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The Last Gangster [Edward G. Robinson, Jimmy Stewart]

Synopsis of The Last Gangster (1937) starring Edward G. Robinson, Jimmy Stewart, Rose Stradner

In The Last Gangster, a gangster vows revenge against the woman who betrayed him following a long stint in prison.

Review of The Last Gangster

The Last Gangster, starring Edward G. Robinson

In short, The Last Gangster is a very good gangster movie, elevated by excellent performances by Edward G. Robinson and Jimmy Stewart. Edward G. Robinson absolutely shines in this role. His character is an unrepentant villain, with no redeeming values. Until his son is born.

While he’s wasting ten years of his life in jail, his wife given birth to their son. Once she finds out who he really is, she divorces him, and remarries. But she lives in fear of the day that he’s released. And what he’ll do to her … and their son.

Edward G. Robinson absolutely shines in the end of the movie … which I won’t spoil here, but I strongly recommend that you see it for yourself. It’s highly recommended.

Cast of characters

  • Joe Krozac (Edward G. Robinson, Little Caesar). The cold-hearted, cruel, gangster. He marries a beautiful immigrant, and keeps her ignorant of his criminal life. Until he’s sent to jail for tax evasion..
  • Paul North (Jimmy Stewart, The Greatest Show on Earth). An honest young newspaper reporter. He writes about Joe’s criminal career, but when his editor starts “torturing” Joe’s wife, Paul’s had enough. He quits, and leaves with her. He starts working at a more respectable newspaper, and starts courting Talya.
  • Talya Krozac (Rose Stradner, The Keys of the Kingdom). Talya is Joe’s wife, who stands by him against the newspapers’ “lies”. Until she sees photographic proof of his cruelty and murders. She divorcees him while he’s serving a 10-year prison sentence. She later marries Paul, and they raise her son as their own. But lives in fear of when Joe gets out of prison …
  • Curly (Lionel Stander, The Transformers: The Movie). Joe’s right-hand man. Until Joe’s out of prison, and Curly thinks he can get the location of Joe’s hidden money. By beating it out of him. And when that fails, he kidnaps Joe’s son.
  • Junior Krozac/Paul Jr. (Douglas Scott, Lloyds of London). Joe’s son, who hasn’t seen Joe since he was an infant. He’s been raised by Paul, and thinks of Paul as his father. Once the gangsters start to work him over, Joe tells them what they want to know. And then Joe takes his son home … after attempting to bond with his son, he takes him to Paul & Talya. And at the very end, sacrifices everything to preserve his son’s good name.

Editorial review of The Last Gangster courtesy of Amazon.com

Jimmy Stewart, Rose Stradner being threatened in The Last Gangster

Like father like son. Gang kingpin Joe Krozac looks forward to the day his now-infant son will walk in his bloody footsteps and run his crime racket. The Feds have other ideas. They convict Joe of tax evasion and put him behind triple-steel bars for 10 years. During that time, Joe’s wife divorces him, builds a reputable new life in another city with a new husband, raises her son and fears the day Joe may find them.

He does. The Last Gangster stars one of the screen’s first gangsters: Edward G. Robinson in snarling, imperial, brutal Little Caesar mode. James Stewart, on the cusp of renown, co-stars. And William A. Wellman, whose The Public Enemy matched Little Caesar in seminal gangster-era impact, co-wrote the film’s story.

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