rico - Neal Stearns September 27, 2006 Little Caesar: Rico...

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Neal Stearns September 27, 2006 Little Caesar: Rico as an Archetypical Gangster Cesar Enrico Bandello, known as Rico by friends and “Little Caesar” by the public, is one of the first examples of a charismatic anti-hero in a gangster themed movie. Rico is the protagonist in the 1931 film “Little Caesar,” directed by Mervyn LeRoy, which is a classic gangster film and one of the first of its kind. Popular gangster films such as “Goodfellas” and “The Godfather” borrow heavily from the character of Rico as a caricature of the “tough little guy” and the “shoot first and ask questions later” gangster. From the start, Rico is the definition of a one-dimensional character with a one- track mind. Rico’s sole goal and purpose in life is to amass power in the underworld and to gain the respect and notoriety that he believes that he deserves. Rico illustrates this desire when upon reading a newspaper story about a mobster who is well respected in the underworld community he remarks, “I could do all the things that fella does, and more, only I never got my chance. Why, what's there to be afraid of? And when I get in a tight spot, I shoot my way out of it. Why sure. Shoot first and argue afterwards. You know, this game ain't for guys that's soft!” Rico never strays from this hard-hitting path until the conclusion of the movie where his inability to kill his best friend leads to his ultimate demise. Rico truly believes that he is clever and tough enough to make it big in the
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rico - Neal Stearns September 27, 2006 Little Caesar: Rico...

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