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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.

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writers:

W.R. Burnett (novel), Robert N. Lee (continuity) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Blondell, Barton MacLane
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward G. Robinson ... Little Caesar - Alias 'Rico'
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Joe Massara
Glenda Farrell ... Olga Stassoff
William Collier Jr. ... Tony Passa
Sidney Blackmer ... Big Boy
Ralph Ince ... Pete Montana
Thomas E. Jackson Thomas E. Jackson ... Sgt. Flaherty (as Thomas Jackson)
Stanley Fields ... Sam Vettori
Maurice Black Maurice Black ... Little Arnie Lorch
George E. Stone ... Otero
Armand Kaliz ... De Voss
Nicholas Bela 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) See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 January 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mali Cezar See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone) (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film's earliest documented telecasts took place in Tucson Friday 10 August 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9), in Phoenix Monday 17 September 1956 on KVAR (Channel 12), in Indianapolis Saturday 22 September 1956 on WFBM (Channel 6), and in San Francisco Sunday 30 September 1956 on KRON (Channel 4); as a sudden result of unexpectedly high ratings, it then aired in Miami Friday 19 October 1956 on WTVJ (Channel 4), in Boston Saturday 10 November 1956 on WBZ (Channel 4), in Buffalo Saturday 17 November 1956 on WBEN (Channel 4), in Salt Lake City Sunday 18 November 1956 on KUTV (Channel 2) , in Cincinnati Wednesday 28 November 1956 on WKRC (Channel 12), in Los Angeles Friday 7 December 1956 on KNXT (Channel 2), and in Portland OR Sunday 9 December 1956 on KOIN (Channel 6). See more »

Goofs

Microphone shadow moves across Tony as he closes door just after his mother has left room. See more »

Quotes

Caesar Enrico Bandello: I don't want no dancin'... I figure in makin' other people dance.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Annie (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Neapolitana
(uncredited)
Music by Gustave Klemm
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Is this the end of Rico?" - Yes, But the Start of My Favorite Genre - Mob Movies
1 April 1999 | by Donald J. LambSee all my reviews

LITTLE CAESAR was made at a critical time in U.S. history. Prohibition was in, the depression was overwhelming, and mobsters were running rampant. I don't think the filmmakers realized it, but they have made a movie that paints the "Mafia" as glamorous and flashy. A message appears before the flick, telling the public how "we" must stop gangsters like Tom Powers (James Cagney,PUBLIC ENEMY) and Rico, (Edward G. Robinson, LITTLE CAESAR). The movie probably had youngsters and adults alike wanting to live the life of a man who had a city in his grasp, and no one who was anyone was "yellow". All seriousness aside, this blueprint of a long history of mob pictures is silly, dated, and damn watchable. You can't take your eyes off the screen.

A film with dialogue like the ultimate cliche "Go on. I'm...done for" must be a waste of time right? Not if you appreciate pre-historic cinema and the Vitaphone films of the early talkie period. Actors like the great Edward G. Robinson were born to talk and deliver lines at machine gun pace. This is what the audiences of the time were looking for. And that mug. Audiences would not see such a face on a gangster until Brando's GODFATHER. If you love GOODFELLAS, THE GODFATHER, Cagney and Bogart films, and even PULP FICTION, this is a must see. Experience an American original - the first potent "La Cosa Nostra" movie. Rat tat tat tat tat!!!

RATING: 10 of 10


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