In an article about Public Enemies (Universal, 7.1) by the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Ruthe Stein, director Michael Mann says that while gangster John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) and his gang “could plan robberies in a very meticulous fashion, they couldn’t plan next month. They had no concept of the probability that if they kept robbing banks, eventually they would get caught.
“‘They had no plan for the future,’ Mann tells her. ‘They were living for the moment…there was a “disconnect between cause and effect. If you trusted the wrong person and got shot, it wasn’t because of an error of judgment. It just happened.”
“The expressions ‘a bullet with your name on it’ and ‘when your time is up’ were popular in the 1930s,” Stein notes, “and reflect a sense of things being out of your control.”
Never, it seems, in the history of ill-gotten gains has a criminal ever realized that they’re in it for the short haul, and if they were smart they’d sock their loot away in Central America or Bern or the Cayman Islands and carefully plan for the moment when they’d pack their bags and go on the lam. Tony Soprano never got this and look what happened.