Little Caesar

"Very Good"

Little Caesar Review


With James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson was one of the icons of gangster cinema. Little Caesar would be his most noteworthy role, as Cesare "Rico" Bandello, an aspiring gangster who hits it big, only to crash and burn, winding up in the gutter.

Robinson's sneering performance is such an archetype it's worth seeing for that alone. The story, alas, is kind of a dud. Not much of Rico's rise and fall is explained -- he just rides the script's randomness, looking for opportunities to scowl his way through another scene. I mean this in the best way possible.

Little Caesar is an early talkie, and it's very rough around the edges from a production standpoint (presumably, I'm guessing, because the actors couldn't stray too far from the microphones secreted around the set), and the DVD Warner Brothers has finally issued is full of scratches. The sound isn't much better, but this is a film that you watch for Robinson's inimitable voice and cadence, not the swooping soundtrack.

Come for Rico, stay for Rico. If you want to watch the featurettes, introductions, and historical commentary tracks, all the better.

R-I-C-O!



Little Caesar

Facts and Figures

Run time: 79 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 25th January 1931

Distributed by: Warner Home Video

Production compaines: First National Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Fresh: 18 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Hal B. Wallis

Starring: Edward G. Robinson as Little Caesar / Rico, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as Joe Massara, as Olga Stassoff, William Collier as Tony Passa, as Big Boy, Ralph Ince as Pete Montana, Thomas E. Jackson as Sergeant Flaherty (as Thomas Jackson), Stanley Fields as Sam Vettori, Maurice Black as Little Arnie Lorch, George E. Stone as Otero, Armand Kaliz as De Voss, Nicholas Bela as Ritz Colonna (as Nick Bela), as Ma Magdalena (uncredited)

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