The Public Enemy

You remember the moment: Gangster James Cagney is sitting at the breakfast table with his girlfriend. When the conversation doesn’t go his way, he shoves a grapefruit into her face. It’s the most famous scene in The Public Enemy, a film about hip, glamorous gangsters engaged in a violent power struggle. The movie, whose cast includes Jean Harlow, Joan Blondell, Edward Woods and the beautiful (fruit-smeared) Mae Clarke, cemented Cagney’s tough-guy persona and set the benchmark for gangster films for the next 40 years.

Based on the book Beer and Blood and set during America’s Prohibition Era, Public Enemy was originally released in 1931. Subsequent versions edited out, then restored, controversial elements (namely a gay tailor, a couple rolling around in bed and a seduction). Today’s screening at Domy Books should include all the good stuff. 8:30 p.m. 1709 Westheimer. For information, call 713-523-3669 or visit Free.
Mon., May 12, 8:30 p.m., 2008

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Olivia Flores Alvarez