Thursday, December 13, 2007

Little Caesar (Mervyn LeRoy, 1930)

***½
USA




The story of Rico Bandello was among the first half-dynamic Hollywood talkies and, although not the first, probably the defining gangster picture. Though it's more alive and engaging than a lot of things made around the time, it hasn't dated sensationally well. As directed by the rarely exciting Mervyn LeRoy, it lacks the zest and tension of the other genre-defining classics, like Scarface and The Public Enemy. But in his star-making role, Edward G. Robinson is still vivid and wonderful to watch. He went on to do much more nutritious parts but remained closely identified with Rico throughout his career.

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2 Comments:

At 9:35 PM , Blogger Pacze Moj said...

Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico!?

I remember watching this one. You're right: lacking in directorial zest, but, damn, if Robinson doesn't still make it entertaining!

 
At 9:32 PM , Blogger Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Yeah, when it was playing on cable the other day, the main reason I didn't change channels was Robinson. He's one of the great actors

 

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