For me you couldn't get better than James Cagney!!! He got his chance to play a young hoodlum rising up in the ranks of Chicago's underworld in 1931 with "The Public Enemy"
Edward Woods, who was the lead actor was asked by the director, Wellman, to swap places with James Cagney as he thought Cagney would play the part more convincently, At the time of the role swap Woods was promised by the studio that it would make it up to him with later assignments, but it never happened, and Woods fell into obscurity.
In1998 The public Enemy was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, as being, "culturally,historically, or Aesthetically significent.
The Public Enemy was listed 8th best gangster film!!!
Little Ceasar was the film the catapulted Edward G Robinson to Stardom!
He plays Ceasar Enrico "Rico" Bandello, a small time crook who works his way up in the ranks to become an underworld boss.
It is a must see, for any gangster movie fans.
It was listed as 9th best gangster movie.
Al Capone!!! who can forget Rod Steiger in the role!!!!
Apparently he turned down the role 3 times, because he said, " the film inappropriately romanticized Capone and Criminality!"
In an interview Steiger said that he only agreed to play the role when the producers agreed to re-writes.
The New York Times said Steiger was an "Odious Skunk" in the title role!