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The Little Giant

The Little Giant
Movie: The Little Giant(1933)[tt0024262] Prohibition is ending so bootlegger Bugs Ahearn decides to crack California society. He leases a house from down-on-her-luck Ruth and hires her as social secretary. He rescues Polly Cass from a horsefall and goes home to meet her dad who sells him some phony stock certificates. When he learns about this he sends to Chicago for mob help. Written byEd Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>
Title The Little Giant
Release Date 20 May 1933 (USA)
Runtime
Genres Comedy, Crime, Romance
Production Companies First National Pictures
Edward G. Robinson
Edward G. Robinson...
James Francis 'Bugs' Ahea...
Mary Astor
Mary Astor...
Ruth Wayburn...
Helen Vinson
Helen Vinson...
Polly Cass...
Russell Hopton
Russell Hopton...
Al Daniels...
Kenneth Thomson
Kenneth Thomson...
John Stanley...
Shirley Grey
Shirley Grey...
Edith Merriam...
Berton Churchill
Berton Churchill...
Donald Hadley Cass...
Don Dillaway
Don Dillaway...
Gordon Cass (as ...
Louise Mackintosh
Louise Mackintosh...
Mrs. Dudley Hadley Cass...

Reviews

dougdoepke on 22 April 2019
When I think comedy, Eddie Robinson doesn't jump to mind. Here, however, he's fairly amusing in a muted comedy of manners. Most importantly, he doesn't mock his iconic tough guy image. Instead he plays an out-of-work bootlegger at prohibition's end eager to transition into upper class society with his ill-gotten gains. Trouble is he can't leave his tough guy ways behind, especially his streetwise lingo and muscle men. That makes for some amusing situations when he mixes with the refined upper crust. The comedy's pretty restrained on the whole, neither of the popular madcap nor screwball of the time. The production's also pre-Code which means some mild innuendo and bra-less gowns (Vinson).Note too how the upper class Cass's are implicated in crime, but of a different type than Ahearn's gangster sort. Instead, the ruthless family markets worthless bonds to unsuspecting customers, bilking them of needed moneys. Thus, we get a glimpse of white-collar larceny at a time,1933, when the topic was an especially live one. Compared to Ahearn's competition among bootleggers, the Cass's white-collar variety appears less violent but more vicious, a not accidental feature, I suspect.All in all, the WB flick's a shrewdly done, amusing departure for one of their stable of 30's tough guys. My only gripe is the nutzoid finale on the polo field. It's an effort, I expect, to provide a bang-up climax, one that's unfortunately way out of sinc with the rest of the intelligent restraint. Still, Robinson gets something of an amusing showcase, proving again what a fine actor he was and remains.

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