Farmhouse used in “Public Enemies” torn down in St. Anne


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ST. ANNE Ill. – The old farmhouse used in the 2009 movie “Public Enemies” was recently torn down, leaving one less attraction in Kankakee County. The farmhouse, located east of St. Anne, was featured in the film as the place where the notorious bank robber John Dillinger and his gang organized their next heist.

[The Farmhouse: Public Enemies (2009) Universal Pictures]

The farmhouse, estimated to be located at 6550 S. 10000 E. Road, was set way off the road and not easily accessible. The movie, directed by Michael Mann and starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, was adapted from Bryan Burrough’s 2004 non-fiction book “Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933–34”. It chronicled the final years of Dillinger’s life and his pursuit by FBI agent Melvin Purvis.

Principal photography for the film began in Columbus, Wisconsin, in March 2008 and continued in several Illinois cities, including Chicago, Aurora, Joliet, Lockport, and St. Anne, as well as Crown Point, Indiana. Other locations featured in the film include the prison with the shootout in Crest Hill, the train station at Union Station in Chicago, and Billie Frechette’s apartment in Chicago, among others.

The farmhouse, which played a significant role in the movie, was where Dillinger and his crew ate and changed clothes after infiltrating the Indiana State Penitentiary and jailbreaking their associates. During the getaway, Dillinger’s mentor, Walter, was shot and killed, and the farmhouse served as a hideout for the gang before they drove to a safe house on Chicago’s east side.

The demolition of the farmhouse has disappointed fans of the movie and historical enthusiasts alike, as it represented a tangible link to the notorious criminal and the early days of the FBI. However, the legacy of Dillinger and the other infamous gangsters of the 1930s lives on in popular culture, and the movie “Public Enemies” serves as a testament to their enduring notoriety.


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