Tag Archives: Little Caesar

Two observations on Little Caesar

Two observations on Little Caesar:

one: I’d forgotten the extent of Little Caesar‘s influence on The Godfather:

and two: watching Little Caesar, it’s easy to forget that Douglas Fairbanks was a big star: The Prince of Hollywood if not of Hollywood cinema, though a significant box office star throughout the early to mid ’30s; the only one I can think of who made films with Garbo, Hepburn, Crawford, Davis, & Dietrich. Yet, he not only seems callow in Little Caesar — he was very young –but physically overpowered by the diminutive Edward G. Robinson:

As we can see in some shots, Fairbanks was considerably taller (see below):

..and Robinson might have been sitting in 25 cushions in the previous screengrab…but there’s physical size and screen impact ;and on-screen Robinson is the one that blows everyone else away.



A minor observation on the influence of Little Caesar on ‘The Godfather’ films.

We know that The Godfather films draw knowledgeably and extensively on classic 30s gangster films for their structures and iconography. But watching Little Caesar recently I was struck by how closely and directly the influence of Little Caesar can be seen in  The Godfather  and The Godfather II. Here are but two examples:

On the left, the killing of Tony Passa in the Church Steps in Little Caesar and on the right the finale of killing during the baptism scene in The Godfather.

The funeral sequence in Little Caesar on the left closely resembles the festival of San Rocco scene in The Godfather: Part II where Vito Corleone plans to murder Don Fanucci.


José Arroyo