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The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse has its dark side; The Little Giant and Larceny, Inc. are broad comedies pure and simple. From the outset, Robinson chafed against his stereotyping in gangster roles, and The Little Giant (1933), as the title suggests, gave him the chance to turn "Little Caesar" on his head. With Franklin D. Roosevelt's election spelling doom for the bootlegging business, "Bugs" Ahern (Eddie G.) retires from mob life to get some culture and mingle with the swells on the polo fields of California. Roy Del Ruth directed, albeit with less pizzazz than usual. Larceny, Inc. (1942) finds newly paroled convicts Robinson and Broderick Crawford taking over a Manhattan luggage store that happens to sit next to a bank that, alas, economic setback may compel them to rob. The movie has its charms--inconveniently for their plans, the guys' business becomes a success and sparks a revival of their Gotham neighborhood--but it's distinctly inferior to the other gangster comedies in which Lloyd Bacon directed Robinson, A Slight Case of Murder (in Vol. 2) and Brother Orchid (Vol. 3). This was the final film Robinson made under his long Warner contract. (Incidentally, the audio commentary on it is bone-crushingly pedantic.) Lloyd Bacon also directed Invisible Stripes (1939), starring George Raft as a not-very-hardened criminal trying to go straight following a prison term. Trouble is, society keeps distrusting him, and when it appears his desperate younger brother (William Holden) might turn to crime, Raft agrees to abet his old prison-mate Humphrey Bogart on some holdups. At a double-feature-ready length of 80 minutes, Invisible Stripes feels like an A-movie struggling to break out of B constraints. There's some excellent stuff, as when garage mechanic Holden and the sweetheart (Jane Bryan) he can't afford to marry cross paths with wealthy revelers out on the town; and Raft and Bogart convincingly have a friendship above and beyond the obligations of genre plotting. But like the underdressed neighborhood street scenes (in contrast to the flavorful busyness customarily observed in Warner gangster pictures), mostly the movie leaves us wanting more. And that includes more of the gang's-all-here supporting cast: Paul Kelly, Marc Lawrence, Joseph Downing, Bert Hanlon, Frank Faylen, et al. Completing Vol. 4 is Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film (2008), a feature-length documentary that serves up solid history and astutely chosen clips, from The Great Train Robbery (1903) through GoodFellas (1990). A small army of commentators holds forth on the gangster film as "the myth for the urban immigrant," and there's lots of anecdotal material about not only icons Cagney, Robinson, and Bogart ("the badder bad guy" brought in as the two previous stars turned legit) but also key directors and writers. Tasty. --Richard T. Jameson
Some a little more popular than others in the set but all very good.
Claire Trevor co-stars as a savvy crime queen, and Humphrey Bogart plays Rocks Valentine, whom Robinson calls "a magnificent specimen of pure viciousness."
I recommend this collection for anyone who enjoys the classic gangster movies.
Bought this for the husband for Christmas. He loves gangster movies having 1 - 3. Watched one so far. Sure to be a hit!Published 2 months ago by Alan S. Doran
Excellent movie! Interesting to the end! Includes some of cinemas best actors and actresses!Published 3 months ago by deb
As an avid movie buff, especially when it comes to classic films like these, this is a definite welcome to my large and growing home library collection. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Wa2oosy
This is one of the those old classics that you can watch over and over again. The story of a boxing promoter who is involved with gangsters, is impressed with ayoung guy and trys... Read morePublished 9 months ago by KIRT P.
Bogart, Davis, and Robinson are some of my favorite actors and did a superb job in this movie.
I enjoyed it very much.
This is one volume of four I purchased for someone as a gift. He is in the process of replacing all of his VHS tapes (remember those)? He loves the DVD's. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Ms Missy
I just simply love these old gangster films, especially with Bogart and Edward G. The quality is great. No disappointment here.Published 15 months ago by W. Lomas
Love those old movies. Good price, good quality. Nice to have all of them. Some a little more popular than others in the set but all very good.Published 18 months ago by Debbie Wagner
those was the time in America history where lead talk and body drop cause America let it happen,when you can stop thing you take charge and we didn,t......Published 23 months ago by steven owens