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Little Caesar (1931)

aka Little Caesar

Directed By: 
Details: 79 mins · English


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Small Caesar Enrico Bandello
Small Joe Massara
Small Olga Stassoff
No_movie_poster Tony Passa
Small Big Boy
No_movie_poster Pete Montana
No_movie_poster Sergeant Flaherty (as Thomas Jackson)
Small Sam Vettori
No_movie_poster Little Arnie Lorch
Small Otero
No_movie_poster De Voss
No_movie_poster Ritz Colonna (as Nick Bela)


No_movie_poster Tony Gaudio Director of Photography
Small Mervyn LeRoy Director
No_movie_poster Francis Edward Faragoh Screenplay
No_movie_poster W.R. Burnett Novel
No_movie_poster Ray Curtiss Editor
No_movie_poster Hal B. Wallis Production
Small Darryl F. Zanuck Production
Small Darryl F. Zanuck Writer
No_movie_poster Robert Lord Writer
No_movie_poster Robert N. Lee Writer
No_movie_poster Ray Curtiss Editing


Small-time criminals Caesar Enrico "Rico" Bandello (Edward G. Robinson) and his friend Joe Massara (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) move to Chicago to seek their fortunes. Rico joins the gang of Sam Vettori (Stanley Fields), while Joe wants to be a dancer. Olga (Glenda Farrell) becomes his dance partner and girlfriend.

Joe tries to drift away from the gang and its activities, but Rico makes him participate in the robbery of the nightclub where he works. Despite orders from underworld overlord "Big Boy" (Sidney Blackmer) to all his men to avoid bloodshed, Rico guns down crusading crime commissioner Alvin McClure during the robbery, with Joe as an aghast witness.

Rico accuses Sam of becoming soft and seizes control of his organization. Rival boss "Little Arnie" Storch (Maurice Black) tries to have Rico killed, but Rico is only grazed. He and his gunmen pay Little Arnie a visit, after which Arnie hastily departs for Detroit. The Big Boy eventually gives Rico control of all of Chicago's Northside.

Rico becomes concerned that Joe knows too much about him. He warns Joe that he must forget about Olga and join him in a life of crime. Rico threatens to kill both Joe and Olga unless he accedes, but Joe refuses to give in. Olga calls Police Sergeant Flaherty and tells him Joe is ready to talk, just before Rico and his henchman Otero (George E. Stone) come calling. Rico finds, to his surprise, that he is unable to take his friend's life. When Otero tries to do the job himself, Rico wrestles the gun away from him, though not before Joe is wounded. Hearing the shot, Flaherty and another cop give chase and kill Otero. With the information provided by Joe, Flaherty proceeds to crush Rico's organization.

Desperate and alone, Rico retreats to the gutter from which he sprang. While hiding in a flophouse, he becomes enraged when he learns that Flaherty has called him a coward in the newspaper. He foolishly telephones the cop to announce he is coming for him. The call is traced, and he is gunned down behind a billboard by Flaherty. Ironically, the billboard shows an advertisement featuring dancers Joe and Olga.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1931-01-25 : United States of America

DVD : 2005-01-25