Edward G. Robinson Movies

Edward G. Robinson in 1931's Little Caesar...the movie that made him a star.

Edward G. Robinson in 1931’s Little Caesar…the movie that made him a star.

Want to know the best Edward G. Robinson movies?  How about the worst Edward G. Robinson movies?  Curious about Edward G. Robinson ’s box office grosses or which Edward G. Robinson movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Edward G. Robinson movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

Seems like I have been getting requests to do a Edward G. Robinson movie page for years.  One of the reasons that I have not done a page on him is lack of box office information on many of his 1930s movies…which was the peak of his career.  Well…about 4 months ago, I secured some of the Warner Brothers and MGM box office ledgers. Those ledgers contained many of Robinson’s movies from the 1930s…..so I am finally able to publish a Edward G. Robinson movie page.

Edward G. Robinson (1893-1973) is one of AFI’s (American Film Institute) Top 50 Greatest Screen Legends.  When you read descriptions of Robinson you find words like:  pug-faced, snarling, small, squat, robust and not handsome.  So it is even more impressive that Robinson became one of the greatest movie stars ever.  During his peak days, Robinson could walk on screen and dominate it despite lacking your typical Hollywood good looks.

His IMDb page shows 112 acting credits from 1916-1973. This page will rank 67 Edward G. Robinson movies from Best to Worst in five different sortable columns of information. Television appearances, shorts, cameos and movies that were not released in North American theaters were not included in the rankings.  There are another 14 Robinson movies that did not make the page.  Those were his 9 movies made before 1931 and 5 movies made after he became a star.  I can not find any box office information on those movies so they are not included in the table.

Edward G. Robinson in 1944's Double Indemnity

Edward G. Robinson in 1944’s Double Indemnity

Edward G. Robinson Movies Can Be Ranked 5 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Edward G. Robinson movies by co-stars of his movies
  • Sort Edward G. Robinson movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Edward G. Robinson movies by yearly domestic box office rank
  • Sort Edward G. Robinson movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each Edward G. Robinson movie received.
  • Sort Edward G. Robinson movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Edward G. Robinson Table

  1. Twenty-two Edward G. Robinson movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 30.56% of his movies listed. The Ten Commandments (1956) was his biggest box office hit.  The Ten Commandments is actually the 6th biggest box office hit of all time when looking at adjusted box office grosses.
  2. An average Edward G. Robinson movie grosses $95.00 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  57 of Edward G. Robinson ’s movies are rated as good movies…or 79.16% of his movies.  Double Indemnity (1944) is his highest rated movie while A Bullet for Joey (1955) is lowest rated movie.
  4. Fifteen Edward G. Robinson movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 20.83% of his movies.
  5. Two Edward G. Robinson movie won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 2.77% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 39.86.  41 Edward G. Robinson movies scored higher that average….or 57.74% of his movies.  Double Indemnity (1944) got the the highest UMR Score while The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1968) got the lowest UMR Score.
Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson in 1973's Soylent Green

Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson in 1973’s Soylent Green

Possibly Interesting Facts About Edward G. Robinson

1. Emanuel Goldenberg was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1893.  In 1903 his family moved to the New York City.  Growing up he wanted to be a rabbi.  When he won an American Academy of Dramatic Arts scholarship he switched his attentions to acting.

2.  Edward G. Robinson ‘s path to stardom…Cliff Notes style.  After winning his acting scholarship, he made his Broadway debut in 1915 using the name E.G. Robinson.  In 1927 he appeared in the play The Racket….he played a gangster.  Hollywood took notice and he started regularly appearing in movies in 1929 usually playing a gangster.  In 1931 he played Caesar Enrico “Rico” Bandello in Little Caesar.  Little Caesar was a huge success and turned Robinson into a star.  He would make movies for the next 42 years.

3.  Edward G. Robinson was never nominated for an Oscar®.   Of the AFI’s 25 Screen Legend Actors…Robinson is the only serious actor not to ever get an Oscar® nomination.  The Marx Brothers and Buster Keaton are the only other two AFI Screen Legends without an Oscar® nomination.  Two months after his death he was awarded an Honorary Oscar®.  The Academy screwed that one up.

4.  Edward G. Robinson and Homer Simpson?  Yep there is a connection.  The inspiration for the voice of Chief Clancy Wiggum on The Simpsons is Edward G. Robinson…so says Hank Azaria who provides the voice for Chief Wiggum.

5. Edward G. Robinson was married two times.  His first marriage was to Gladys Lloyd from 1927 to 1956….they had a son together.  His second marriage is to Jane Robinson from 1958 until his death in 1973.

6. Edward G. Robinson was the original choice to play Dr. Zaius in 1968’s Planet of the Apes.  He filmed one scene in complete ape makeup with Charlton Heston but had to pull out of the role due to health concerns.  Now that would be a great extra DVD feature.

7.  Edward G. Robinson is pictured on a 33¢ USA commemorative postage stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series, issued 24 October 2000.

8.  To check out Edward G. Robinson’s movie career through his movie posters…I highly recommend checking out this movie link from Steve Lensman.  Edward G. Robinson Movie Posters.

9.  Check out Edward G. Robinson ‘s career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

10.  Edward G. Robinson died two weeks after finishing his role in 1973’s Soylent Green. Charlton Heston delivered the eulogy.  He choose a line from Julius Caesar to read during the memorial service.  “His life was gentle, and the elements so mixed in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world, This was a man.”

