Public Enemies

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Public Enemies
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, July 04, 2009 9:59 PM

MILW #261 puts in an appearance in the new Johnny Depp movie, Public Enemies.  It's shown rolling to a stop at Chicago Union Station where two experienced G-men from Dallas walk-off to be met there by Melvin Purvis for the pursuit of John Dillinger. 

Why they'd be on a MILW train coming from Dallas is an interesting detail.  They could've perhaps taken the Frisco to KC and switched to the MILW there, but I'd think the Rock Island or ATSF would've been quicker (if J. Edgar Hoozits tells you to get to Chicago - you get there the fastest way you can).

Later there's a distant shot of UP's Challenger waiting to depart from supposedly somewhere in Chicago, being viewed by Dillinger and his associates while discussing a fast mail train robbery.  A UP Challenger in Chicago in ~1934?

Overall it was a pretty darn good movie, but I know a fair amount about Dillinger's exploits and while they stuck closer to actual events in this picture, they still bent the facts significantly.  Baby Face Nelson didn't die at Little Bohemia (he died much later from his wounds after an ambush outside Lake Geneva), Christian Bale looks about as much like Melvin Purvis as I do (Purvis looked more like Alfred P. Newman), Purvis didn't kill Pretty Boy Floyd, etc., etc., but it was quite an entertaining movie.  The soundtrack was fantastic - I'll have to buy it.

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Posted by grampaw pettibone on Saturday, July 04, 2009 10:52 PM

Melvin Purvis was born about 10 miles from here and post FBI, lived here in Florence. His was not a happy life. His wife was alcoholic and for whatever reason, he shot himself ca 1960.I met his wife several times, and knew his son  well. The wife died about 30 or so years ago, and before she did, she suffered a breakin that resulted in most of his momentos, including a massive handgun collection being  taken. The son, Rev Melvin Purvis Jr died of a heart attack ca 1992.He was a very nice man. HTH

Tom

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Posted by Boyd on Sunday, July 05, 2009 1:01 AM

I"m sure this movie is violent. But how violent is it? If a person just wanted to see the train scenes but hates violence in movies/TV,,, should he or she wait till its on DVD? 

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Posted by CNW 6000 on Sunday, July 05, 2009 2:17 AM

Boyd
If a person just wanted to see the train scenes but hates violence in movies/TV,,, should he or she wait till its on DVD? 

Probably.  Parts were filmed in Oshkosh...yay!

Dan

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Posted by aricat on Sunday, July 05, 2009 7:40 AM

Each time a railfan goes to a movie in which there is a train or locomotive the movie seems to get it wrong. I can think of very few movies that will satisfy railfan critics. The list is endless; Coal Miner's Daughter; a streamlined CP Hudson in Kentucky, Places In The Heart; contemporary grain hoppers in a story taking place in 1935.

At least 261 stayed in character and did not try to be a Santa Fe or Rock Island locomotive.

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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, July 05, 2009 8:26 AM

Well, of course we are talking about a Dillinger movie so it is violent in a lot of places, and there is blood, but I wouldn't call it excessive by any means.  It's enough to get the point across that's for sure.  If you only want the train portions, you'll watch only about 35 sec. of the movie.  I'd say see it - it's not like Natural Born Killers (now that was a horrendous piece of work).

As for Oshkosh, I lived in that city a total of 7+ years and I couldn't recognize a single scene that was shot there.  No building or street looked familiar to me.

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Posted by cacole on Sunday, July 05, 2009 9:26 AM

 Hollywood just uses stock footage of trains instead of trying to be accurate.  "Hey, Harv, get us a shot of a steam engine coming into a station."  It doesn't matter to them what road name or time frame is involved, it's just a train shot.  The actors are then digitally superimposed into the picture.

In the movie "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen, for example, they are traveling from Florida to Vermont.  What are they riding?  They board the Santa Fe Super Chief in Florida and get off a train pulled by what appears to be a Pennsylvania Railroad steam engine in Vermont.  Neither railroad went anywhere near Florida or Vermont.

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Posted by garyla on Sunday, July 05, 2009 11:01 AM

Do we all have our favorite railroad-incorrect movie scenes?

