“Can’t you just forget about me?”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary elaborates on his praise for Robinson’s performance in Alternate Oscars, where he names Robinson Best Actor of the Year and notes, “Robinson is frightening as the swaggering, power-hungry Rico, not a character anyone would want to emulate. When he’s just a henchman, he scowls constantly, looks at everyone with sideways glances under a pulled-down hat, and is always snarling, talking back, or arguing… He uses his thumb when he talks, intimidatingly pointing it at others or thumping his chest like a dictator. Only when he becomes powerful is he cheerful, admiring himself in the mirror, getting his picture taken, combing his hair, having a banquet thrown in his honor, smoking cigars, wearing the outfit and pinky ring that a gangster he envied once wore.” However, when “Rico tumbles back to the gutter, he becomes a grotesque, primitive, slovenly figure.” Indeed Rico could be viewed as pure “id” — his character isn’t nuanced, but rather simply representative of Desire for Power. Fairbanks, Jr.’s role offers audiences an opportunity to see someone more human and humane, grappling with loyalty versus future goals; he’s fine in his supporting role, as is gutsy Farrell.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)