6.9/10
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Smart Money (1931)

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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Writers:

(screen story and dialogue), (screen story and dialogue) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Sleepy Sam
...
Marie
...
District Attorney's Girl
Maurice Black ...
Greek Barber
Billy House ...
Irontown Salesman (as William House)
...
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:

greek | blonde | barber | poker | grifter | See All (56) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 July 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Mulheres Enganam Sempre  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role played by Donald Cook was all but eliminated in the final cut, but he still appears as one of Nick's two accomplices (along with 'James Cagney' after one of the poker games. 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: [leaving the poker game a winner] Suntan, my hat, my cane, and my gloves. I heard that in a play once.
[buttoning and tipping him]
Nick 'The Barber' Venizelos: Oh, here. Go with that as far as it'll take yuh.
Sundown: Thank you, suh.
Nick 'The Barber' Venizelos: [to Sleepy Sam] Well, Nick the Barber gave you a trimmin', hunh? Well, I'll be seein' you boys!
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Connections

Referenced in James Cagney: Top of the World (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
A Historic Screen Teaming
13 December 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Smart Money is famous for the teaming of Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney in the only time they shared the screen. Both men had just come off their breakthrough performances in Little Caesar and Public Enemy respectively. Of the two of them, Robinson comes off far the better.

I'm not sure why Cagney did this film, more than likely because he was told to and was not yet rebelling against Jack Warner. He's strangely subdued in the part, the usual Cagney bounce and cockiness just isn't there for me.

Cagney plays the best friend of Greek barber Edward G. Robinson who in his career played any number of ethnic types. Here he's a happy go lucky barber whose place doubles as a betting establishment. He likes to play, but when friends raise a bankroll for him to try his luck in the big city he gets good and clipped.

Robinson's down, but not out. He goes back and clips the clippers and becomes a big gambling racketeer. Problems do arise when he and Cagney quarrel over the same woman.

It's definitely Robinson's picture, maybe it's why Cagney and he never worked together again. I would like to have seen them both in a film with a more typical Jimmy Cagney.

Still when it's broadcast it should not be missed.


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