Un drama espectacular
" Contrary to popular opinion, the best moment in The Public Enemy isn't when Jimmy Cagney shoves a grapefruit in his girlfriend's face—it's the moment Chicago gangsters Tom Powers (Cagney in a career-making performance) and his buddy Matt Doyle (Edward Woods) hear that one of their own is dead, not by a rival gangster, but from being thrown off his horse. Even when Powers and Doyle march into the stable in a welter of cold fury, you don't quite believe they're actually going to execute the horse, and yet they do. In a film that begins and ends with high-toned messages about the evil hoodlums do to society, this was likely originally intended to illustrate the rapacious inhumanity of these gangsters (a horse?), but there's no denying its intrinsic black comedy. Studio-imposed moralizing aside, this is a film with a wicked sense of humor—witness the scene in which a swishy haberdasher feels up Cagney's bicep while measuring him for a suit—that makes up for an occasionally stale plot. "