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The stringent censorship imposed upon Hollywood of the mid-1930s dictated that gangsters could no longer be the "heroes" in any crime film. Public Hero No. 1 reflects this restriction. G-Man Chester Morris poses as a crook to infiltrate the notorious Purple Gang, a band of hoodlums which preys upon other hoodlums. Orchestrating the jailbreak of the Gang's leader (Joseph Calleia), Morris joins him in a Dillinger-like flight across the country. The bloody denouement, which occurs in a vaudeville theatre, is likewise drawn ...

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