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Johnny Depp and some other great big-screen gangsters

How will Johnny Depp do as "John Dillinger?" We'll find out later this week.

Publicity photo

How will Johnny Depp do as "John Dillinger?" We'll find out later this week.

Johnny who? Here are some other great Public Enemies

Are you looking forward to this week's release of Public Enemies, the gangster flick based on the criminal careers of "Pretty Boy" Floyd (Channing Tatum), "Baby Face" Nelson (Stephen Graham) and the rogue in this gallery so tough that he didn't need a catchy nickname, John Dillinger (Johnny Depp)? • Anyway, the chance to again see gun-toting gangsters riding running boards on speeding coupes got Times film critic Steve Persall thinking about other infamous big-screen depictions of the Big 3 baddies. • So pop on your fedora. Here are Persall's most-wanted lists, along with his comments.

Steve Persall's favorite public enemies:

John Dillinger

1. DILLINGER (Warren Oates, 1973): "A criminally underrated actor, Oates roared with Wild Bunch brio through a typically macho John Milius screenplay."

2. THE LADY IN RED (Robert Conrad, 1979): "Knock the battery off his shoulder and he'd fill you full of lead."

3. DILLINGER AND CAPONE (Martin Sheen, 1995): "Worth finding just to witness F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus) hamming his way through the Capone role."

Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd

1. A BULLET FOR PRETTY BOY (Fabian Forte, 1970): "You knew the pop music idol (Hound Dog Man, Turn Me Loose) was serious about acting when he added his surname to the billing.

2. YOUNG DILLINGER (Robert Conrad, 1965): "Conrad pulled off the rare double-dare, playing second Tommy gun to the late Nick Adams in the title role."

3. THE STORY OF PRETTY BOY FLOYD (Martin Sheen, 1974): "Not as fondly recalled as Sheen's other two TV movies that year: The Missiles of October and The Execution of Private Slovik."

Lester M. "Baby Face" Nelson

1. BABY FACE NELSON (Mickey Rooney, 1957): "You keep expecting the former Andy Hardy to exclaim: 'Hey, kids! Let's put on a bank robbery!' "

2. BABY FACE NELSON (C. Thomas Howell, 1995): "This is what happens when the Brat Pack won't let you join. Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold."

3. DILLINGER (Richard Dreyfuss, 1973): "One month after this movie release, Dreyfuss' baby face made him a star in American Graffiti."

Born on the fourth of July

Not everyone can be a Yankee Doodle Dandy, born on the Fourth of July. (Not even George M. Cohan, who sang the tune — he was born on July 3!) • Heck, not everyone would want to be! You'd never be able to get a quiet hotel room at the beach on your big day, for starters. • Still, with July 4 right around the corner, we take time out today to light off some fireworks for our five favorite celebrities who share a birthday with the good ol' U.S. of A. Compiled by Steve Spears, Times Staff Writer

Top 5 famous figures born on July 4:

1. CALVIN COOLIDGE (1872): To this day, Coolidge — or "C.C." as we'd call him in the celeb world — remains the only American president born on July 4.

2. NEIL SIMON (1927): Mr. Broadway has cranked out three zillion scripts for plays and movies, but on his birthday, we bet he's partial to The Star-Spangled Girl.

3. GEORGE STEINBRENNER (1930): The Yankees owner, thoroughbred enthusiast and Seinfeld punching bag lives in Tampa, making the Boss the lone Tampa Bay doodle dandy.

4. GERALDO RIVERA (1943): Along with Tom Selleck, the TV journalist is the only American prohibited by law from shaving his signature mustache.

5. ANN LANDERS/ABIGAIL VAN BUREN (1918): Twin sisters Esther "Eppie" Pauline Friedman Lederer and Pauline Esther Friedman Phillips were better known by their advice column names of Ann Landers and Dear Abby.

Top 5 weekend movies

1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, $112 million.

2. The Proposal, $18.5 million.

3. The Hangover, $17.2 million.

4. Up, $13 million.

5. My Sister's Keeper, $12 million.

Source: Associated Press

Top 5 prime-time TV shows

1. NCIS (CBS)

2. Two and a Half Men (CBS)

3. The Mentalist (CBS)

4. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS)

5. The Mentalist (CBS)

Source: Nielsen Media Research for week ending June 21

Top 5 search terms on Yahoo

1. Dinara Safina

2. Transformers 2

3. College World Series

4. Recession

5. I'm a Celebrity, Get Met Out of Here

Source: Yahoo.com

Top 5 country songs:

1. Out Last Night — Kenny Chesney

2. Whatever It Is — Zac Brown Band

3. Sideways — Dierks Bentley

4. Then — Brad Paisley

5. Kiss a Girl — Keith Urban

Source: Billboard.com

Johnny Depp and some other great big-screen gangsters 06/28/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 29, 2009 9:51am]

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