My favorite is in the 1950s-themed Grease, when the Amtrak train passes during the drag race!

If I ever met a train I didn't like, I can't remember when it happened!
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Posted by CNW 6000 on Sunday, July 05, 2009 11:48 AM

WIAR
As for Oshkosh, I lived in that city a total of 7+ years and I couldn't recognize a single scene that was shot there.  No building or street looked familiar to me.

That's not a surprise with all the facades that were put up.  If you know what to look for they are there.  Try looking at www.thenorthwestern.com for pics (Oshkosh Northwestern newspaper's website) for examples.

Dan

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Posted by SFbrkmn on Sunday, July 05, 2009 5:09 PM

The gold medal award for rr incorrect movie scenes goes to the 1993 'Civil War' that shows freight cars w/ automatic couplers. Also if one looks quite carefully, overhead electric power lines can be seen. By no means does it take away from the purpose of the production because it was a very good release and worth watching more than once.

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Posted by ButchKnouse on Sunday, July 05, 2009 6:11 PM

The Baby Face Nelson incident in Sioux Falls, South Dakota was very wildly exaggerated. They made it look like the James-Younger robbery in Northfield, MN. In reality, no one fired a shot at Nelson except the cops. No one died, one cop was wounded. and no bystanders were hit. But he did fire about as many shots in real life as portrayed in the movie.

As far as the fate of Melvin Purvis, according to a History Channel program I saw several years back, Purvis suffered for years with some sort of painful lingering illness (something unusual) before taking matters into his own hands. With the release of this movie, the program on Purvis may be repeated.

Monday night at 7 & 11 Central, a 2 hour program will be on History Channel called Crimewave: 18 Months of Mayhem. This program is a chronological history of the period, starting the day Pretty Boy Floyd is killed and ending the day Baby Face Nelson died. Along the way it tracks the careers of Dilllinger, Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly and Bonnie & Clyde.

Very well worth watching for anyone interested in the period.

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Posted by mersenne6 on Sunday, July 05, 2009 7:51 PM

If you are interested in the story I'd recommend Public Enemies by Brian Burrough. In fact, when I first heard about the movie I assumed Hollywood was going to try to do the book.  As for the Purvis-Floyd connection - from pp. 466 we have

 

  "Floyd left the shelter of the corn crib and darted across an open space, toward the Conkle's garage. "Look out, he's gonna run!" one of the policemen yelled.

   "Halt!" Purvis shouted. Shouts of "Halt! Stop!" cam from all directions. Floyd kept running...."Let him have it!" Purvis shouted. Gunshots rang out. The Bureau men had pistols and shotguns and a Thompson gun. Their bullets splintered Mrs. Conkle's apple tree; leaves and limbs rained down....Floyd kept running....more shots rang out.  Several officers fired where they stood, others ran after Floyd into the field...As he neared the crest of a rise, Floyd's right arm flew up and he fell forward, landing heavily on his left side in the grass."

 ...So I guess we can say Purvis at least shouted at Floyd...

  As for the trains - it's not just trains, it's almost everything technical that proves to be difficult or impossible for Hollywood to recreate - think of the "Me109s" in Von Ryan's Express - not, what about all of those communist armed guerilla's in all of those movies from the 70's and 80's armed with German MP-40's or British Mk III Sten's and not a PPsh 41 submachine gun in sight etc. My favorite train goofs are the former D&RGW narrow gauge Mudhens which have rolled through numerous westerns "disguised" as something from the 1880's.  The fact of the matter is that it's only technogeeks like us who notice and/or get a bit concerned when what the technology presented doesn't square with what we know it should be.

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Posted by perrymwarren on Sunday, July 05, 2009 11:58 PM

garyla

Do we all have our favorite railroad-incorrect movie scenes?

My favorite is in the 1950s-themed Grease, when the Amtrak train passes during the drag race!

A couple of episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show" clearly show a Union Pacific diesel pulling a passenger train into Mayberry. The show was set in North Carolina but filmed entirely in Los Angeles in the 1960's.
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Posted by Jack_S on Monday, July 06, 2009 12:30 AM

 I belong to the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, the oldest SF club in the world; founded 1934.  They have members who go to new SF films with notebooks to record the technical and cinematographic errors they spot.  Then they get together and laughingly discuss them.

