Before banks had a branch on every corner, they were an exclusive service for the wealthy. For the poor, working, and immigrant class, saving money was as unreliable as stashing it under a mattress. But at the turn of the 20th century, A.P. Giannini revolutionized the industry with his small bank in San Francisco.
As a first-generation Italian-American, his goal was to serve “the little fellow” and breed prosperity within his immigrant community. By building trust and giving loans on a simple handshake, he created one of the largest banks in the country – Bank of America.
A LITTLE FELLOW tells the story of a man who struck fear into the heart of Wall Street all the way from his beloved California. Known as “America’s banker,” A.P. Giannini gave a friendly face to an anonymous industry. As one of the first investors in Hollywood, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Hewlett-Packard, his forward-thinking helped the country through two World Wars and the Great Depression. In a time when banks are seen as impersonal monoliths, this documentary presents us with a new model of hope from America’s past.