Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as
an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25
years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach.
Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps said, "I used this book as an inspiration
for the biggest win of my career when we ended UCLA's all-time 88-game
winning streak in 1974."
more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach.
Click the Book to read
the players telling their stories in their own words. This is the book
that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.
Click the book to read the first chapter and for
Public Enemies (5/10)
by Tony Medley
Run time 133 minutes
John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) robs banks.
Melvin Purvis (Chritian Bale) is out to get him. Dillinger falls in love
with Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard). As a documentary, this is
pretty faithful to the facts. Unfortunately, as entertainment it falls
short. Director Michael Mann has substituted machine guns for dialogue.
He must have expended a million bullets shooting this film. The movie
lurches from one shootout to another. And, like the corny westerns of
old, bullets fly all over the place, but rarely hit anything. Those
shooting in this film don’t even make a pretense of aiming. They just
fire off magazine after magazine. And they are loud. (In fact, Dillinger
shot and killed only one man during his crime spree.)
The tragedy of this
film is that Mann has made a conscious effort to be true to history. In
that, he has done a fine job. Infamous as Dillinger became, it’s hard to
believe that his public career lasted but 13 months. Imprisoned when
just a young man, he was paroled in May of 1933. He was dead by July of
1934. Mann tells the story of those 13 months so faithfully that he used
exact locations when he could. Dillinger’s spectacular jailbreak was
shot where it occurred, at the lockup at Crown Point,
and the scene of the brutal shootout at the Little Bohemia lodge was
shot where it occurred. Finally, his death outside the Biograph Theater
was also shot where it occurred. Disappointing as the movie was to me, I
have to praise Mann for his devotion to accuracy, something often
lacking in movies “based on” true events and people.
But it’s not storytelling. It seems as if Mann
just assumes that the audience will have enough knowledge of Dillinger’s
history that he doesn’t have to explain anything, like the opening scene
of the movie, a jailbreak orchestrated by Dillinger to get his former
cellmates out of the slammer.
I often wonder why a
big star like Bale is cast in (and accepts) a one-dimensional role like
this one of Melvin Purvis. Bale’s performance adds little to the film,
even though the advertising makes one think that it’s two stars going up
against one another. It’s nothing like Peter O’Toole vs. Richard Burton
in “Becket” (1964) or Clark Gable facing off with Spencer Tracy in “San
Francisco” (1936) and “BoomTown”
Cotillard, on the other hand, sparkles as
Dillinger’s girlfriend. In addition to Cotillard and Depp, who is almost
a dead ringer for the charismatic Dillinger, Billy Crudup gives a
terrific interpretation of J. Edgar Hoover. He plays him straight up
with no negative implications, as he probably was at the start of his
career. Dillinger was the first to be called “Public Enemy No. 1” by
There are so many characters, like Baby Face
Nelson (Stephen Graham), but none of them are introduced or fleshed out
in any manner that would allow you to figure out who they are or
remember them. Most of them die, but when they die you wonder, who was
devotion to accuracy, there is at least one glaring factual gaffe. The
day Dillinger is killed, he walks into the “Dillinger Squad” of a
police station and strolls around a bunch of cops sitting
around a radio listening to a Cubs-Yankees baseball game. The Cubs
played the Yankees in the 1932 World Series. Dillinger died on July 22, 1934.
There was no interleague play in those days. I guarantee you that the
Cubs did not play the Yankees on July 22, 1934.
Probably nobody else will notice this because it’s background and the
Yankees are only mentioned once. But I noticed it and winced.
This would be a pretty good documentary. As
entertainment, it comes up short.