6.9/10
1,430
25 user 17 critic

Smart Money (1931)

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

Director:

Alfred E. Green

Writers:

Kubec Glasmon (screen story and dialogue), John Bright (screen story and dialogue) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Lou Ricarno is a smart guy. His plan is to organize the various gangs in Chicago so that the mugs will not liquidate each other. WIth the success of his leadership, Louie prospers, marries ... See full summary »

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Lew Ayres, James Cagney, Charles Judels
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When Prohibition ends, a beer baron sees the writing on the wall, quits the rackets, and tries to break into California society.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Mary Astor, Helen Vinson
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith, are sent to the state reformatory, presided over by the melodramatically callous Thompson. Soon, Patsy Gargan, a former ... See full summary »

Directors: Archie Mayo, Michael Curtiz
Stars: James Cagney, Madge Evans, Arthur Byron
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Ex-convict Danny Kean decides to become honest as a photographer for a paper. He falls in love with Patricia, the daughter of the policeman who arrested him. Mr Nolan, her father, doesn't ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: James Cagney, Ralph Bellamy, Patricia Ellis
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The City Editor of a sleazy tabloid goes against his own journalistic ethics to resurrect a twenty year old murder case... with tragic results.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Marian Marsh, H.B. Warner
Taxi! (1932)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Independent cab drivers struggling against a taxi company consortium find a leader in Matt Nolan.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: James Cagney, Loretta Young, George E. Stone
'G' Men (1935)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

It's the early days of the F.B.I. - federal agents working for the Department of Justice. Though they've got limited powers - they don't carry weapons and have to get local police approval ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley
Stars: James Cagney, Margaret Lindsay, Ann Dvorak
Blonde Crazy (1931)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The adventures of an egoistic con man and his glamorous accomplice.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Louis Calhern
Lady Killer (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A former gangster makes it big in Hollywood, but his old life catches up with him.

Director: Roy Del Ruth
Stars: James Cagney, Mae Clarke, Margaret Lindsay
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Blondell, Barton MacLane
Two Seconds (1932)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A condemned murderer, in the process of being executed, relives the events that led to his being sentenced to die in the electric chair.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Vivienne Osborne, Guy Kibbee
Edit

Cast

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 Maurice Black ... Greek Barber
Billy House ... Irontown Salesman (as William House)
Paul Porcasi ... Alexander Amenoppopolus
Gladys Lloyd ... Second Cigar Stand Clerk
Polly Walters ... Lola
Edit

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:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 July 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

As Mulheres Enganam Sempre See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

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

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: No woman will ever make a sucker outta me again! Nick is plenty smart these days. Yes sir!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

He's a Devil
(uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A smart, fast, well constructed movie, with a shining Edw G. Robinson
12 August 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Smart Money (1931)

A clever story about crime and misguided love (quasi-love) and about the love of money. What's wrong with that? Nothing here. With a remarkable performance by Edward G. Robinson (as usual), and supporting roles by a young James Cagney and a series of blondes who will more or less look alike at first. It might have been something of a formula production for the cast and crew, but it's during the lively pre-1934 sound era where, especially at a studio like Warner Bros., things manage to pop one way or another.

As much as this is a very good film, completely engaging and without gaffes or sentimental slow downs, it remains secondary for 1931 because of several interesting things. First, Robinson had just become famous for "Little Caesar" where he had a shining (and roughly similar) role as a sort of good guy gangster. Second, Cagney was in a rare supporting role, not yet famous for his breakout role in "The Public Enemy" later the same year. Both of these Warner films are better, all around. And a third twist is the appearance early on of Boris Karloff, who was about to launch to superstardom as, yes, "Frankenstein," a Universal film from later in, yes, 1931.

But you should watch "Smart Money" for what it does so well--tells a fast, multi-layered story with economy and life, and with great performances by the leads. The story and direction might fall short of classic, but it's still really solid.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed