7.3/10
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Little Caesar (1931)

A small-time criminal moves to a big city to seek bigger fortune.

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(novel), (continuity) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Big Boy
...
Pete Montana
Thomas E. Jackson ...
Sergeant Flaherty (as Thomas Jackson)
...
Sam Vettori
Maurice Black ...
Little Arnie Lorch
...
Otero
Armand Kaliz ...
De Voss
Nicholas Bela ...
Ritz Colonna (as Nick Bela)
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Storyline

Rico is a small-time hood who knocks off gas stations for whatever he can take. He heads east and signs up with Sam Vettori's mob. A New Year's Eve robbery at Little Arnie Lorch's casino results in the death of the new crime commissioner Alvin McClure. Rico's good friend Joe Massara, who works at the club as a professional dancer, works as the gang's lookout man and wants out of the gang. Rico is ambitious and eventually takes over Vettori's gang; he then moves up to the next echelon pushing out Diamond Pete Montana. When he orders Joe to dump his girlfriend Olga and re-join the gang, Olga decides there's only one way out for them. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

25 January 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mali Cezar  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Vitaphone) (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Hal B. Wallis originally auditioned Edward G. Robinson for the supporting role of Otero (played in the film by George E. Stone) before deciding he was perfect as Rico. See more »

Goofs

Another problem with the scene in which Rico is wounded in the arm: when Rico leaves the newsstand heading toward the scene of his ambush, he's walking from left to right (as seen by the audience, the point of view referred to here throughout). Then we cut to the truck, with its concealed gunman, and it's heading toward him from the opposite direction. The truck's starting point, therefore, must have been in front of Rico, or to his right. But the trail of bullet holes created by the moving gun begins behind Rico, that is, to his left. Or in other words, the bullets striking the plate glass window behind Rico should have moved from right to left, not left to right, as they do in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Caesar Enrico Bandello: You didn't quit. Nobody ever quit me. You're still in my gang. You got that? I don't care how many fancy skirts you have hanging on to you. That Jane's made a softy out of you.
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Connections

Featured in Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

If I'm Dreaming Don't Wake Me Too Soon
(uncredited)
Written by Joseph A. Burke and Al Dubin
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User Reviews

 
Dated, And Some Acting Suspect, But Still Good Viewing
21 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Boy, is this gangster movie dated but Edward G. Robinson makes it so entertaining! Robinson, like James Cagney, can dominate a film. He certainly does that in this movie, and is sure fun to watch as "Enrico Bandello."

Everything about the movie, including the DVD transfer (although a lot better than the VHS) is dated-looking and sounding, but that helps make it interesting. The dialog is so passe that it's almost weird. I put on the English subtitles so I could understand everything because the slang of those days is something foreign to us nowadays. The different expressions of the day are fun to hear (and read).

The acting by the man (Thomas Jackson?) who plays the main cop is also strange, very wooden-like. He just didn't sound natural. Some of the other actors were likewise, others were fine. It was one of the early "talkies" so maybe things were still needed to be smoothed out, film-wise and acting-wise. In other words, some of the actors sounded professional and others amateurish.

The following year, James Cagney's "Public Enemy" came out and was much better, production-wise. What a big difference in the camera-work, for one. This film may not be the caliber of "Public Enemy" but it's still good and one to have in your collection.


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