 The movie that gets the highest marks is "2001: A Space Odyssey".  Only one technical error.  When the main character on a zero G shuttle to the moon eats from a liquid container he sucks on a straw.  When he stops sucking the fluid level in the straw goes down.

If you know anything about a field, don't see a movie about it.

Jack

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, July 06, 2009 9:46 AM

mersenne6

If you are interested in the story I'd recommend Public Enemies by Brian Burrough. In fact, when I first heard about the movie I assumed Hollywood was going to try to do the book.  As for the Purvis-Floyd connection - from pp. 466 we have

 

  "Floyd left the shelter of the corn crib and darted across an open space, toward the Conkle's garage. "Look out, he's gonna run!" one of the policemen yelled.

   "Halt!" Purvis shouted. Shouts of "Halt! Stop!" cam from all directions. Floyd kept running...."Let him have it!" Purvis shouted. Gunshots rang out. The Bureau men had pistols and shotguns and a Thompson gun. Their bullets splintered Mrs. Conkle's apple tree; leaves and limbs rained down....Floyd kept running....more shots rang out.  Several officers fired where they stood, others ran after Floyd into the field...As he neared the crest of a rise, Floyd's right arm flew up and he fell forward, landing heavily on his left side in the grass."

 ...So I guess we can say Purvis at least shouted at Floyd...

  As for the trains - it's not just trains, it's almost everything technical that proves to be difficult or impossible for Hollywood to recreate - think of the "Me109s" in Von Ryan's Express - not, what about all of those communist armed guerilla's in all of those movies from the 70's and 80's armed with German MP-40's or British Mk III Sten's and not a PPsh 41 submachine gun in sight etc. My favorite train goofs are the former D&RGW narrow gauge Mudhens which have rolled through numerous westerns "disguised" as something from the 1880's.  The fact of the matter is that it's only technogeeks like us who notice and/or get a bit concerned when what the technology presented doesn't square with what we know it should be.

But you're forgetting how many WWII movies cast SNJ trainers in the role of just about every type of single-prop fighter the good guys ever shot-down (in "Black Sheep" I think they shot the same SNJ down about 40 times).

I still think back to the movie Michael, where in the opening scene two six-axle SP engines in the "bloody nose" livery roll-through what was supposed to be the Iowa countryside on a single-track line.

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Posted by inch53 on Monday, July 06, 2009 10:09 AM

 

We haven't got to see the film yet, but are planning to. I remeber hearing stories growing up, from part of my family of that time.

One of his hangouts [the Devils Den] in Terre Haute In was going to be in the movie at one time, but wasn't in the end. Channel 10 did a story on it last week. http://www.wthitv.com/dpp/news/news_wthi_terrehaute_john_dillinger_hangout_in_terrehaute_200907011705

inch

http://www.trainboard.com/railimages/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/4309

DISCLAIMER-- This post does not clam anything posted here as fact or truth, but it may be just plain funny
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Posted by Fallen Flag on Monday, July 06, 2009 10:09 AM

My Cousin Vinny takes place in Alabama yet the train that rolls by their hotel each morning is pulled by Chessie System power. Minor detail, but of course I noticed, haha.

 As far as public enemies goes, I liked it. I also noticed the indiscrepancy of having Nelson die at The Little Bohemia shootout and about Purvis killing Floyd, but I still thought it was great. I also think they played up the love story between Dillinger and Billie Frechette a tad, but that's to be expected in a movie.

I liked Johnny Depp as Dillinger, though. I think he played the role well, his personality fit it well.

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Posted by Fallen Flag on Monday, July 06, 2009 10:29 AM

ButchKnouse
Monday night at 7 & 11 Central, a 2 hour program will be on History Channel called Crimewave: 18 Months of Mayhem. This program is a chronological history of the period, starting the day Pretty Boy Floyd is killed and ending the day Baby Face Nelson died. Along the way it tracks the careers of Dilllinger, Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly and Bonnie & Clyde.

Very well worth watching for anyone interested in the period.

That is a great program. Although I could have sworn that it started with The Kansas City Massacre, which was a while before Floyd's death, although they were directly related to each other. But it's been a while since I've seen it.

