Spoiler alert! Reports from the first test screening of Michael Mann's PUBLIC ENEMIES

The first test screening of Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp as 1930’s bank robber John Dillinger and Christian Bale as his FBI nemesis Melvin Purvis, was held at the Mann theater in Westlake Village, California on Wednesday, November 12. This was an initial edit that ran 2 hours, 40 minutes and did not yet have a musical score, was not color-timed, and did not yet have digital effects added. But even in this “first look” stage, when much editing work remains to be done, viewers were impressed with Public Enemies and with Johnny’s performance as Dillinger. Ain’t It Cool News has the most detailed account, posted by their member MacGuyver; he attended the screening and thinks “this will be a terrific movie when it’s done.” You can read his assessment HERE; beware of mild spoilers (which wouldn’t surprise anyone who knows any of Dillinger’s history).

Other reports posted on imdb are just as laudatory, with Johnny’s Dillinger earning comments like “[H]is performance might in fact be Oscar worthy. . . [Dillinger] doesn’t like violence, but will resort to it if necessary. You actually feel sorry for him and his predicament by the halfway mark of the film.” Public Enemies‘ designers and production staff also earn high praise; even in a rough cut, this film is gorgeous.

The Zone thanks FANtasticJD and Shadowydog for breaking the news; you can read a lively discussion of the screening reports on the Zone’s Porch forum. –Part-Time Poet

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