TCM Greatest Gangster Films Collection: Edward G. Robinson [2 Discs] [DVD]

Gangsters and criminals are all over these four films that feature the great character actor Edward G. Robinson. Included is The Little Giant, Bullets of Ballots, the boxing drama Kid Galahad, and Larceny Inc.
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Overview

Special Features

  • The Little Giant
  • Includes: Warner Night at the Movies 1933 with Newsreel and Musical Short Use Your Imagination
  • Commentary by Historians Daniel Bubbeo and John McCarty
  • Bullets Or Ballots Includes: Warner Night at the Movies 1936 with Newsreel and Musical Short George Hall and His Orchestra
  • Featurette Gangsters: The Immigrant's Hero
  • Commentary by Historian Dana Polan
  • Kid Galahad Includes: Warner Night at the Movies 1937 with Newsreel, Comedy Short Postal Union and Your True Adventure Series Short Alibi Mark
  • Commentary by Historians Art Simon and Robert Sklar
  • Larceny, Inc. Includes: Warner Night at the Movies 1942 with Newsreel and Patriotic Short Winning Your Wings
  • Commentary by Historians Haden Guest and Dana Polan
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Bullets or Ballots
Two-fisted New York police detective Edward G. Robinson is so volatile that he manages to get himself thrown off the force in disgrace. The local gangsters are delighted, in that Robinson had been breathing down their necks. When Robinson goes to crime boss Barton MacLaine insisting that he's through with law enforcement and wants to switch to the other side, MacLaine's chief henchmen Humphrey Bogart doesn't buy the story, but has to go along since he doesn't want to incur the wrath of MacLaine. Robinson offers to show his former enemies how to circumvent the law, making him an invaluable participant in gang activities. Actually, Robinson hasn't gone crooked at all; he's operating undercover, with the full knowledge of the city police inspector, in hopes of locating the "big boys" who've been financing the mob. His diligence costs him his life, but Robinson, with the help of bad-girl-gone-good Joan Blondell, busts the rackets wide open. Former crime reporter Martin Mooney was responsible for the story upon which Bullets or Ballots was based. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Kid Galahad
Fight manager Nick Donati (Edward G. Robinson) has just lost his best fighter to crooked promoter Turkey Morgan (Humphrey Bogart). During a party at Donati's apartment, a bellhop (Wayne Morris) kayos Morgan's boxer, who has insulted the honor of Donati's girlfriend, Louise "Fluff" Phillips (Bette Davis). Sensing a good thing when he sees it, Donati takes the bellhop under his wing, promoting the erstwhile pugilist as Kid Galahad. Morris is shipped to Donati's farm for training, where he falls in love with Donati's sheltered kid sister, Marie (Jane Bryan). Angered at this, Donati sets up Kid Galahad for a fall, ordering him to take a dive in an upcoming bout and betting his bankroll on Morgan's boy. Kid Galahad takes a terrific beating until, at the urging of Fluff and Marie, he abruptly changes his ring strategy. When Galahad wins, Morgan, feeling he's been double-crossed by Donati, shoots the latter. Morgan manages to fatally wound Morgan before expiring himself; as he breathes his last, he gives his belated blessing to Galahad and Marie's romance. To avoid confusion with Elvis Presley's 1962 remake of Kid Galahad, the earlier film was retitled The Battling Bellhop for TV. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Little Giant
The end of prohibition spells the end of business as usual for Chicago gangster Bugs Ahearn (Edward G. Robinson in this delightful spoof of mob melodramas from Warner Bros. Paying off their latest moll, Edith (Shirley Grey, Bugs and chief lieutenant Al Daniels (Russell Hopton) grab their ill-gotten gains and go west, hoping to crash polo playing Santa Barbara society. Bugs acquires a rental mansion and a high class girlfriend, Polly Cass (Helen Vinson), but the estate actually belongs to kind but down-on-her-luck socialite Ruth Wayburn (Mary Astor) -- whom the former mobster retains as his social secretary -- while Polly and her relatives prove to be bigger crooks than he ever was. The Little Giant was reportedly filmed in 18 days on a budget of $197,000. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Larceny, Inc.
This parody of gangster flicks centers on an incarcerated gangster who decides to reform after he is released from Sing Sing. He and his cell mate have earned a small fortune in investments and are planning to buy a dog track. Unfortunately, another prisoner eavesdrops and attempts to force the fellow to use his savings to buy a luggage store and then dig a tunnel to the bank next door so they can easily rob it. The reformer and his partner refuse. They sing a different tune when they learn that most of their money was lost by their third partner. In desperation, he buys the suitcase outlet. While he tries to deal with his many customers, the other two bumblers attempt to dig, but it's not easy because every time someone comes in, they must stop their noisy operation. More trouble follows when another gangster tries to get in on their operation. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Edward G. Robinson
    Edward G. Robinson - Johnny Blake
  • Barton MacLane
    Barton MacLane - Al Kruger
  • Frank McHugh
    Frank McHugh - Herman
  • Humphrey Bogart
    Humphrey Bogart - Bugs Fenner
  • Joan Blondell
    Joan Blondell - Lee Morgan
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