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  • TBC
  • Crime, Drama
  • 1931
  • 80 mins

Little Caesar

Little Caesar


For some reason, the last line, 'Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?', uttered by the dying gangster Bandello, is among the most quoted in cinema history. Perhaps because it was delivered with such conviction by Robinson, who was always associated with the role, which was to become a prototype of the film racketeer, and because the low-budget movie led to a crime wave of Warner Bros 'social conscience' movies. Originally cast in a small role, Robinson had to convince producer Wallis that the lead role, obviously based on Al Capone, was for him. LeRoy's direction is terse, tough and tense, although some of the sound is crude by modern standards.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Edward G Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, George E Stone, Glenda Farrell, Ralph Ince, William Collier Jr
  • Director: Mervyn LeRoy
  • Writer: Francis Faragoh, Robert N Lee
  • Producer: Hal B Wallis
  • Photographer: Darryl F Zanuck, Tony Gandio

In a nutshell

It concentrates more on characterization than plot and also pushes the usual romantic conventions into the background, though some critics have detected a covert homosexuality in Rico's attitude towards his driver (Fairbanks Jr).

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