[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The_Public_Enemy_3497.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"I ain't so tough!"'']]

->''"I know what you've been doing all this time, how you got those clothes and those new cars. You've been telling Ma that you've gone into politics, that you're on the city payroll. Pat Burke told me everything. You murderers! There's not only beer in that jug. There's beer and blood -- blood of men!"''
-->--'''Mike Powers''', confronting his brother

''The Public Enemy'' is a 1931 [[UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode pre-Code]] Creator/WarnerBros gangster film directed by William A. Wellman. It's often seen as the film that made Creator/JamesCagney a star. It also typecast him as a tough guy and gangster, and he kept playing roles like that throughout TheThirties.

The "Public Enemy" of the film is Tom Powers (Cagney), a young man living in UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} during Prohibition whose crimes progress from small-time theft to bootlegging and murder.
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!!Tropes:
* AmbiguouslyGay: The tailor, in who is in approximately 2 minutes of the film. See for yourself right [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSIDwa_MG_E&feature=related here.]]
* BattleInTheRain: Subverted--a torrential rain is falling in Chicago as Tom goes into the rival gang's headquarters to shoot it out, but all of the shooting takes place offscreen.
* BloodFromTheMouth: Seen from Matt after he is gunned down in a hail of bullets.
* BookEnds: Opens with a message that this film's purpose isn't to glorify gangsters, and closes with the message that 'The Public Enemy' is a problem in society that must be stopped.
* DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster: Tom Powers and Matt Doyle - they get all the girls, the snappy suits, and the cars.
* DeadHandShot: One of the thieves that Putty Nose sends out on a job with Tom and Matt is shot down in the street.
* DomesticAbuse: The infamous grapefruit-in-the-face scene.
-->'''Tom:''' Ain't you got a drink in the house?
-->'''Kitty:''' Not before breakfast, dear.
-->'''Tom:''' I didn't ask you for any lip. I asked you if you had a drink.
* DoNotDoThisCoolThing: Explicitly stated in the opening title card.
--> "It is the ambition of the authors of 'The Public Enemy' to honestly depict an environment that exists today in a certain strata of American life, rather than glorify the hoodlum or criminal."
** And again in the closing title card.
--> "The end of Tom Powers is the end of every hoodlum."
* DownerEnding: Tom's in the hospital due to his injuries from avenging a fallen comrade, and when it looks like he's about to redeem himself, he gets kidnapped by the surviving mob members. But then his family gets a call from a stranger, presumably one of Tom's pals, that Tom's coming home immediately! As the mother and sister tidy up Tom's room, his brother Mike opens the door and watches Tom's dead body collapse before him.
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: Tom adores his Ma, and she seems to willingly overlook his crimes.
* TheFagin: Putty Nose, the fence and petty crook who steers young Tom and Matt into crime. Another mobster even calls him that.
* TheIrishMob
* KilledMidSentence: Putty Nose's song is cut off at the same point as earlier in the film, when Tom and Matt were kids.
* KubrickStare: Tom as he walks into the rival mob's hangout, right before the shooting starts.
* AMinorKidroduction: The first scene is Tom and Matt as schoolboy hoodlums.
* MisterSandmanSequence: Each time the movie moves to another year.
* OfficerOHara: A stereotypical Irish cop is friend to the Powers family.
* NoHonorAmongThieves: When teenaged Tom and Matt botch a robbery, their boss Putty Nose ditches them. [[RewardedAsATraitorDeserves But when they see Putty Nose again during Matt's wedding and follow him back home...]]
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: The climactic shootout, in which the camera stays outside the building and we hear a multitude of gunshots, followed by a badly wounded Tom stumbling outside.
* ParentalFavoritism: Ma Powers favors her 'Tommy boy' over elder son Mike.
* PieInTheFace[=/=]FoodSlap: The film's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4R5wZs8cxI iconic scene]] has Tom smashing a half grapefruit into his girlfriend's face.
* PrettyInMink: Gwen Allen (Creator/JeanHarlow).
* RashAndCalmFoils: Tom is the quick-to-anger gangster, while his older brother Mike is the calm, respectable type.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Tom's reaction to Matt's death is to steal a pair of pistols from a merchant and charge into the rival mob's hangout.
* SlasherSmile: As he sees Matt gunned down in the street, Tom ''smiles''. He has another psycho grin on his face as he walks into the rival mob's headquarters, seeking revenge.
* SoundOnlyDeath: The camera cuts to Matt sitting at the side of the room when Tom shoots Putty Nose.
* StuffedIntoTheFridge: The way Tommy's death is revealed at the end-- his corpse is delivered ''standing up'' to his family's front door.
* VideoCredits: Before the film starts to introduce the main characters.
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