IMDb > Little Caesar (1931)
Little Caesar
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Little Caesar (1931) More at IMDbPro »

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Little Caesar -- Edward Robinson introduced the world to a new gangster in his portrayal of Johnny Rico, a small-time hood who brutally shoots his way to the top of the underworld.
Little Caesar -- Trailer for the one true story of the underworld kings


User Rating:
7.4/10   8,253 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
W.R. Burnett (novel)
Robert N. Lee (continuity)
View company contact information for Little Caesar on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 January 1931 (USA) See more »
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... See more » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
"Is this the end of Rico?" - Yes, But the Start of My Favorite Genre - Mob Movies See more (83 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Edward G. Robinson ... Little Caesar - Alias 'Rico'

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Joe Massara
Glenda Farrell ... Olga Stassoff
William Collier Jr. ... Tony Passa

Sidney Blackmer ... Big Boy
Ralph Ince ... Pete Montana
Thomas E. Jackson ... Sergeant Flaherty (as Thomas Jackson)
Stanley Fields ... Sam Vettori
Maurice Black ... Little Arnie Lorch

George E. Stone ... Otero
Armand Kaliz ... De Voss
Nicholas Bela ... Ritz Colonna (as Nick Bela)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernie Adams ... Cashier (uncredited)
Elmer Ballard ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Ferike Boros ... Mrs. Passa (uncredited)
Kernan Cripps ... Detective (uncredited)
George Daly ... Machine-gunner (uncredited)
Adolph Faylauer ... New Year's Celebrant (uncredited)
Ben Hendricks Jr. ... Kid Bean (uncredited)
Al Hill ... Rico's 'Butler' (uncredited)
Lucille La Verne ... Ma Magdalena (uncredited)
Gladys Lloyd ... McClure Guest (uncredited)
Noel Madison ... Killer Peppi (uncredited)
Tom McGuire ... Detective on Phone (uncredited)
Louis Natheaux ... Hood (uncredited)
Henry Sedley ... Scabby (uncredited)
Gay Sheridan ... Nightclub Extra (uncredited)
Larry Steers ... McClure Guest (uncredited)
Landers Stevens ... Crime Commissioner Alvin McClure (uncredited)
Mike Tellegen ... Bodyguard (uncredited)
Robert Walker ... Lorch Henchman (uncredited)

Directed by
Mervyn LeRoy 
Writing credits
W.R. Burnett (novel)

Robert N. Lee (continuity)

Francis Edward Faragoh (screen version) (as Francis Edwards Faragoh)

Francis Edward Faragoh (dialogue) (as Francis Edwards Faragoh)

Robert Lord  uncredited
Darryl F. Zanuck  uncredited

Produced by
Hal B. Wallis .... producer (uncredited)
Darryl F. Zanuck .... producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Tony Gaudio (photography)
Film Editing by
Ray Curtiss (edited by)
Art Direction by
Anton Grot 
Set Decoration by
Ray Moyer (uncredited)
Costume Design by
Earl Luick (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Percy Ikerd .... assistant director (uncredited)
Music Department
Erno Rapee .... general musical director
Leo F. Forbstein .... conductor: Vitaphone Orchestra (uncredited)
David Mendoza .... composer: title music (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies
  • First National Pictures (presents) (A First National-Vitaphone Talking Picture) (controlled by Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
79 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Vitaphone) (Western Electric Sound System)
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-15 (2005) | Germany:12 | Ireland:PG | Sweden:(Banned) | Sweden:15 (cut) (1976) | UK:PG | UK:A (original rating)

Did You Know?

The character of Joe Massara was based on actor George Raft, who was associated with Owney Madden, the man who organized the taxi racket in New York City.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: Microphone shadow moves across Tony as he closes door just after his mother has left room.See more »
Caesar Enrico Bandello:I don't want no dancin'... I figure in makin' other people dance.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Best Friends (1982)See more »
If I'm Dreaming Don't Wake Me Too SoonSee more »


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37 out of 46 people found the following review useful.
"Is this the end of Rico?" - Yes, But the Start of My Favorite Genre - Mob Movies, 1 April 1999
Author: Donald J. Lamb from Philadelphia, PA

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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See more (83 total) »

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