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>
EX-GANGSTER PUT ON SPOT BY SOCIETY! Gang Molls and Debutantes were all alike to him until a sweet young thing from the social register took him for a ride- on a polo pony! See what happens when a blue-blood of the underworld buys his way into Society's Blue Book! (Print Ad-Saratogian, ((Saratoga Springs, NY)) 5 June 1933) See more »
My main reason for seeing 'The Little Giant' was to see fine actor Edward G. Robinson, who was in many great films and always a bright spot, in an early role. A role that was also a relatively different one, with him in comedy it was very different from his tough guy image, so it was interesting to see how he would fare in this regard. Another interest point was the film being one of the first gangster comedies.
'The Little Giant' turned out to be something of a little gem, nothing little about it. Found myself really entertained and relaxed watching it, with the odd shock/surprise thrown into the mix, and it is a shame that 'The Little Giant' is not known more than it is. It won't be one of my favourite films any time soon and won't consider it one of the greats, but it is not very well known at all these days, when there are films that are not particularly good yet make a lot of money and in some cases are popular, and obscurity is where it should be nowhere near close to being near or in. There is so much right with 'The Little Giant' and the not so good things are both barely any and not big at all.
Would have liked 'The Little Giant' to have been longer, an hour and a quarter seemed rather too on the brief side.
Helen Vinson is ever so slightly on the bland side but only in comparison with everybody else.
Robinson however is terrific, he is immensely gifted when it comes to the comic timing and he also gives the right amount of intensity when necessary. He has great chemistry with the cast, namely the very charming and zesty Mary Astor and with Russell Hopton, also very good. The characters are both interesting in personality and worth investing with. Roy DelRuth directs briskly, never allowing the energy or tension of the storytelling to slip (the film being full of both).
Just as good was the tightly structured and sharply witty script, that also had some remarkably ahead of its time content that one is shocked is in the film, the amoral tone likewise. The production values are slick and don't look as though they were made without enthusiasm or care. The film is always engaging and with never a dull spot.
Overall, a little gem. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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