 Either way, I'm gonna try to catch and maybe record it tonight. I love reading or watching documentaries on the gangsters of that era. Fascinating stuff.

 

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, July 06, 2009 10:53 AM

Now here's the ultimate question:

In my original post I mention the two G-men disembarking from the MILW train in Chicago, pulled by #261.

Let's assume, for whatever reason, the G-men did take the Frisco to KC, and then the MILW to Chicago (instead of the RI or ATSF that would've probably been the most efficient between Dallas and Chicago).

Could they have connected from the Frisco to the Milwaukee Road at the same depot in Kansas City?

Furthermore, could MILW #261 have been the locomotive to pull a passenger train from KC to CUS?

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Posted by jeffhergert on Monday, July 06, 2009 1:52 PM

Could the MILW's #261 have pulled a passenger train from KC to CUS?  Yes, although I don't know if it ever did.

Could it have pulled a passenger train carrying two G-men in 1934?  No.  It wasn't built yet.  The MILW S-3 class 4-8-4 were built in 1944 by ALCO using a modified RI design.

Jeff

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Posted by Paul_D_North_Jr on Monday, July 06, 2009 4:20 PM

Fallen Flag
snip] I love reading or watching documentaries on the gangsters of that era. Fascinating stuff. 

Don't forget the early 1960's black-and-white TV series 'The Untouchables', starring Robert Stack as Eliot Ness, with narration by Walter Winchell.  The pilot was a movie 'The Scarface Mob' [1959] with the same, and during the show's run a pair of episodes was glued together to make another movie, 'The Gun of Zangara' [1960], a partially-fictionalized account of the 1933 assassination of Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak.  Then there was the 1987 movie directed by Brian DePalma 'The Untouchables', with Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness and Sean Connery as a Chicago cop.  I make no claims of historical accuracy or credibility for any of them - but they're interesting, and I'm pretty sure there are trains in at least all of the movies.  Whistling

-Paul North. 

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Posted by selector on Monday, July 06, 2009 4:29 PM

perrymwarren

garyla

Do we all have our favorite railroad-incorrect movie scenes?

My favorite is in the 1950s-themed Grease, when the Amtrak train passes during the drag race!

A couple of episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show" clearly show a Union Pacific diesel pulling a passenger train into Mayberry. The show was set in North Carolina but filmed entirely in Los Angeles in the 1960's.

Thinking about this, I would expect such a container to have flexible sides and to be disposable.  I would expect it to be fully sealed except for the orifice of the "straw".  Accordingly, with those characteristics, when the user finishes his "pull" on the straw the liquid remaining in the straw would be forced back down the straw as soon as the seal was broken with the lips because the ambient air pressure at the aperture of the straw and the desire of the flexible sides of the container to regain their more planar shape would work in concert to restore ambient pressures.

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Posted by aricat on Tuesday, July 07, 2009 9:44 AM

Could have MILW 261 worked a passenger train from Kansas City to Chicago Union Station. No. MILW 261 was a freight locomotive although 4-8-4's were assigned to work the Hiawathas on very rare occasions. Jim Scribbins Hiawatha Story shows a photo of the Hiawatha being powered by a 4-8-4.

While it would have been possible to take the Frisco to KC then MILW to Union station in Chicago, why would you? It is like taking the Rock Island from Minneapolis to Chicago, you could but four other railroads have a more direct route.

Kansas City Union Station served all railroads in KC.

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Posted by ButchKnouse on Tuesday, July 07, 2009 9:58 AM

Fallen Flag

ButchKnouse
Monday night at 7 & 11 Central, a 2 hour program will be on History Channel called Crimewave: 18 Months of Mayhem. This program is a chronological history of the period, starting the day Pretty Boy Floyd is killed and ending the day Baby Face Nelson died. Along the way it tracks the careers of Dilllinger, Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly and Bonnie & Clyde.

Very well worth watching for anyone interested in the period.

That is a great program. Although I could have sworn that it started with The Kansas City Massacre, which was a while before Floyd's death, although they were directly related to each other. But it's been a while since I've seen it.

 Either way, I'm gonna try to catch and maybe record it tonight. I love reading or watching documentaries on the gangsters of that era. Fascinating stuff.

