The opening Wednesday of "Public Enemy," the new movie with Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, seems to be renewing Hoosiers' fascination with the romanticism of Depression-era gansgters. This AP story captures the flavor:
The grave of Depression-era gangster John Dillinger is seeing a surge of visitors at its Indianapolis cemetery days before the opening of a new film that stars Johnny Depp as the man considered by some tobe an American Robin Hood.
[. . .]
Dillinger had become something of a Robin Hood for some Americans who had lost their savings when banks failed during the Great Depression, and federal agents narrowly missed capturing him several times.
Americans did have an adversarial relationship with banks back then, which led some of them to cheer Dillinger on. But if I remember my myths & legends, Robin Hood robbed from the rich and gave to the poor. Dillinger robbed from institutions that held money for the rich and poor alike, and kept it so he could avoid an ordinary life and honest labor. And, oh, by the way, he killed a police officer in the process; he was a thug and a killer, and romanticicizng him is sick. This Indianapolis Star article says the new movie portrays Dillinger as "a violent -- yet principled and charismatic -- crook." Yes, sir, that's certainly what makes violent crooks tolerable to me, if they're principled and charismatic.