Little Caesar has one thing going for it, one big thing, played by a shorter man, that being Caesar himself. That's in large part due to Edward G. Robinson's great performance that manages to carry the character past any restrictions of the role and becomes larger than life while still bringing some very real vulnerabilities. The film does suffer a bit from a largely forgettable supporting cast, and the story around the central character never becomes all the compelling. It's most effective in the narrowest view which is that of the character study. It works because of Robinson and Mervyn LeRoy's direction which brings the needed edge to such a tale.