Are you thinking….it was not enough stats?  Well here are more…..32 Edward G. Robinson Worldwide Adjusted Box Office Grosses

  • The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938) $151.80 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Brother Orchid (1940) $87.20 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Bullets or Ballots (1936) $124.60 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939) $185.00 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Dark Hazard (1934) $43.30 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Dr. Erlich’s Magic Bullet (1940) $80.70 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Five Star Final (1932) $162.80 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Hatchet Man (1932) $134.80 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Hell On Frisco Bay (1955) $130.60 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • I Loved A Woman (1933) $67.90 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Illegal (1955) $8.10 Key Largo (1948) $242.00 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Kid Galahad (1937) $196.50 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Little Caeser (1931) $121.40 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Little Giant (1933) $67.60 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • The Man With Two Faces (1934) $56.50 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Manpower (1941) $178.60 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Night Has A Thousand Eyes (1948) $45.50 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Nightmare (1956) $21.10 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Pepe (1960) $221.60 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Red House, The (1947) $110.40 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Scarlet Street (1945) $203.20 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Sea Wolf, The (1941) $182.10 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Silver Dollar (1932) $73.50 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • A Slight Case of Murder (1938) $132.40 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Smart Money (1931) $70.80 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Song of Norway (1970) $89.40 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Ten Commandments, The (1956) $2695.60 million  or $2.65 BILLION
  • Tiger Shark (1932) $143.70 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Two Seconds (1932) $53.30 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • Two Weeks In Another Town (1962) $80.10 million in adjusted worldwide gross
  • The Widow From Chicago (1930) $42.40 million in adjusted worldwide gross
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25 thoughts on “Edward G. Robinson Movies

  1. 1 . When the Hollywood gangster cycle was at it height Warners had under contract all of the perceived greatest stars of the genre and Robinson was considered one of the biggest of them. Some film historians feel that Robinson’s most dominant decade was the thirties because although his popularity continued into the forties and early fifties it was felt that Bogart over shadowed him from the 1940s onward and Chuck Heston even alluded to that point in a documentary about Bogie. The reason the historians gave for the changing of the guard was that after Casablanca audiences regarded Bogart as “the man most likely to be able to take on Hitler.”

    2 In the light of the foregoing I was curious to see how you would split your selections over the decades in the Robinson video and I have calculated that your Top 30 includes 13 from the 1940s and 9 from the 1930s which is reasonable given that the talkies were in their infancy in the latter decade and that film making had much improved by the forties.

    3 Other comments (1) none of your choices get really poor ratings (2) I was pleased to see little gems such as Seven Thieves, Two Weeks in another Town, Nightmare and Illegal in your picks (3) I don’t really regard 10C as a truly Robinson but rather a Chuck movie but its artistic merit certainly merits its No 2 ranking in its own right (3) you and for audience/critic the Oracle coincide in 3 of your Top 5 ratings (4) usual iconic range of poster reproductions heightened by the photogenic Robinson persona with my prize going to the one for Two Weeks in Another Town (5) excellent Key Largo ‘between filming’ still (6) joining up the dots in Dan fashion A slight Case of Murder was remade in 1952 as Stop You’re Killing Me starring Broderick Crawford and Eddie’s ‘moll’ from Key Largo, Claire Trevor. [I saw the Brodie remake on the same double bill as another Warners movie Operation Secret starring Cornel Wilde].

    3 Bogie was one of my own all time faves and I don’t care if he eclipsed Eddie as a star I still loved that little guy too and therefore liked your classy video which was a definite Guns Up.

    Have a good weekend.

    1. Hi Bob, over a hundred views on my Eddie G video already, there’s still interest in the old boy I’m happy to say.

      At the end of Soylent Green, when Chuck Heston finds Eddie had died, his tears were real, Robinson was dying of cancer and passed away soon after shooting wrapped.

      I had to include The Ten Commandments, Eddie had an important role in that. I wrote a hub on that movie a few years ago. The critics weren’t kind to the film and the cast, especially this critics –

      “I’m sure DeMille could have had any actor he wanted Yet the actors he chose with few exceptions are second and third rate… Heston has a fine hatchet face on which a beard looks well, and nothing else… John Derek and Debra Paget have faces on which neither mind nor heart has left a trace. And how ridiculous Edward G. Robinson and Vincent Price are in Egyptian costumes!… The visual representation of supernatural occurrences are inexcusably crude… And I cannot understand how Mr De Mille allowed a voice on the soundtrack to represent the voice of God.” (Henrietta Lehman, Films in Review)

      ouch!

      And here’s Gore Vidal on Mr. Epic –

      “When I arrived for the filming of Ben Hur, all the sets had been built, including Charlton Heston.”

      eeek!

      🙂

      1. 1 I think that audiences and critics were used to seeing Eddie in those smart suits and stylish gangster hats. However he NEEDED The 10C because DeMille who was sympathetic to him put him in it to save his career which was nearly wrecked by the un-American Activities Committee and their supporters. There are anyway a number of other great actors who probably wouldn’t have suited costume with Bogie and Monty Clift springing to mind Indeed western garb didn’t really become Bogie and in Cagney’s Oklahoma Kid he looked like a smiling gigolo when he played Whip McCord from the Panhandle.

        2 Vidal was a great writer but on a personal level he was a less vulgar WC Fields who liked to say negative and controversial things to shock. You know he was related to Al Gore the politician, don’t you? Heston had the last word by getting the Oscar for Ben Hur.

        3 I remember attending a course once in which the lecturer who was English said “Hollywood at times gets a bad press but the best of Hollywood films are as good as ANYONE’s best. Unfortunately there is a school of snobbery that won’t accept as high art anything that isn’t European, isn’t in black and white with sub titles,isn’t as dry as dust and doesn’t have a cuckolded husband in it.” Also a films historian emphasised that the public aren’t fools and will not give their patronage for any length of time to an artist who is not delivering value for money in one manner or another.

        BOB

      2. The power of classic stars…it is what keeps the views coming into this website….enjoyed Bob’s comment and glad your EGR video is doing so well.

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