Edward G. Robinson was typecast as a tough and rough, snarling gangster, his characterization was so strong that you can still see it today in Chief Clancy Wiggum on The Simpsons.  In reality, Eddie G. (like his counterpart James Cagney) was a soft-spoken gentlemen who spoke many languages (he delivered radio addresses in six different languages to countries in Europe which had fallen under Nazi occupation in WWII) and was an avid art collector (several of his Van Gogh’s are featured in 1956’s Lust for Life).

TCM will show 13 of his films today.  Here are a few of my picks (if you missed any movies today, TCM will show them On Demand for one week):

Little Caesar (1930)


His signature role as Caesar Enrico “Rico” and “Little Caesar” Bandello.  Eddie’s breakthrough and one of the first gangster films.

Five Star Final (1931)


Robinson plays an unscrupulous tabloid editor who on one fateful day, is about to blow a family’s life into shambles.

Double Indemnity (1944)


Eddie’s first character role.  He wasn’t sure if he wanted to take a supporting role, but the script and the money were very enticing.  A true classic of the film noir or any genre.

Scarlet Street (1945)


Robinson is a meek banker and wanna-be painter who meets and falls hard for femme fatale Joan Bennett.  I can’t spoil anything, but watch for something that happens which was a big no-no in the height of the Production Code.

The film is in the public domain.

The Red House (1947-TCM Premiere)


Eddie plays a farmer who forbids his adopted daughter or her classmate to go to the red house in the woods.  What or who is in the red house?

The film is in the public domain.

Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945)


Eddie G. plays a Norwegian immigrant farmer raising his daughter in rural Wisconsin.  A film for fathers and daughters to watch.

The Cincinnati Kid (1965)



Robinson and Steve McQueen battle it out to be the poker champion of the world in 1930s New Orleans.  It’s also a battle between Old (Robinson) and New (McQueen) Hollywood.

Two movies not on today’s list that I think you need to check out:

The Whole Town’s Talking (1935)


Eddie spoofs his tough-guy image in the John Ford (I know, right?!) comedy.  He successfully plays two different people, and all he does is soften his face to portray Jones.  Jean Arthur broke through with this movie.

The Ten Commandments (1956)


Watch the other films first and then ask yourself, WTH Casting Agency?!


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