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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When F.D.R. gets elected President, Chicago bootlegger Bugs Ahearn (Edward G. Robinson) decides to get out of the business. He heads off to California where he plans on crashing into society and he thinks he's doing a good job but he doesn't realize that his love (Helen Vinson) is actually from a corrupt family that is just using him. THE LITTLE GIANT isn't a perfect movie and it's not really that funny either but it's impossible not to fall for its charm and especially the charm of Robinson. Most people will always remember Robinson for his tough guy roles but if you dig deeper into his filmmography you will see that he was actually able to play just about any type of character. This film is without question a spoof of his tough image but it works so well because you can believe Robinson in the part of the gangster but also believe him in the sillier stuff where he's trying to be a gentleman. There are some very good moments scattered throughout the film but I think the real highlight is in the final ten-minutes once Robinson realizes what has happened and he decides to bring a little Chicago out West. Vinson is also very good in her supporting role as she has no problem playing this brat and we get nice work from Russell Hopton and Kenneth Thomson. Mary Astor is also extremely charming as the woman who falls for Robinson, although he doesn't know it at first. Both actors are so good together that the film actually drags a bit when they're not together. Fans of Robinson or the Warner gangster pictures are certainly going to want to check this out just to see the studio and star spoofing themselves.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?