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

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Little Caesar -- Trailer for the one true story of the underworld kings

Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   7,639 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
W.R. Burnett (novel)
Robert N. Lee (continuity)
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Contact:
View company contact information for Little Caesar on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 January 1931 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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 »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
It Gets Lonely at the Top See more (82 total) »

Cast

  (Complete credited cast)

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)
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
79 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Vitaphone) (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Although The Doorway to Hell (1930), a gangster film released by Warner Bros. in 1930 was a big hit at the time, most sources consider Little Caesar to be the film which started a brief craze for the genre in the early 1930s.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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:
Little Arnie Lorch:Do yourself a favor, will you, Rico? Leave your gat home on the piano the next job you pull. Yeah, park it next to your milk bottle.
Sam Vettori:Hey, run your own mob, Arnie. I'll take care of mine.
Caesar Enrico Bandello:Yeah, I'll park it. I don't need no cannon to take care of guys like you, Mr. Lorch.
See more »
Soundtrack:
NeapolitanaSee more »

FAQ

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
It Gets Lonely at the Top, 22 September 2005
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Little Caesar which popularized both the gangster film and Edward G. Robinson is a great study in the criminal mindset and the ruthlessness it takes to get to the top of that world. After all in White Heat look at the epitaph James Cagney gave to his career.

We meet Robinson and a friend Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in some greasy spoon in the middle of nowhere. Fairbanks wants to go into dancing, but Robinson knows exactly what he wants. He wants to rise to the top of the criminal world. Not for riches or fame, but simply raw naked power. As he says to have a bunch of guys working for you who will do ANYTHING you say. The more men you have doing that, the more powerful you are.

And the film is a study in the rise and fall of Robinson in his chosen field. But the top is a lonely place.

It's been said there's an undercurrent of homosexuality running in Little Caesar between Robinson and Fairbanks by some critics. I've never subscribed to that point of view. In doing what he's doing Robinson essentially cuts himself off from all kind of human contact. His only other attachment is the fawning George E. Stone from his gang.

Robinson needs Fairbanks as a friend and confidante. We all need that, someone we can unbend with and show our true feelings, even if it's confiding our criminal ambitions.

But as the plot develops Fairbanks who's been on the fringe of Robinson's activities, meets Glenda Farrell and they fall in love. And through her partially Fairbanks develops a conscience about what he's seen.

How Robinson deals with it and what becomes of everyone involved is for those interested in viewing the film. But after over 70 years, Little Caesar holds up very well because of its universal theme.

Loneliness at the top is an occupational hazard for all ambitious people. It's never expressed in such raw terms as in the gangster film genre. But it's still used. Used in fact in both the Paul Muni version of Scarface and in Al Pacino's version as well.

Mervyn LeRoy did a fine job in directing this groundbreaking piece of entertainment. Robinson's portrayal once seen is never forgotten.

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Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Little Caesar is gay? Dire_Straits
Three Stooges supporting actor romar289
Telephone trace wayc
Man that man is vis vis with his own movie. pmstreetheaven
Spaghetti and Coffee for Two? Chesterfield_Invincible
Flaherty the detective an odd counterpart to Rico? mlraymond
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