Blonde Crazy (1931)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Bert Harris
as Anne Roberts
as Dapper Dan Barker
as Helen Wilson
as A. Rupert Johnson Jr.
as Joe Reynolds
as Four-Eyes, the Desk Clerk
as Col. Bellock
as Mrs. Snyder
as Con Artist
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What's not to like about this movie? You have James Cagney as a smooth hotel bellhop, chasing women and intent on making it big. You have beautiful Joan Blondell standing up for herself, refusing to give in to his advances or to a hotel patron's, and not afraid to dish out a good slap across the face. You also have her taking a bath, for crying out loud! As well wear a very pretty wedding gown, although her marriage may not be to who you think. The film has the two of them improbably teaming up to dupe people out of their money, and the ways in which do this are sometimes quite clever. The little fish get swallowed up by bigger fish at one turn, and there are feints and double crosses along the way, prompting Cagney to famously say 'that dirty double-crossin' rat!' I'm not sure why there is criticism about the ending, but won't spoil it except to say it's perfectly balanced. Despite all the larceny, the movie is playful and it's a joy to watch the banter and chemistry between Cagney and Blondell. He playfully struts across the floor, calls her 'honn-ee', and is gentle with her after he's grabbed her and she tells him he's hurting her (which is nice particularly given the time!). I have no idea why the movie was called 'Blonde Crazy', except to say it may make you Blondell Crazy. :) And what a fantastic year 1931 was for James Cagney! 'The Public Enemy' appeared in the same year. This one would be a great introduction to films of this period - it's entertaining, and had all of the right touches.
Routine Warners film is improved immeasurably by the great team of Cagney & Blondell.
the cutest couple this side of the 'thin man' series, cagney and blondell made six films together in the 30s. this one followed on the heels of cagney's breakout role in 'public enemy'. it's more of a comedic role for cagney and it's interesting to watch his developing screen persona, still a bit awkward in early scenes. cagney and blondell play grifters and partners in crime mostly running the 'badger game' against wealthy businessmen. blondell ultimately wants to settle down but finds cagney too irresponsible, instead falling for a wall street trader who turns out less respectable than expected (not much has changed). lots of naughty fun like only precode hollywood could turn out