The Strawberry Blonde (1941)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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.
Classics , Comedy , Drama , Western , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MGM Home Entertainment

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James Cagney
as Biff Grimes
Rita Hayworth
as Virginia Brush
Jack Carson
as Hugo Barnstead
Alan Hale
as Old Man Grimes
George Tobias
as Nick Pappalas
Una O'Connor
as Mrs. Mulcahey
George Reeves
as Harold
Lucille Fairbanks
as Harold's Girl Friend
Helen Lynd
as Josephine
Peter Ashley
as Young man
Roy Gordon
as Bank president
Tim Ryan
as Street Cleaner/Foreman
Eddy Chandler
as Street Cleaner
Jack Mower
as Street Cleaner
John Sheehan
as Street Cleaner
David Thursby
as Street Cleaner
Addison Richards
as Official
Frank Mayo
as Policeman
Max Hoffman Jr.
as Policeman
Pat Flaherty
as Policeman
Jack Daley
as Bartender
Bob Perry
as Hangers-On
Harrison Greene
as Hangers-On
Frank Orth
as Baxter
James Flavin
as Boat Inspector
Abe Dinovitch
as Singer
Paul Phillips
as Fellow
George Humbert
as Guiseppi
Creighton Hale
as Secretary
Carl Harbaugh
as Workman
Russell Hicks
as Treadway
Wade Boteler
as Warden
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Critic Reviews for The Strawberry Blonde

All Critics (7)

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)

Quote not available.

February 20, 2004
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Quote not available.

February 12, 2004
One Guy's Opinion

Audience Reviews for The Strawberry Blonde


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.

Matt Heiser
Matt Heiser

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
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.

Devon Bott
Devon Bott

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