The Little Giant (1933)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Romance  |  20 May 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 682 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
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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 »


Mug with Flowers Gift: Hey, Bugs, take dese while you can still smell 'em.
See more »


References The Public Enemy (1931) See more »


Wiener Blut, Op. 354 (Viennese Blood)
(1873) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played when Bugs and Al arrive downstairs for dinner
See more »

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User Reviews

A Gangster from Chicago named Bugs
15 July 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Edward G. Robinson who would occasionally channel his gangster image into comedy roles does it for the first time here in The Little Giant. He plays a gangster from Chicago named James Ahern aka Bugs Ahern who has seen the end of Prohibition and has wisely salted away his money. Wanting a little class and wanting to mix with the upper crust he moves to Santa Barbara and starts mixing.

Unfortunately he mixes with a family of society crooks father Berton Churchill, mother Louise Mackintosh, son Donald Dillaway. Worst of all he falls for Helen Vinson playing one of her patented bad girl roles who is a notorious flirt.

Robinson has rented a mansion from down on her luck society girl Mary Astor who along with thousands of others had her savings wiped out by investing in the junk bonds that Churchill's firm sold. And now he's sold the firm to Robinson.

No one makes a sucker out of Robinson and he settles the matter with some friends imported from back east who do it Chicago style. The real Bugs Moran would never have been this gentle as Robinson's old beer salesmen were in The Little Giant.

Robinson got deserved kudos for essaying comedy and he would do it many times in his career. You have to see how he and his friends play polo Chicago style.

A must for fans of Edward G. Robinson.

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