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The Strawberry Blonde (1941)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 22 February 1941 (USA)
Quick tempered but likable Biff Grimes falls for beautiful Virginia Brush, but he is not the only young man in the neighborhood who is smitten with her.



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Amy Lind
Virginia Brush
Old Man Grimes
Hugo Barnstead
Nicholas Pappalas
Mrs. Mulcahey
Harold's Girl Friend
Edward McNamara ...
Big Joe
Herbert Heywood ...


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


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 February 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Uma Loira com Açúcar  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The TCM print ran 99 minutes; the extra 2 minutes was due to a 'follow-the-bouncing-ball' sing-along after "The End," to the main song "The Band Played On." See more »


When the two policemen arrive at Biff's (James Cagney) home to arrest him, Biff addresses the one to his right as Matt, however when he introduces him to wife Amy (Olivia de Havilland), Biff calls him Charlie Brown and states that the other policeman is Matt Hughes. See more »


Nicholas Pappalas: [Listening to somg from German ooomph-band leader] Boy, how those moiders the English language!
See more »


Version of The Ford Theatre Hour: One Sunday Afternoon (1949) See more »


Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie
(1905) (uncredited)
Music by Harry von Tilzer
Lyrics by 'Andrew Sterling (II)'
See more »

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User Reviews

See a charming, romantic side of Cagney you never knew!
20 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I remember the first time I watched this film, was on my father's VHS copy. The title did not really take me at first because it wasn't one of those recognizable blockbuster films from the early 40's. However, when I saw Cagney and DeHavilland's names on the cover, I KNEW this movie HAD to be good. My father already owned most of the Cagney film collection anyway. The first thing that struck me about this film was the opening fanfare, "And the Band Played On...". Wow, talk about taking you back into an era we not fortunate enough to have been born in, Turn of the Century (1900). For the most part, the cinematography is awesome. This film was not produced in Technicolor, but it really didn't need to be, for the brilliant photography really brings out the authenticity of the whole setting, especially the costumes. The vibrancy of the camera photography focused on Rita Hayworth's costuming is almost breathtaking. At times you almost feel like you are watching parts of Gone With The Wind, that's how vibrant and masterful the cinematography is. And older audiences who appreciated Cagneys' later works will most certainly appreciate this movie well. Here's a still-cocky, arrogant angle of the Cagney we remember and loved---however, this film allowed the actor to bring out his vulnerable, charming, romantic side as well. And he does it so smoothly and brilliantly, being well cast opposite the loveliness of legendary Olivia DeHavilland (remember, MISS MELANIE "Gone With The Wind"). DeHavilland shines brightly in one of her better, finer roles, not too soon after GWTW wrapped up, allowing her to really expand not only the soft sweetness we remembered from her Miss Melanie of GWTW, but also take a sharp turn with front boldness as well. So we get a little bit of Scarlett O'Hara in the mix. The best of both world's with DeHavilland's character.

I never even heard of Jack Carson before this film. But I must say, I was widely impressed how he handled his character against Cagney's screen presence. Carson was beautifully convincing as the crude, conniving-yet-vulnerable, conning Hugo Barnstead. And his character ability alongside Hayworth's 'strawberry blonde' is Killer at best. The way their character's are allowed full march to play off each other is the big comic-relief in this movie -- almost stealing the comical cuteness from Cagney's character. This film was also Rita Hayworth's big screen debut. When she originally auditioned for the role, she was ecstatic about the possibility of playing alongside Cagney, for he was her favorite screen villain. She considered Cagney a genius, almost more talented than counterpart Humphrey Bogart. When she was ultimately (and convincingly) cast as Virginia Brush, she about went through the floor (information, courtesy of Warner Bros.). Being in her very first major screen film, and alongside Cagney was a dream come true for Hayworth. She didn't think she would be good enough, however, the rest of the cast (most especially Cagney), worked diligently with her to perfect her character performance, alongside Carson. Overall, the film critics rated her performance as "exceptional". I absolutely LOVED Hayworth in this film. I have always liked Rita Hayworth. But outside this movie, and a few other juicy roles she had, I did not know that she lived in constant insecurity throughout much of her Hollywood career that she didn't feel she 'measured up' to the star-status of the other actresses (poor girl!). Well, she did beautifully in this role of the 'Strawberry Blonde'.

I fell so much in love with this movie classic, that I also modified a personal copy of the script.


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