Melvin Purvis (1974)

 

 

 


Director:      Dan Curtis.

Starring:      Dale Robertson (Melvin Purvis), Harris Yulin (George 'Machine Gun' Kelly), Dick Sargent (Thatcher Covington), Margaret Blye ('Kate' Katherine Ryan-Kelly), Matt Clark (Charles 'Charlie' Parlmetter), David Canary ('Gene' Eugene T. Farber), Elliott Street (Thomas 'Buckwheat' Longaker), John Karlen ('Tony' Anthony Redecci), Steve Kanaly (Sam Cowley), Woodrow Parfrey (Nash Covington), Jim Hill ('Jim' J. D. Longaker), Don Megowan (Hamburger Stand Man), Hank Rolike (Shoe Shine Man), Eddie Quillan (Hotel Clerk), Max Kleven (Purvis' Driver).

Deals with the pursuit of "Machine Gun" Kelly and by G-Man, Melvin Purvis in the 1930s.

 

 

Spoiler Warning:

 

 

 


Historical Background:

 

 

Melvin Purvis was a lawyer working in South Carolina.

1927  --  joins the J. Edgar Hoover's Bureau of Investigation.  (He had planned to become a diplomat, but the State Department was not hiring.)

He was a good field agent and rose to become the head of the Division of Investigation offices in Birmingham, Oklahoma City, and Cincinnati.

1932  -- becomes head of the Chicago office.

1934 March --  bank robber Dillinger escapes from jail at Crown Point, Indiana and Hoover orders Purvis to catch Dillinger.

1934 April --  Purvis's special agents surround a lodge in Little Bohemia, Wisconsin where the Dillinger gang is holed up.  They fire on a car they thought was escaping from the lodge: two passengers were wounded and Eugene Boiseneau was killed. They were all local Civilian Conservation Corps workers.

A second car filled with the Dillinger gang got away. Baby Face Nelson killed one special agent and wounded two other men. Purvis offered his resignation to Hoover, who refused to accept it.

1934  July  --  based on a hot tip, Purvis surrounds the Biograph Theater in the hopes of catching movie-going John Dillinger. Spotting the infamous bank robber exiting the theatre, Purvis lights his cigar, the signal for Dillinger, and moves in saying to Dillinger: "Stick 'em up, Johnny, we have you surrounded."  In the ensuing attempt by Dillinger to escape, two bullets hit the bank robber.

1935 January --  Melvin Purvis and his FBI agents arrest Doc Barker (of the famous "Ma Barker gang") and his girl friend as they left Barker's apartment near Lake Michigan in Chicago.

Jealous of Purvis' popularity, Hoover gives the famous agent bad cases and he resigns.  And Hoover's jealousy did not end there; he even went so far as to sabotage Purvis's attempts to get back into law enforcement.  Purvis had to make commercial endorsements to make ends meet.

He marries and has three sons.  

1960  -- dies from a gunshot at home in South Carolina, either a suicide or accident is not known.

(Source: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/dillinger/peopleevents/p_purvis.html)

 

 

 

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