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Smart Money (1931)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  11 July 1931 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 899 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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Nick Venizelos
...
Evalyn Knapp ...
Irene Graham
Ralf Harolde ...
Sleepy Sam
Noel Francis ...
Marie
...
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:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 July 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Mulheres Enganam Sempre  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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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: 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: James Cagney (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Robinson Riveting Once More; Cagney A Bonus In Here
9 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Two very famous little guys playing cocky guys - Edward G. Robinson and Jimmy Cagney; who could ask for anything more? Well, maybe a little more Cagney, as he is just a supporting player here, but overall I had no complaints watching this 1931 film.

Robinson was great in the lead as "Nick the Barber," (full name "Nick Venizelos.") Cagney is "Jack," an old friend who is employed by Nick. The Greek is a barber, but he's really a full-time gambler or evolves into that role quickly during this story. He goes from small-town hick to big city boss but the road is bumpy along the way. He gets taken by the big crook in town twice, gets hustled by a couple of blondes (Nick's real weakness) but overcomes all of them to be gambling czar.

After Nick's successful jaunts at revenge are completed, the last third of the film is devoted to the city's district attorney trying to get some goods on Nick and put him away and get him out of his city.

This movie, as expected considering the year it was made, is very dated but another of those early '30s films that has a lot of snap, crackle and pop to it. The dialog is crisp and edgy with the expressions of the day and everybody is just nasty enough to make them all interesting characters.

Robinson, as in "Little Caesar," is super in here, much like the cocky gangster roles Cagney also would play in the same period ("The Public Enemy," "Lady Killer," etc.).

The blondes all look similar with the short curly hair of the period and the sexism, racism and other "isms" are all on display here in this fun "gangster movie." The ending was odd but that, too, was the mark of these Pre-Code films which certainly were different.

Now that it's out on DVD, check this film out if you're a fan of the early crime genre, or a fan of Robinson's. You won't be disappointed.


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