Public Enemies
Public Enemies mistake picture

Factual error: In one scene, focused on a period wood-staked pickup truck parked on the street, you can see clearly a modern Jeep Grand Cherokee parked on the other side of the street.

Factual error: The "Swing" music on the soundtrack wasn't recorded by anyone till late 1935 or later, when Swing began. A good year after Dillinger's death.


Factual error: "Love Me Or Leave Me" by Billie Holiday, which is supposedly coming from the radio in 1934, wasn't even recorded by Holiday until 1941.


Public Enemies mistake picture

Factual error: Early in the movie, during a bank robbery, there is an FDIC sign beside the teller. Dillinger's bank robberies were mostly in 1933, he was arrested in January 1934. The FDIC was not enacted until January 1934, making it impossible for the bank to have been insured by the FDIC during the 1933 robberies. Additionally, in the same robbery, the teller displays $5 bills that are the current format (multiple colors, offset picture, larger numbers) which would not have been present at that time. (00:42:40)

Factual error: The film is set in the 1930s, but when there is a closeup of a sheet of text (a conversation between Billie and John), it is typed out in a computer font (which did not exist) as opposed to a typewriter.

Factual error: When Purvis is outside Billie's apartment, looking at the transcript of her phone conversation with Dillinger, the page is from a printed word processor, not typed out on a typewriter.

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Factual error: When Special Agent Winstead is leaning over Dillinger to hear what his last words are, you can see that he's wearing modern-day contact lenses, in 1934.

Factual error: During the movie Dillinger talks with Baby-Face Nelson about a train job. The train is visible in the background. The train however is the Union Pacific locomotive 844. This locomotive was not built and delivered to the Union Pacific until December 1944, 10 years after Dillinger was killed.

Factual error: The distinctive console radio airplane style Zenith Black Dial wasn't manufactured till 1936, one year after Dillinger died, yet it appears several times in the film during 1934.


Factual error: The Western Electric Model 639A microphone prominently featured in front of J Edgar Hoover in the 1934 Washington DC Senate appropriation hearing scene, wasn't invented till late 1939.


Public Enemies mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Dillinger is looking at his watch just before going to the movies, the time is 6:02. Close-up of his mum's photo, and the time is now something like 6:25.

More mistakes in Public Enemies

Melvin Purvis: The only way you're walking out of this jail cell is when we take you out to execute you.
John Dillinger: Well, we'll see about that.

More quotes from Public Enemies

Trivia: Baby Face Nelson did not die as was depicted in the movie; he actually escaped from Little Bohemia and outlived Dillinger by four months (Dillinger died in July, and Nelson the following November). Nelson received mortal wounds in a shootout with two FBI Agents (who died as well). Nelson died that night after escaping with his wife and associates; his body was left in a ditch and discovered by the authorities the next day.

More trivia for Public Enemies

Question: How was John able to communicate to Billie where he'd pick her up when she left the apartment dressed like a man? Their phone was tapped so he had to tell her somehow. Also, in the beginning, who was the woman with the little boy who asked John to take them with?

More questions & answers from Public Enemies

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