The Little Giant (1933)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Romance  |  20 May 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 671 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 6 critic

When Prohibition ends, a beer baron sees the writing on the wall, quits the rackets, and tries to break into California society.



(original screen play), (original screen play)
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Complete credited cast:
Ruth Wayburn
Helen Vinson ...
Polly Cass
Russell Hopton ...
Al Daniels
Kenneth Thomson ...
John Stanley
Shirley Grey ...
Edith Merriam
Donald Hadley Cass
Don Dillaway ...
Gordon Cass (as Donald Dillaway)
Louise Mackintosh ...
Mrs. Dudley Hadley Cass


Prohibition is ending so bootlegger Bugs Ahearn decides to crack California society. He leases a house from down-on-her-luck Ruth and hires her as social secretary. He rescues Polly Cass from a horsefall and goes home to meet her dad who sells him some phony stock certificates. When he learns about this he sends to Chicago for mob help. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Crime | Romance



Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 May 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aristokratis gangster  »

Box Office


$197,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Al" recounts a job where he shot up a stuffed Polar Bear. The same plot scene was depicted in The Public Enemy (1931) with "Tom" doing the shooting. See more »


James Francis 'Bugs': [Pointing at a Cubist painting] You ever see anything like that before?
Albert J. 'Al' Daniels: Not since I been off cocaine.
James Francis 'Bugs': No, dumb head! I suppose you think that's a cat havin' a fit in a bucket of tomato ketchup. Well, it ain't! That's art!
See more »


Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)
(1922) (uncredited)
Written by Fred Fisher
Played during the opening credits
Reprised when the gang comes to Santa Barbara
Reprised at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Movin' On Up
27 May 2013 | by (Ramsey, NJ) – See all my reviews

Prohibition ends and gangster boss Bugsy Ahearn, like so many during the depression, finds himself unemployed. What to do? Fortunately, he has laid aside much of his ill-gotten gains and has no money worries. So he decides to improve himself, to acquire some culture and move in elite circles. And therein lies a very funny story.

Edward G. Robinson shows a flair for comedy and shows off some of his immense talent as a social climber who decides to shoot the moon. He moves from Chicago to the West Coast, buys a mansion and falls for a lady from a family of swindlers, and generally falls into a series of mishaps, each one funnier than the last. He gets excellent support from Mary Astor, who becomes his guide to the finer points of becoming 'quality'.

You will gain great respect for Robinson if you've only seen him in tough-guy roles, as he carries the picture as a society naif in this written-for-the-screen comedy. There are no dead spots, either, as the story moves along briskly in an enjoyable 75 minutes. It was shown at Cinefest, Columbus, O., 6/13.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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