The ambitious criminal Rico moves from the country to the big city in the east and joins Sam Vettori's gang with his friend Joe Massara. Soon he becomes the leader of the gangsters and ... See full summary »
The ambitious criminal Rico moves from the country to the big city in the east and joins Sam Vettori's gang with his friend Joe Massara. Soon he becomes the leader of the gangsters and known as Little Caesar, and gets closer to the great mobster Pete Montana. In a robbery of a night-club, he kills the Crime Commissioner Alvin McClure and his pal Joe witnesses the murder. When Rico orders Joe to leave his mistress Olga Strassoff, she takes a serious decision. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This isn't the best film Robinson ever made, but from a historical point of view, it is THE film to see considering it made him a well-known and A-level actor. This is pretty much what also happened with Jimmy Cagney's THE PUBLIC ENEMY--which also came out the same year. Both films are "pre-Code" in style, as they show a higher level of violence than gangster films of the late 30s--though both pale in sleaziness and violence to Paul Muni's SCARFACE!
The film begins with friends Robinson and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. as small-time hoods. They both decide they've had enough of this life so they move to "the big city" (though WHICH one is never said in the film). Robinson wants to move up and eventually control organized crime, while Fairbanks wants to be, believe it or not, a professional dancer! Both become very successful, but their lives are also inextricably intertwined. Exactly what occurs and how it all ends is really something you should see for yourself. It's an excellent ganger film--much better than average. However of the three gangster films I mentioned, my personal favorite would have to be THE PUBLIC ENEMY, as it's acting isn't quite as "over-the-top" and features a little more action and excitement.
FYI--For an interesting error, watch Robinson's arm when he is shot towards the end of the film. Despite clearly being shot in the right arm, later the left arm is in a sling! I assume this was just a mistake and wasn't done as an inside joke.
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