The People's Enemy

Watch The People's Enemy

"The crime-busting story of racketeers, criminals and their women!"
  • NR
  • 1935
  • 1 hr 10 min
  • 5.8  (59)

The People's Enemy is a 1935 American drama film directed by Crane Wilbur and starring Preston Foster, Lila Lee, and Melvyn Douglas. The film is set during the Great Depression and follows the story of a newspaper editor who is faced with a moral dilemma when he is forced to choose between publishing the truth about a corrupt politician and saving his struggling newspaper.

The film begins with a series of scenes that highlight the economic struggles faced by the American people during the Great Depression. The main character, Mike Cassidy (Preston Foster), is the editor of the struggling Daily Press newspaper in a small town. Cassidy is highly respected by the members of his community and often uses the power of the press to expose corruption and wrongdoing among local politicians.

One day, Cassidy is approached by the local political boss, John Duffy (played by Frank Conroy), who tries to bribe him into publishing a false story about a rival politician. Cassidy refuses, but Duffy threatens to use his influence to drive the Daily Press out of business if he doesn't comply.

Meanwhile, Cassidy's love interest, Anne Woodstock (Lila Lee), is the daughter of a wealthy businessman who is also involved in politics. Anne is initially skeptical of Cassidy's journalistic integrity but soon becomes a strong supporter of his efforts to expose corruption in their community.

As the pressure from Duffy and his cronies continues to mount, Cassidy finds himself facing a difficult dilemma. He knows that if he publishes the truth about Duffy and his corrupt dealings, he risks losing everything - his reputation, his job, and the business he has worked so hard to build. However, he also knows that he has a responsibility to the people of his community to expose the truth.

The plot of the film is driven by Cassidy's struggle to balance these two competing motivations. Throughout the film, he is forced to make difficult decisions and face the consequences of his actions, both good and bad. His character arc is one of the film's strongest elements, as we see him grow and evolve over the course of the story.

The supporting characters are also well-developed and add complexity to the film's themes. Anne's father, for example, is a complicated figure who is torn between his loyalty to his daughter and his desire to maintain his political influence. The relationship between Cassidy and Anne is also well-handled, with their romantic interactions serving to further underscore the film's themes of integrity and honesty.

The People's Enemy is notable for its strong performances, particularly from Preston Foster in the lead role. He brings a depth of feeling and nuance to his portrayal of Cassidy, making him a sympathetic and likable character even in the face of difficult decisions. Lila Lee is also excellent as Anne, bringing a sense of warmth and humanity to her character.

In terms of its technical aspects, The People's Enemy is a well-crafted film. The camera work is solid, with some impressive tracking shots and interesting compositions. The score is effective in underscoring the film's emotional beats, and the direction is strong throughout.

Overall, The People's Enemy is a compelling drama that captures the zeitgeist of its time. Its portrait of small-town corruption and the struggle for journalistic integrity is timeless, and its message remains relevant to this day. Fans of classic cinema will undoubtedly appreciate this film, which is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

The People's Enemy is a 1935 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 10 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.8.

Where to Watch The People's Enemy
The People's Enemy is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV and The Roku Channel. Some platforms allow you to rent The People's Enemy for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 10 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.8  (59)