We love how Edward G. Robinson says the word “coppers”. He spits it out, with contempt, like a swear word.
Now, you should know that we simply adore Edward G. Robinson and we won’t hear a negative word against him. We think he’s the greatest thing since gourmet chocolate sauce.
In the The Little Giant, Robinson is J. Francis “Bugs” Ahearn, a Chicago bootlegger who quits the crime racket when Prohibition is repealed. Now that everyone can drink legally, what’s left for crime boss to do but cash in his millions and join high society?
This is Bugs’ Big Plan: He moves across the country to Santa Barbara – a land of “high-class dames” and no connections to his Chicago past – and rents a mansion with 14 bathrooms. (Fourteen!)
Alas, no sooner does Bugs move into this commodious home than he is glommed onto by a family of gold diggers. Sometimes it just don’t pay to go straight.
Bugs is an endearing character with zillions of great lines. When a Chicago acquaintance tells him he wouldn’t fit into high society, he replies testily, “Oh yeah? I’m just crawlin’ with culture.”
Oh dear! We’re running out of time and we haven’t even told you how delightfully despicable the glamourous Helen Vinson is, nor our amazement at how normal Mary Astor’s hair is. (We are always distracted by Astor’s quixotic hairdo in later movies.)
There is so much fun in this movie it’s hard to tell you everything. And you shouldn’t know everything, anyway, because you’ll want to see it for yourself.
Starring Edward G. Robinson, Mary Astor, Helen Vinson. Written by Robert Lord and Wilson Mizner. Directed by Roy del Ruth. First National Pictures, 1933, 75 mins.