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

In a separately filmed trailer, Vitaphone production reel #4529, Edward G. Robinson and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. discuss the picture. 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

Sgt. Tom Flaherty: Yeah, they'll have to build him a special noose to get that swelled head of his through.
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Connections

Referenced in The Romance of Celluloid (1937) 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

 
"Is this the end of Rico?" - Yes, But the Start of My Favorite Genre - Mob Movies
1 April 1999 | by (Philadelphia, PA) – See all my reviews

LITTLE CAESAR was made at a critical time in U.S. history. Prohibition was in, the depression was overwhelming, and mobsters were running rampant. I don't think the filmmakers realized it, but they have made a movie that paints the "Mafia" as glamorous and flashy. A message appears before the flick, telling the public how "we" must stop gangsters like Tom Powers (James Cagney,PUBLIC ENEMY) and Rico, (Edward G. Robinson, LITTLE CAESAR). The movie probably had youngsters and adults alike wanting to live the life of a man who had a city in his grasp, and no one who was anyone was "yellow". All seriousness aside, this blueprint of a long history of mob pictures is silly, dated, and damn watchable. You can't take your eyes off the screen.

A film with dialogue like the ultimate cliche "Go on. I'm...done for" must be a waste of time right? Not if you appreciate pre-historic cinema and the Vitaphone films of the early talkie period. Actors like the great Edward G. Robinson were born to talk and deliver lines at machine gun pace. This is what the audiences of the time were looking for. And that mug. Audiences would not see such a face on a gangster until Brando's GODFATHER. If you love GOODFELLAS, THE GODFATHER, Cagney and Bogart films, and even PULP FICTION, this is a must see. Experience an American original - the first potent "La Cosa Nostra" movie. Rat tat tat tat tat!!!

RATING: 10 of 10


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