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Little Caesar (1931)

Not Rated | | Action, Crime, Drama | 25 January 1931 (USA)
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A small-time criminal moves to a big city to seek bigger fortune.

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Writers:

(novel), (continuity) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Little Caesar - Alias 'Rico'
... Joe Massara
... Olga Stassoff
... Tony Passa
... Big Boy
... Pete Montana
Thomas E. Jackson ... Sgt. Flaherty (as Thomas Jackson)
... Sam Vettori
Maurice Black ... Little Arnie Lorch
... Otero
... De Voss
Nicholas Bela ... Ritz Colonna (as Nick Bela)
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Storyline

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. A New Year's Eve robbery at Little Arnie Lorch's casino results in the death of the new crime commissioner Alvin McClure. Rico's good friend Joe Massara, who works at the club as a professional dancer, works as the gang's lookout man and wants out of the gang. Rico is ambitious and eventually takes over Vettori's gang; he then moves up to the next echelon pushing out Diamond Pete Montana. When he orders Joe to dump his girlfriend Olga and re-join the gang, Olga decides there's only one way out for them. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

His gun was a one-way ticket thru the doorway to hell! (Print Ad- The Standard-Union,((Brooklyn, NY)) 24 January 1931)

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 January 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mali Cezar  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Vitaphone) (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's line "Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?" was voted as the #73 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100). See more »

Goofs

Rico is hit by the bullet sufficiently to require bandaging by Scabby, but the overcoat he was wearing has no bullet hole in it, nor is there any trace of blood in the subsequent scene in Little Arnie's office. See more »

Quotes

Caesar Enrico Bandello: If you ain't out of town by tomorrow morning... you won't ever leave it except in a pine box.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.222 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

You, I Love But You
(uncredited)
Written by Walter O'Keefe and Robert Emmett Dolan
Played during the first Glenda Farrell-Douglas Fairbanks Jr. scene
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User Reviews

Still holds up very well
14 October 2006 | by See all my reviews

Seminal gangster film about the rise and fall of Enrico Bandello, a Chicago hoodlum, based on the novel by W.R. Burnett. The prototype for Enrico was, like so many other gangster heroes, mobster Al Capone. If you know a little bit about his life story, you got your basic gangster plot for practically all films that followed, like Tony Camonte in SCARFACE.

This film was the first of "the big three", together with PUBLIC ENEMY (1931) and SCARFACE: SHAME OF THE NATION (1932) and provided the blueprint for the modern gangster crime flic. It was the first gangster film to reach a wide audience and launched Edward G. Robinson to stardom. The story is simple and straightforward and might feel a little overly familiar to modern audiences, but the film lost little of its power and still holds up pretty well. It's a tough movie, but mostly tough talking with not much violence on screen.

But the film would probably be instantly forgettable without Robinson's superb performance. Whenever he's on screen, his presence is incredibly menacing. The rest of the cast is so so, but Thomas Jackson as Flaherty, Rico's nemesis, gives a wonderfully cynical performance, mocking Rico and all the other gangsters. Like most other early gangster films, it lacks the real emotional depth and complexity that came with later films, like the French gangster films of the fifties or THE GODFATHER and was made primarily as popular entertainment. Pleasant entertainment nevertheless with Edward G. Robinson portraying the first classic gangster role in screen history.

Camera Obscura --- 8/10


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