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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:
...
...
...
Irene Graham
...
...
...
Maurice Black ...
Greek Barber
...
Irontown Salesman (as William House)
...
Alexander Amenoppopolus
Gladys Lloyd ...
Second Cigar Stand Clerk
...
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

According to video commentators Ursini and Silver, Robinson starred as Louis 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 »

Quotes

Nick 'The Barber' Venizelos: Say, is that my tie?
Jack: Why, uh... when I got up this morning, I sort of...
Nick 'The Barber' Venizelos: Yeah, well, why didn't put on that new checkered suit of mine while you were about it?
Jack: [chuckling] Heh-heh-heh... It didn't fit.
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Soundtracks

When You Were the Blossom of Buttercup Lane
(uncredited)
Written by Al Bryan, Al Dubin and George W. Meyer
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User Reviews

 
Very watchable even after all these years
5 January 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is not exactly the sort of film you'd expect from Edward G. Robinson in 1931. While he was well-known for his gangster roles, this character isn't a saint by any stretch, but he's far from vicious or deadly like "Little Caesar". In addition, this early film is the only film that ever paired him with Jimmy Cagney. Cagney, at this point, was the lesser star and has a rather small role in the film as Robinson's right-hand man. The breakout film, THE PUBLIC ENEMY, was released just before SMART MONEY and at the point of making this second film, the studio didn't know that he was now a mega-star.

Robinson is a barber with an uncanny ability to gamble and win. Eventually, he and his friends pool their money and send him to "the big city" and even though he at first is bankrupted, he eventually becomes the biggest and most famous gambler around the country. The only problems are that he's a lousy judge of women AND the District Attorney is out to get him no matter what it takes! The film is pretty well written and interesting--not the usual gangster stuff. Plus, there are a few neat scenes that took place since the film was created before the strict Production Code was created--so you get to see Eddie kick a woman in the rear as well as have another lady try to offer him sex to pay off her debt to him! Pretty risqué here and there, but in general this isn't really that violent or salacious a film. Just a good drama with some nice twists and decent acting.

PS--When you watch the film, look for a brief cameo by Boris Karloff. He does have a few speaking lines, but he has a rather odd accent--a Brit trying to sound like an American mug.


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