Essay on Little Caesar: Gangster Life in New York City

2295 Words 10 Pages
Film has evolved into one of the most popular forms of entertainment mediums in America today. Beginning from a “moving picture” that lasted no more than a few seconds, the industry has sprouted into a goldmine of technologically advanced major motion pictures. While Hollywood was still in an adolescent stage, a certain genre caught the eye of a United States eager for trendy entertainment: the “gangster” film. No film better defined the genre than Mervyn LeRoy’s Little Caesar. The movie was released in 1930 and largely due to the industries technological advancements the silent film had started a slide down the slippery slope to extinction as “talkies” were becoming all the rage. Although gangster films existed previous to the talkie era, …show more content…
All these things combined to create a fresh American success story infused by the desperation of the times. The American gangster not only personifies what is wrong with America, but he is also an expression of American ideals. He exhibits the same goals such as power, money, fame, and status, that are held within society as symbols of success. The gangster not only had the qualities, but he possessed them in the time of Prohibition where “everyone was breaking the law and by helping them he was, in a sense, performing a public service (Gabree 15).” Little Caesar was simply following the lead of the newspapers that were chronically the battle of civic authorities against the world of organized crime. The only difference was that Hollywood could make the story much more rigid and compelling than any reporter in New York at the time. Director Mervyn LeRoy used innovative technology, style, and the social scene of organized crime to delineate the “gangster” genre of film with his 1930 box office hit, Little Caesar. In the art of film the goal of directors is to deliver entertainment and information that an audience finds emotionally compelling. It is essential for a director to adapt to the changing interests of the American people and create a piece of art pertinent to the time to the time of production. However, along with the demand for an intriguing subject also came a desire for technological advances and innovations within the industry. Little Caesar

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