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 (email@example.com)
According to video commentators Ursini and Silver, Robinson starred as Luis Pasteur, a role that was played by Paul Muni. Also they credit "Scarface" as a Universal picture. It was actually a Caddo Picture released by United Artists. See more »
Interesting look at the rise of a professional gambler
Warners was still hampered by early talkie production values - camera hardly moves, people hardly move - somewhat stagey. (Amazing that only a year later in 1932 with THE STAR WITNESS the studio had found its "noir look and pace." ) SMART MONEY is the tale of a lucky barber who is staked by his cronies to play big time in the city. He is scammed and returns empty-handed, but wiser. Returning with a new stake, he scams the scammers, makes a fortune and rises to gambling heights, owning his own casino. His one weakness, blondes. And that's how he's done in by his enemies. Rather Greek in a way- the fatal flaw in character and all. Robinson plays Nick as a really nice guy all the way through- we genuinely like him and want him to succeed even though it's at gambling. He is decent to women, ruthless with his enemies. The original story was nominated for an Oscar. Slow moving at times but generally likeable. NOTE: The obviously homoerotic relationship between friends Robinson and James Cagney (in their only film together) is incredibly apparent. Cagney and Robinson live together, sleep together it would seem and Cagney hates dames. Robinson has a weakness for blondes (Cagney's a blonde). All very hidden for its time but the affectionate physical intimacies between the two are pretty obvious.
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