30 user 21 critic

Smart Money (1931)

Passed | | Crime, Drama | 11 July 1931 (USA)
A 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.


Alfred E. Green


Kubec Glasmon (screen story and dialogue), John Bright (screen story and dialogue) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Edward G. Robinson ... Nick 'The Barber' Venizelos
James Cagney ... Jack
Evalyn Knapp ... Irene Graham
Ralf Harolde ... Sleepy Sam
Noel Francis ... Marie
Margaret Livingston ... 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


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


Just a small-town barber who became a "big-shot" gambler-riding high and handsome until he went balmy for a blonde! (Print Ad-New York Sun, ((New York, NY)) 25 June 1931) See more »


Crime | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


When Nick "The Barber" Venizelos (Edward G. Robinson) calls his porter "George," it probably isn't an indication of friendliness or familiarity. White passengers on Pullman car trains often called all of the black porters George, to remind them that they were essentially servants of George Pullman, the white President of the Pullman Car Company. It was a practice that many of the porters secretly resented. See more »


When "drowning" girl is rescued, it's late at night when she's driven to Nick's home, but when they pull up in front of his house, it's broad daylight. See more »


Nick 'The Barber' Venizelos: Marie, open up the suitcase and hang up my checkered suit.
See more »


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


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

User Reviews

Bright and smart
27 February 2014 | by jarrodmcdonald-1See all my reviews

Smart Money offers viewers a chance to see two well-known stars of the 1930s gangster film cycle, together in action: Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney. Mr. Robinson plays the lead in this picture, with Mr. Cagney offering excellent support.

But the real treat, in this writer's opinion, is the script by John Bright. Mr. Bright previously wrote the book 'Beer and Blood' that serves as the basis for Public Enemy. Since Bright is writing about his experiences growing up in Chicago, he clearly knows these types of characters first-hand. As a result, there is an authenticity in this picture that makes it just as important as Public Enemy or Little Caesar. Though in the case of this film, the emphasis seems to be on humor, rather than violence.

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Release Date:

11 July 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Smart Money See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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