The Little Giant


Comedy / Crime

IMDb Rating 7.1


Downloaded 301 times
2/15/2020 3:43:12 AM

76 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by audiemurph 7

Like every great First National picture, this one starts off quickly, with Edward G. Robinson in full, glorious gangster mode, speaking the classic language of the Prohibition movie gangsters, words like &quot;mugs&quot; and &quot;rods&quot; ornamenting his lines. But there is a twist here: Robinson (as &quot;Bugs&quot; Ahearn, the &quot;Beer Baron&quot;), is going to quit the illegal beer business (since Prohibition has ended), and go straight. In fact, Bugs has a dream: to become successful in high society.<br/><br/>The script is very fast paced and delightful, and in a couple of places, quite shocking, reminding us of how progressive pre-Code Hollywood could be; I almost fell out of my chair when Robinson&#39;s flunky and companion Al, when asked by Robinson whether he ever saw a painting like the one in his living room, responds with, &quot;not since I stopped using cocaine&quot;!! Another shocker comes later when Robinson refers to some slimy society people as &quot;fags&quot;. Oh dear! <br/><br/>Robinson was an amazing actor. He constantly shifts back and forth between the know-it-all wiseguy bully, and a would be high society snob, who is very unsure of himself. This uncertain, unconfident Robinson, a tough guy who swallows his pride and grovels before his betters, is pleasing to see, and he does it very well. Perhaps one of the great Robinson scenes of all time is when Mary Astor seduces an unsuspecting EGR on a couch. Robinson plays it beautifully, as he has no idea that he is being seduced; and in a delightful moment, when Mary Astor has shyly moved away, sudden realization hits EGR as to what might have just happened. He turns to the camera, and I swear he makes exactly the kind of faces, registering surprise and possible comprehension to the audience, exactly as Oliver Hardy famously did a thousand times in his career. A priceless and lovely moment.<br/><br/>There are many satisfying moments in this film, and I highly recommend this. The early EG Robinson movies are gifts to be treasured, and this is one of the best.

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Reviewed by bkoganbing 7

Edward G. Robinson who would occasionally channel his gangster image into comedy roles does it for the first time here in The Little Giant. He plays a gangster from Chicago named James Ahern aka Bugs Ahern who has seen the end of Prohibition and has wisely salted away his money. Wanting a little class and wanting to mix with the upper crust he moves to Santa Barbara and starts mixing.<br/><br/>Unfortunately he mixes with a family of society crooks father Berton Churchill, mother Louise Mackintosh, son Donald Dillaway. Worst of all he falls for Helen Vinson playing one of her patented bad girl roles who is a notorious flirt. <br/><br/>Robinson has rented a mansion from down on her luck society girl Mary Astor who along with thousands of others had her savings wiped out by investing in the junk bonds that Churchill&#39;s firm sold. And now he&#39;s sold the firm to Robinson.<br/><br/>No one makes a sucker out of Robinson and he settles the matter with some friends imported from back east who do it Chicago style. The real Bugs Moran would never have been this gentle as Robinson&#39;s old beer salesmen were in The Little Giant.<br/><br/>Robinson got deserved kudos for essaying comedy and he would do it many times in his career. You have to see how he and his friends play polo Chicago style.<br/><br/>A must for fans of Edward G. Robinson.

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Reviewed by GManfred 7

Prohibition ends and gangster boss Bugsy Ahearn, like so many during the depression, finds himself unemployed. What to do? Fortunately, he has laid aside much of his ill-gotten gains and has no money worries. So he decides to improve himself, to acquire some culture and move in elite circles. And therein lies a very funny story.<br/><br/>Edward G. Robinson shows a flair for comedy and shows off some of his immense talent as a social climber who decides to shoot the moon. He moves from Chicago to the West Coast, buys a mansion and falls for a lady from a family of swindlers, and generally falls into a series of mishaps, each one funnier than the last. He gets excellent support from Mary Astor, who becomes his guide to the finer points of becoming &#39;quality&#39;.<br/><br/>You will gain great respect for Robinson if you&#39;ve only seen him in tough-guy roles, as he carries the picture as a society naif in this written-for-the-screen comedy. There are no dead spots, either, as the story moves along briskly in an enjoyable 75 minutes. It was shown at Cinefest, Columbus, O., 6/13.

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