Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Little Caesar

Little Caesar has just robbed a gas station with his cohort Joe and sits at a local diner, catching a glimpse of a headline featuring a big city crime boss. Desiring the same kind of notoriety, the two head east where Caesar gets in with a mobster's crew and ruthlessly works his way up the ladder, while Joe desperately tries to leave the life and pursue his dreams as a dancer. If you wanted to watch the quintessential Warner Brothers gangster picture, I would recommend Mervyn LeRoy's "Little Caesar", which possibly contains every cliched element associated with the studio's pictures. Edward G. Robinson, containing none of the Cagney's panache, delivers a brutal performance as the vain Rico, with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in the thankless straight role as Joe. The gangster speak and mannerisms in "Little Caesar" are laughable which only add to the movie's likability, abetted by the stark violence and the iconic performance of Edward G. Robinson.