[[quoteright:220:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Little_Caesar_8390.jpeg]]

--> ''"[[GoshDangItToHeck Mother of Mercy]]. Is this the end of [[ThirdPersonPerson Rico]]?''"

This WarnerBrothers 1931 classic of the gangster genre chronicles the rise and fall of a hardened criminal in [[TheRoaringTwenties Prohibition Era]] UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}. The legendary EdwardGRobinson plays Caesar Enrico "Rico" Bandello, a small time crook that rises to the top of the big city underworld. He quickly comes to realize that nothing lasts forever.

StarMakingRole for Robinson, which also led to him being typecast in gangster roles for years after this. A TropeMaker for the gangster genre.

----
!!Tropes:

* BadassInANiceSuit
* CharacterTitle
* DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster / DoNotDoThisCoolThing: Rico certainly seems to be having fun.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: In the first scene, Rico robs a gas station, killing the attendant.
* FamousLastWords: See above quote
* {{Gayngster}}: See Homoerotic Subtext below.
* GetItOverWith: Said when Rico tries to force Joe to join him.
-->'''Joe''': "Shoot, Rico, get it over with."
* GoshDangItToHeck: The [[ItWasHisSled famous]] [[FamousLastWords last words]] of the titular character were originally meant to start "Mother of [[NeverSayDie God]]," but the line was vetoed by the censors.
* HomoeroticSubtext: It is not hard at all to interpret the film this way. Rico's lack of interest in women. Rico's obvious fondness for Joe and jealousy of Joe's relationship with Olga. Rico, who is usually very hard-boiled, being emotionally upset when faced with the necessity of killing Joe. Apparently the author of the source novel, who had no such intention, wrote a letter of protest to Warner Brothers. Otero's fawning admiration for Rico can also be seen this way.
* MinionWithAnFInEvil: Tony, one of Rico's goons, has an attack of conscience and tries to confess to a priest. Rico shoots him for it.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast
* NewYearHasCome: The robbery of the nightclub takes place during the New Year's celebration.
* ResignationsNotAccepted: Rico refuses to let Joe leave the gangster life.
--> '''Joe''': You don't run out on a gang.
* TheStarscream: Rico is this throughout the film, continually plotting to overthrow whoever he's working for. He supersedes Vettori through sheer alpha-male agression. He's plotting to overthrow the city crime boss (the "Big Boy") but his empire collapses before he gets the chance.
* SycophanticServant: Otero worships Rico. See Homoerotic Subtext above.
* ThirdPersonPerson: Rico has a habit of doing this.
* TitleDrop: Rico's nickname.
* TriggerHappy: Before the nightclub robbery, Rico is specifically ordered not to shoot anyone, in order to avoid extra attention being focused on the mob. What does Rico do? Shoot someone. Whom does he shoot? The police commissioner.
* VerbalTic, see? Edward G. Robinson practically invented the stereotypical gangster voice.
** Became iconic enough that 80 years later, Walter from ''Film/TheMuppets'' imitated criminals by talking like that.
* VillainProtagonist

----