At home in comedy, drama, action, mystery, Edward G. Robinson, began his rise to stardom on Broadway, spending 15 productive years working on stage in more than 25 plays. Much of his film-career, his on-screen persona was that of a “tough-guy”, but Edward G. Robinson’s acting acumen was quite deeper than that Gangster –guise he portrayed in so many movies. But, whether it was Rico in “Little Caesar”, 1930 or Lancey Howard in “The Cincinnati Kid”, 1965 and everything in between, Robinson brought that rare quality of genuineness to each part he played.
What I have always found with most (at least to the casual viewer) people, regarding Robinson, is their misconception that he was a one dimensional actor, far from it, as we can see from such works as: Dr. Paul Ehrlich “Dr. Ehrlich’s Magic Bullet”, 1940; Little John Sarto in “Brother Orchid”, 1940 and especially his portrayal of Martinius Jacobson in “Our Vines Have Tender Grapes”, 1945. This performance (Our Vines Have Tender Grapes) has depth, layers of humanity, his character communicating in a few words a beautiful work of moving-art; most actors only hope to find such a role and to carry it out to fruition. Yet, Robinson was able to find that realm often, throughout his film resume.
By C. S. Williams