Skip to Content

Slideshow

  • I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG
  • LITTLE CAESAR
PREVIOUSLY PLAYED

I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG & LITTLE CAESAR

Friday, September 22

I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG
12:30   4:05   7:40

LITTLE CAESAR
2:25   6:00   9:45

DOUBLE FEATURE: Two films for one admission. Tickets purchased entitle patrons to stay and see the following film at no additional charge.

I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG

Directed by Mervyn LeRoy

7:40 screening introduced by David Thompson, author of Warner Bros: The Making of an American Studio, with a book signing following the film

(1932) “But how do you get along? How do you live?” “I steal.” Out-of-work war vet Paul Muni gets railroaded – twice – onto brutal Southern chain gangs, his only prospect after escaping a life spent perpetually on the run. Based on a true story, the original author was re-captured following post-movie publicity. 35mm. Approx. 93 min.
12:30, 4:05, 7:40

LeRoy’s direction of I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang is greatly advanced, a cinematic achievement considered so powerful and persuasive in its day—graphically exposing the brutal conditions of prison life—that the resultant audience uproar helped pave the way for penal reform in several states. Paul Muni, in the title role, delivers his most controlled and moving work as an abused, hunted and ultimately tragic hero.”
– Eric Monder, Film Journal 

“The filming is emphatic and cocksure, greedy for action and faces; and the editing hurtles forward, never diverted from the anguish in Muni’s performance, but not milking it for pathos… It leaves our contemporary gangster films looking fancy and indulgent, and without a thought of changing the world.”
– David Thomson, Warner Bros: The Making of an American Movie Studio

LITTLE CAESAR

Directed by Mervyn LeRoy

(1930) “Mother of Mercy, is this the end of Rico?” moans Edward G. Robinson at the climax of his star-making incarnation of an Al Capone type's rise and fall. Adapted from the hard-boiled classic by W.R. Burnett. 35mm. Approx. 80 min.
2:25, 6:00, 9:45

Mervyn LeRoy’s coldly efficient direction imposes a static rigor on the action and lends the actor’s diction and gestures a sculptural, granitic force. The terse, epigrammatic narrative offers every hardboiled cliché in its naïve, original form… The psychosexual subtexts of later gangster movies are there, too, as when Little Caesar draws his slight, furtive cohort Otero (George E. Stone) onto his bed for a meaningful tête-à-tête.”
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“Say what you will about Edward G. Robinson’s plug-ugly mug, but the actor gave us one of the screen’s most enduring antiheroes: the loudmouthed small-time hood who claws his way to the top of a criminal empire. It’s a great movie, see?”
– Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out