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Smart Money (1931)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  11 July 1931 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 870 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 14 critic

Immigrant Greek barber has uncommon skills in playing poker and soon rises in the seedy world of illegal gambling, but pretty blondes remain his Achilles' heel.

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(screen story and dialogue), (screen story and dialogue), 2 more credits »
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Title: Smart Money (1931)

Smart Money (1931) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Nick Venizelos
...
Evalyn Knapp ...
Irene Graham
Ralf Harolde ...
Sleepy Sam
Noel Francis ...
Marie
Margaret Livingston ...
District Attorney's Girl
Maurice Black ...
Greek Barber
Billy House ...
Irontown Salesman (as William House)
Paul Porcasi ...
Alexander Amenoppopolus
Gladys Lloyd ...
Second Cigar Stand Clerk
Polly Walters ...
Lola
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Storyline

Nick Venizelos, an immigrant Greek barber, has an uncommon affinity for poker and other sorts of wagering and a group of his friends bankroll him in a big game, where his weakness for pretty blondes is taken advantage of by sleazy operator Sleepy Sam who cleans him out in a rigged game. Nick accepts help from his buddy Jack as they turn the tables on the grifters, but triumph soon changes to tragedy. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

barber | poker | blonde | gambling | revenge | See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 July 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Smart Money  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was made to capitalize on the success of Little Caesar (1931). Edward G. Robinson insisted that the script be re-written to make his character, Nick Venizelos, a more sympathetic gangster and less of a copy of his "Little Caesar" character, Rico Bandello. See more »

Goofs

On the window of his barber shop, and in the note he receives in his hotel from his friends at home, Nick's last name is spelled "Venizelos"; but on his volunteer fireman's card (inspected when he enters the gambling den), it is spelled "Venezelos". See more »

Quotes

Nick 'The Barber' Venizelos: [inquiring at cigar stand] Say, uh, what are those things for?
Marie: Poker dice.
Nick 'The Barber' Venizelos: Oh, you gamble with them?
Marie: Yes, sir, it's a dollar if you lose, and if you win, you get $2 worth of merchandise.
Nick 'The Barber' Venizelos: [looking at her laciviously] Anything behind the counter?
Marie: [coyly] Anything in merchandise.
Nick 'The Barber' Venizelos: Heh, heh, well, you're a cute little package.
[he chuckles]
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Soundtracks

He's a Devil
(uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
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User Reviews

 
"I always Had a Weakness for Women"

This is a nicely tailored story about the rise of Nick the Barber( a real barber)from the small gambling environs of Irontown to his rise to the big time gambling scene. Several things distinguish this film from just another mob movie. And that is just it for starters. This is not a mob movie. Edward G. Robinson's Nick is one of the kindest, most liked, and honest "crime" bosses you will ever see in film. Eddie doesn't shoot it up - in fact no one is murdered(Okay, I'm being a stickler here). This film also shows how difficult gambling can be as a profession. But at the film's heart is Robinson's performance. Nick is a sweet, at times naive, resilient guy with a weak/blind spot for pretty blondes. Aiding Eddie is none other than Jimmy Cagney playing Jack his friend and fellow business associate. Alfred E. Green does a rather deft job directing this very early sound picture. The pace is fast and the mood never compromised. The rest of the cast is quite good. Boris Karloff has a bizarre cameo as a man that has something Eddie just had - but we never know why Boris had it. It's a treat seeing Karloff and Robinson and Cagney in a brief yet memorable scene.


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