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Moorman

Little Caesar (1931)

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·         Finally got around to watching this.  This film has to be taken in context. If I was still new to classic noirs/gangster films I most likely would have destroyed it in my review. Now that I have a better grip on these films I have learned to put them more in context.  Due to that I'm gonna give the film two ratings.

First. As a straight up production I felt the film was seriously lacking.  The film played like a stage play with shaky acting with the exception of Edward G. Robinson.  Key scenes were rushed and one of the main ones shown as a almost incoherent montage.  This contributed to the stage play atmosphere along with the obvious sound stage settings. As a production I thus rank this as a 4 out of 10.

Now, putting this film in context, this is a BRILLIANT film.  As one of the FIRST gangster films you have to start there with how you really view it.  There is soo much history here I don't know where to begin.  Let me say that as I watched the film it was like watching the origins of key scenes in gangster films that are being made today.  I lost count of the references that the 1980s version of Scarface took from this film.  I don't think there is not one gangster film that can't homage to the key elements of Little Caesar.  With the exception of the ending the De Palma version of Scarface is almost scene for scene taken from Little Caesar.
Due to the historical significance of the film and the important key elements established here I rank it as a 9 out of 10 for CONTEXTUAL elements.  This gives the film as final ranking of 6.5 if you wanna meet in the middle.
 

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