The Strawberry Blonde (1941)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this lyrical and picaresque evocation of turn-of-the-century New York, a dentist faces memories of his infatuation with a "strawberry blonde" gold-digger.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Western, Drama, Romance, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 4, 2009
MGM Home Entertainment


as Biff Grimes

as Virginia Brush

as Hugo Barnstead

as Old Man Grimes

as Nick Pappalas

as Mrs. Mulcahey

as Harold

as Harold's Girl Friend

as Josephine

as Young man

as Bank president

as Policeman

as Street Cleaner/Forem...

as Street Cleaner

as Street Cleaner

as Street Cleaner

as Street Cleaner

as Official

as Policeman

as Policeman

as Bartender

as Hangers-On

as Hangers-On

as Baxter

as Boat Inspector

as Secretary

as Treadway

as Warden
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Strawberry Blonde

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Appealing comedy with a historical background.

Full Review… | January 31, 2010
Classic Film and Television

Rita Hayworth is the eye candy who sweetens the plot as the alluring strawberry blonde.

Full Review… | April 1, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Grand, old fashioned romantic comedy a la Warners and Cagney.

October 25, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Raucous comedy-drama with more hits than misses.

June 16, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for The Strawberry Blonde


Winning comedy drama that started Rita Hayworth's ascent to stardom. Olivia and Jimmy are well matched and Jack Carson is at his slick oily best. Good direction and fine supporting cast.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


James Cagney? Olivia de Havilland? Rita Hayworth? What more do you want, spontaneous barbershop quartets? Yes. How about the dad of "the Skipper" from Gilligan's Island engaging in olde timey fisticuffs with guys wearing handlebar mustaches? Okay, you'll find that here too. Cagney plays a hot-headed dentist named Biff (who his foreign friend calls "Beef") who's married to the knockout Olivia de Havilland, but all he can think about is the one that got away (Hayworth). It's not just that she got away, but that she ran off with a booming-voiced showoff and all around jerk (played by the well-enunciated Jack Carson). When the creep unknowingly makes an appointment with his old pal dentist for some emergency tooth ache pulling, Biff plots a revenge that may include murder, and sets up the flashbacks which will tell his life story and the wrongs done to him over the years by this man. Set in the early 1900s, the film makes comical use of all the customs and beliefs that were popular at the time: from women's suffrage to the aforementioned barbershop quartets and handlebar mustaches (even George Reeves, the man who would become Superman, gets in on the handlebar mustache thing). Let's face it, you just can't make a period piece without using certain signature elements. You wouldn't make a movie set in the 1960s without including hippies, you wouldn't make a 50s film without beatniks, and you certainly couldn't make a film set in the 90s without referencing grunge (well, obviously you could do all these things, but for some reason most mainstream filmmakers choose not to). Things from the past often times just look silly to people in the present. Cagney does a good job being "Cagney" in this role, but overall the film is a little shallow. It is none the less an easily enjoyable, if overall lightweight film.

Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer


Slight movie. Just not much there that interested me. Even Cagney is muted and frankly boring here. It feels more like a 1931 film than one from 1941, like an early clumisly filmed talkie. Talk about a thankless part for Olivia de Havilland, and Rita Hayworth doesn't stand out either - I'm surprised this was supposedly her "breakout" role.

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