Production: 7,155 units
Released: April, 1976
The center backglass figure with monogrammed pocket handkerchief is meant to be gangster John Dillinger. He was gunned down by federal agents in front of Chicago’s Biograph Theatre in 1934, betrayed by brothel madam Anna Sage (real name Ana Cumpanas), the legendary “Woman in Red”.
Sage is also depicted on the backglass, wearing a red dress and looking youthful, although she was 45 years old and reportedly wearing a bright orange skirt and white blouse when she, Dillinger, and his girlfriend Polly Hamilton exited the theater into the FBI ambush.
In the Encyclopedia of Pinball Volume 1, Sage is misidentified on the backglass as Billie Frechette, another Dillinger girlfriend who, after his death, toured with members of his family. Artist Dave Christensen concurred at Pinball Expo 2004 that he intended his Woman in Red to be Sage and no one else.
Also on the backglass is a reference to the SMC Cartage Company garage at 2122 North Clark Street, where the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre occurred in 1929. When the garage was torn down in 1967, Christensen took some bricks from the site to display on his fireplace mantel.
The Biograph Theater operated as a movie house from 1914 until 2004, when it was renovated for live performances.
A Hollywood movie, “Dillinger”, came out in 1973.
SOURCE: Internet Pinball Database