 

You may be right. It may have started with the Kansas City Massacre. It's been a while since I've seen it. But I did record it this time. Very good show. I live in South Dakota but knew very little about the Sioux Falls robbery until I saw that show.

South Dakota's only other connection to the 1930s gangsters was Verne Miller. Miller was a WW I hero who was elected Sheriff of Beadle County, SD (county seat Huron, the DM&E shops are there). Miller was eventually busted for stealing county funds and was sent to the state prison. When he got out he made a beeline for St. Paul to find work with the gangsters. Before he was killed, Verne Miller actually came back to Huron and robbed a bank there.

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, July 07, 2009 11:00 AM

selector

perrymwarren

garyla

Do we all have our favorite railroad-incorrect movie scenes?

My favorite is in the 1950s-themed Grease, when the Amtrak train passes during the drag race!

A couple of episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show" clearly show a Union Pacific diesel pulling a passenger train into Mayberry. The show was set in North Carolina but filmed entirely in Los Angeles in the 1960's.

Thinking about this, I would expect such a container to have flexible sides and to be disposable.  I would expect it to be fully sealed except for the orifice of the "straw".  Accordingly, with those characteristics, when the user finishes his "pull" on the straw the liquid remaining in the straw would be forced back down the straw as soon as the seal was broken with the lips because the ambient air pressure at the aperture of the straw and the desire of the flexible sides of the container to regain their more planar shape would work in concert to restore ambient pressures.

-Crandell

Confused

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Posted by ericsp on Tuesday, July 07, 2009 9:32 PM

WIAR

selector

perrymwarren

garyla

Do we all have our favorite railroad-incorrect movie scenes?

My favorite is in the 1950s-themed Grease, when the Amtrak train passes during the drag race!

A couple of episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show" clearly show a Union Pacific diesel pulling a passenger train into Mayberry. The show was set in North Carolina but filmed entirely in Los Angeles in the 1960's.

Thinking about this, I would expect such a container to have flexible sides and to be disposable.  I would expect it to be fully sealed except for the orifice of the "straw".  Accordingly, with those characteristics, when the user finishes his "pull" on the straw the liquid remaining in the straw would be forced back down the straw as soon as the seal was broken with the lips because the ambient air pressure at the aperture of the straw and the desire of the flexible sides of the container to regain their more planar shape would work in concert to restore ambient pressures.

-Crandell

Confused

 

I think he is replying to the post about drinking in space. I do not know why he quoted the post he quoted. 

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Posted by espeefoamer on Tuesday, July 07, 2009 9:49 PM

In the animated movie Bolt,early in the movie Bolt and his friends hop na ride on a CSX doublestack container train with Dash 9s .Towards the end the group walks by with a string of 40  foot boxcars in the background with quite accurate UP  Overland logos.

Many years ago,I saw a WWII movie based in China.The train consisted of a string of heavyweights pulled by an SP GS class 4-8-4.

Ride Amtrak. Cats Rule, Dogs Drool.
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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Wednesday, July 08, 2009 10:06 AM

I watched "Public Enemies" over the weekend and enjoyed it a lot, despite the factual and technical errors that crept in.  None of them detracted from the film as a whole.

As a longtime rail enthusiast and lifelong Chicagoan, I will cringe a little when the technical errors for railroading and geographical errors for Chicago crop up.  However, I also keep in mind that this is supposed to be entertainment and I don't let them bother me.

The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by THayman on Wednesday, July 08, 2009 11:45 PM
garyla

Do we all have our favorite railroad-incorrect movie scenes?

My favorite is in the 1950s-themed Grease, when the Amtrak train passes during the drag race!

 

A few examples I always think of.... The film "Human Trafficking", set in Chicago but filmed in Montreal. At one point, characters board an AMT commuter train, supposedly, as I said, in Chicago....

The recent "Get Smart" with Steve Carrell and the one "Back to The Future" movie both have scenes typical of many movies where a train hits a car/other object on the tracks. The train in question first makes no attempt to stop or sound any kind of warning before hitting said object, and continues on at full speed afterwards. I can't even imagine how many rules those engineers violated....

-Tim

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