Little Caesar
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The first "talkie" gangster movie to capture the public's imagination, Mervyn LeRoy's Little Caesar started a cycle of crime-related movies that Warner Bros. rode across the ensuing decade and right into World War II with titles such as All Through the Night (1941). At the start of the picture, Caesar Enrico "Rico" Bandello (Edward G. Robinson, made up to look a lot like the real-life Al Capone) and his friend Joe Massara (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) are robbing a gas station -- later on, at a diner, they're looking over a newspaper and see a story about Diamond Pete… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"No director could ask for more than Edward G. Robinson's contribution. Here, no matter what he has to say, he's entirely convincing."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Edward G. Robinson's gravelly snarl and sociopathic disdain for human conventions became the template for countless future gangster anti-heroes"
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"Feels stilted when stacked up against its tougher depression-era contemporaries."
‑ Jeremiah Kipp, Slant Magazine
"Robinson's riveting performance earned him a permanent place in the history of cinema."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"An indisputable landmark."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Though it looks somewhat dated now, there's no denying the seminal importance of this classic adaptation of WR Burnett's novel."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"Faded bronze to The Public Enemy's silver and Scarface's gold, but an enduring bedrock formation all the same"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Come for Rico, stay for Rico"
‑ Christopher Null,
"LeRoy's direction is terse, tough and tense, although some of the sound is crude by modern standards."
‑ , Film4
"One of the most well-known and best of the early classical gangster films is Warner Bros.' Little Caesar (1930) - often called the grandfather of the modern crime film"
‑ Tim Dirks, Tim Dirks' The Greatest Films
"Edward G. Robinson in the performance of his career."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"Little Caesar makes two classic LeRoy joints that I've found perfectly solid...and thoroughly underwhelming, especially when viewed through the prism of their reputations."
‑ Gabe Leibowitz, Film and Felt
"One of the most popular and best received crime films ever."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Edward G. Robinson's classic portrayal makes this antique still work"
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
More reviews for Little Caesar on Rotten Tomatoes

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