moments of genuine unease, it may just be one of the best gangster films that does not starg Cagney, Bogart or Eddy G. Stirring stuff, from a vengeful return to a bar, to the ripper of a finale, Dillinger is to me holding up considerably well in this day and age of pictures over killing violence for violence sake. 7/10