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The Strawberry Blonde (1941)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,897 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 12 critic

Quick-tempered but likable Biff grimes falls big for beautiful Virginia Brush, but he's not the only young man in the neighborhood who's smitten.

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Title: The Strawberry Blonde (1941)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Amy Lind
...
Virginia Brush
...
Old Man Grimes
...
Hugo Barnstead
...
Nicholas Pappalas
...
Mrs. Mulcahey
...
Harold
Lucile Fairbanks ...
Harold's Girl Friend
Edward McNamara ...
Big Joe
Helen Lynd ...
Josephine
Herbert Heywood ...
Toby
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Storyline

Biff Grimes is pugnacious but likable young man during the Gay 90's living with his ne'er-do-well father, noted for their scrappy personalities and quick tempers. Like every other young man in town, Biff has a crush on gorgeous and flirtatious 'strawberry blonde' Virginia Brush, who gets catcalls every time she walks past the all-male clientèle of the neighborhood barber shop. Biff is joined in his admiration by his friends, Nick Pappalis, an immigrant Greek barber, and Hugo Barnsfeld, an unscrupulously ambitious young man who doesn't let anything stand in the way of what he wants, including Virginia. Utilizing both fair means and foul Hugo sweeps Vrginia off her feet and frames Biff as the fall guy in a political graft schemee. However, every dog has his day, and eight years later Biff stands poised to take his revenge. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 February 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Uma Loira com Açúcar  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Hagen's play, "One Sunday Afternoon," opened at the Little Theatre in New York City on 15 February 1933 and closed in November 1933 after 322 performances. Lloyd Nolan played Biff Grimes. See more »

Goofs

The skins of the bananas that Biff eats, disappear from under the bench when he and Virginia stand up. See more »

Quotes

Virginia Brush: I don't want him to think I am staring at him. You look at him and tell me what you think of him.
Amy Lind: Well, the only one I can see clearly from here is the horse,
[hesitates]
Amy Lind: and I'm disappointed in him.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Men Who Made the Movies: Raoul Walsh (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis
(1904) (uncredited)
Music by Kerry Mills
Lyrics by Andrew B. Sterling
Sung by George Reeves, Lucile Fairbanks and others
See more »

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User Reviews

A totally engaging, charming and wonderful little romantic comedy.
4 February 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

A completely charming movie from the early 1940's, "The Strawberry Blonde" is both a lesson on just how funny romantic comedies can and should be, as well as being a brilliant example of just what a great actor James Cagney was when he wasn't necessarily in Gangster mode. And, considering "The Strawberry Blonde" is from the director of gangster pictures such as the classic "White Heat," one could almost argue that the unachieveable is achieved in making this charming tale a total success.

James Cagney is Biff Grimes, a likeable if slightly simple student dentist, whose always seemed to come second place with everything he does in life. This includes the relationships he has with the opposite sex. However, when Grimes becomes infatuated with a new lady in town (Rita Hayworth a.k.a The Strawberry Blonde), he's determined to do anything to get a date with her. However, as usual, Virginia shows interest in Grimes' best friend (Jack Carson) instead, leaving Biff to be endlessly frustrated in non-stop arguments with The Strawberry Blonde's best friend, Amy (The remarkable Olivia De Havilland). However, as Grimes' relationship increases with Amy (When he'd rather it be with Virginia), he finds himself stuck in an extraordinary situation when the prospect of marriage looms.

There are moments in "The Strawberry Blonde" which are quite remarkably funny, and, when it's not being funny, it's just being plain entertaining. In fact, there's never a dull moment in this movie, and it's really both true and fair to say that they just don't make pictures like this any more.

Also very much to its credit, unlike so many other films made during the Hollywood studio system, "The Strawberry Blonde" gives a very positive image of women, even finding time to respect and to poke a little fun at 'Women's rights,' yet still managing to make Amy a very feminine character, and yet a no-nonsense and sometimes quite a domineering one. The many scenes between herself and Cagney are brilliant, and, the picture goes off in a direction towards the end that, again to its credit, comes quite unexpectedly.

All the main performances are excellent, and whilst this is James Cagney in 'Nice' mode, he's still plenty aggressive enough in this movie, with a rage and temper to match anyones (Perhaps most obvious in one of the opening sequences). Indeed, for those who can't stand a Cagney movie without a little violence, "The Strawberry Blonde" has a couple of fist fights and comic moments to keep even those members of the audience entertained. Maybe it's the little ideas that keep "The Strawberry Blonde" on track - The idea of making James Cagney a dentist (James Cagney a Dentist?!), or the even more successful addition of the comic relationship that Biff has between his wild, drunken father.

The tune 'The Band plays on' is played throughout the movie (Another nice touch), and is an important and very comic part of it, and whilst the tale is quite a sentimental little one, it never goes overboard with the slush. Even those with the hardest of hearts won't disagree that "The Strawberry Blonde" is one sweet little film that is as entertaining as it is over-and-over rewatchable.

A real Hollywood gem, this one comes highly recommended.


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