20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
A very influential film,
This review is from: Little Caesar [DVD]  (DVD)
Little Caesar, made in 1931, was released only a few months before The Public Enemy with James Cagney, and together they set the standard that all future crime films would be judged. Edward G Robinson takes the acting honours by miles with a mesmerising performance as Rico.
The film is is clearly influenced by the life of Al Capone, and Chicago in general in the 1920's. For 1931, only a year or so into talkies the script is remarkably good. Flaherty, who is the Cop who wants to put the cuffs on Rico has some great dry witty and sarcastic lines. Rico has many classic lines including "You can dish it out but you're getting so you just can't take it anymore!" and his final words "Mother of mercy.. is this the end of Rico?".
Watch carefully and you will spot scenes by the director Mervyn LeRoy that influenced Martin Scorcese amongst others. Well worth getting and if there was a better crime film made in the early 30's I haven't seen it.