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* DrowningHisSorrows: Rico, who doesn't drink at all for most of the film, drinks straight from the bottle at the flophouse, leading to his fatal RevengeBeforeReason moment.


* CoolGuns: This movie featured the first usage of the Thompson machine gun.

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* CoolGuns: This movie featured the first usage of the Thompson machine gun.gun, the famous "Tommy gun" that became iconically associated with gangsters (in the movies, anyway).



* {{Gayngster}}: See Homoerotic Subtext below.

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* {{Gayngster}}: See Homoerotic Subtext below.Rico never shows a hint of interest at any woman over the course of the film, but he's sure fond of and friendly with Joe. He gets angry and jealous when Joe starts a relationship with Olga. And when Joe finally chooses Olga over a life of crime, Rico decides to kill him--but Rico, who has been brutal and coldly evil throughout the whole film, suddenly starts getting upset and emotional at the prospect of murdering Joe. The HomoeroticSubtext is very thick. Then there's Otero, who practically worships Rico as a god and always looks at him in a fawning, admiring way that strongly suggests homoeroticism as well.



* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast

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* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFastNamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: "Little Caesar" is a good name for a brutal, murderous crime lord.



* ResignationsNotAccepted: Rico refuses to let Joe leave the gangster life.

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* ResignationsNotAccepted: Rico refuses to let Joe leave the gangster life.life, deciding instead to kill him.



* ThirdPersonPerson: Rico has a habit of doing this.

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* ThirdPersonPerson: Rico has a habit of doing this.this, even when he's dying, as shown by his FamousLastWords.



* TragicHero: Rico is arguably one.



* VillainProtagonist: Rico, again.

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* VillainProtagonist: Rico, again.
again, who is indisputably the protagonist and indisputably the villain, being a homicidal gangster.


* AntiHero: Rico.

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* AntiHero: Rico.Rico is a brutal, murderous gangster, and the film makes no attempt to hide that fact.



* BigBad: Rico.
* CharacterTitle

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* BigBad: Rico.
Rico is basically both the protagonist and the main villain of the film.
* CharacterTitleCharacterTitle: "Little Caesar" is Rico's nickname.



* {{Narcissist}}: Rico.

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* {{Narcissist}}: Rico. He's an egomaniac who is ruthlessly devoted to his own advancement.


** Diamond Pete Montana was modeled on Jim Colosimo, who was murdered by Capone; and "The Big Boy" was based on corrupt politician William 'Big Bill' Thompson, Mayor of Chicago.

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** Diamond Pete Montana was modeled on Jim Colosimo, who was murdered by Capone; under the orders of Johnny Torrio, Capone's mentor and predecessor; and "The Big Boy" was based on corrupt politician William 'Big Bill' Thompson, Mayor of Chicago.


* TheManIsStickingItToTheMan: The film has been read as a critique of capitalism, with a plot eerily resembling Andrew Carnegie's advice on how to get rich, except with, you know, organized crime.



* UsefulNotes/ThePreCodeEra


This classic crime film, directed by Melvyn [=LeRoy=] and released by Creator/WarnerBros in 1931, chronicles the rise and fall of a hardened criminal in [[TheRoaringTwenties Prohibition Era]] UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}. The legendary Creator/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.

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This classic crime film, directed by Melvyn Mervyn [=LeRoy=] and released by Creator/WarnerBros in 1931, chronicles the rise and fall of a hardened criminal in [[TheRoaringTwenties Prohibition Era]] UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}. The legendary Creator/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.


* ThePreCodeEra

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* ThePreCodeEraUsefulNotes/ThePreCodeEra


* AdaptationalSexuality: In the book, Rico was explicitly heterosexual. The film adds homosexual subtext.



* DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster / DoNotDoThisCoolThing: Rico certainly seems to be having fun.

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* DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster / DoNotDoThisCoolThing: DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster: Rico certainly seems to be having fun.


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* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** Contrary to popular belief, Rico wasn't based on UsefulNotes/AlCapone. He was based on Salvatore "Sam" Cardinella, a violent Chicago gangster who operated in the early years of Prohibition.
** Joe Massara was based on actor George Raft, who was associated with Owney Madden, the man who organized the taxi racket in New York City.
** Diamond Pete Montana was modeled on Jim Colosimo, who was murdered by Capone; and "The Big Boy" was based on corrupt politician William 'Big Bill' Thompson, Mayor of Chicago.

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*RevengeBeforeReason: Rico so prideful and arrogant that after escaping from the police, he comes out of hiding when Sergeant Flaherty keeps calling him a coward in the newspaper. [[spoiler:This was Flaherty plan all along and this leads to Rico's death.]]

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* CoolGuns: This movie featured the first usage of the Thompson machine gun.


* BadassInANiceSuit

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* BadassInANiceSuitArchEnemy: Rico to Sergeant Flaherty
* BadassInANiceSuit: Rico is a snappy dresser.
* BigBad: Rico.



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* AntiHero: Rico.



* TheManIsStickingItToTheMan: The film has been read as a critique of capitalism, with a plot eerily resembling Andrew Carnegie's advice on how to get rich, except with, you know, organized crime.



* TragicHero: Rico is arguably one.



* VerbalTic, see? Edward G. Robinson practically invented the stereotypical gangster voice.

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* VerbalTic, see? Edward G. Robinson Creator/EdwardGRobinson practically invented the stereotypical gangster voice.



* VillainProtagonist

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* VillainProtagonist
VillainProtagonist: Rico, again.

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* GanglandDriveBy: Tony gets shot like this after it seems like he's going to squeal on Rico.


* FamousLastWords: Rico's have entered cinema legend: "Is this the end of Rico?"

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* FamousLastWords: Rico's have entered cinema legend: "Is "Mother of Mercy, is this the end of Rico?"


* FamousLastWords: Rico's have entered cinema legend: "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" Cue giant fireball.

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* FamousLastWords: Rico's have entered cinema legend: "Made it, Ma! Top of "Is this the world!" Cue giant fireball.end of Rico?"

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