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Gangster Joe Krozac is in prison for ten years. Reporter Paul North is fired by his newspaper for writing articles sympathetic to Krozac's wife and young son. She divorces Krozac and marries North. When Korzac gets out he goes looking for his former wife and son. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
MGM imported Edward G. Robinson over from Warner Brothers to star in The Last Gangster. Robinson brought over his Little Caesar character with him for this film.
Imagine if you will Little Caesar going back to the old country and importing a wife. We don't see anything of the courtship of Robinson and his bride Rose Stradner. My guess is that Robinson wants a dutiful stay at home wife to raise his children and the Twenties flappers that he would encounter in the illegal booze business don't fill that bill.
Anyway to say Rose is fresh off the farm is an understatement. She hasn't a clue what Robinson is involved in. And when Robinson goes off to Alcatraz like another well known mobster of the era for income tax evasion, she doesn't know what to make of it.
In the criminal business it's impossible to be nice to those on the way up, so when you're on the way down, it's a given people are going to dump all over you. A concept Robinson can't quite get into his head. But that's what happens.
The loyalest person to him is Stradner, but Robinson in no uncertain terms tells her the only function she has is to raise HIS son to whom she's given birth. After that Stradner takes up with James Stewart who plays a newspaper reporter and she marries him.
After Robinson serves his ten year stretch the story takes a maudlin and rather unrealistic turn. I won't say any more lest you care to see it the next time it's broadcast.
I think Edward G. Robinson knew what kind of inferior material he was in so he simply reverted to type and snarled his way through the film. James Stewart was certainly up and coming at MGM at this time, but he's given very little to do in the film, but be Rose's faithful second husband.
Best performances in the film are that of Lionel Stander as Robinson's number two guy who is not someone you want as a friend and Alan Baxter as the surviving brother of a family that Robinson ordered a hit on.
The sad thing was that at Warner Brothers Robinson was desperately trying to expand his range of parts and when he gets a loan-out assignment it's more of the same.
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