6.9/10
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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 »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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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 ... 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

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Charles Lane. 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: I don't suppose it's very easy for you girls.
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

 
Very watchable even after all these years
5 January 2008 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is not exactly the sort of film you'd expect from Edward G. Robinson in 1931. While he was well-known for his gangster roles, this character isn't a saint by any stretch, but he's far from vicious or deadly like "Little Caesar". In addition, this early film is the only film that ever paired him with Jimmy Cagney. Cagney, at this point, was the lesser star and has a rather small role in the film as Robinson's right-hand man. The breakout film, THE PUBLIC ENEMY, was released just before SMART MONEY and at the point of making this second film, the studio didn't know that he was now a mega-star.

Robinson is a barber with an uncanny ability to gamble and win. Eventually, he and his friends pool their money and send him to "the big city" and even though he at first is bankrupted, he eventually becomes the biggest and most famous gambler around the country. The only problems are that he's a lousy judge of women AND the District Attorney is out to get him no matter what it takes! The film is pretty well written and interesting--not the usual gangster stuff. Plus, there are a few neat scenes that took place since the film was created before the strict Production Code was created--so you get to see Eddie kick a woman in the rear as well as have another lady try to offer him sex to pay off her debt to him! Pretty risqué here and there, but in general this isn't really that violent or salacious a film. Just a good drama with some nice twists and decent acting.

PS--When you watch the film, look for a brief cameo by Boris Karloff. He does have a few speaking lines, but he has a rather odd accent--a Brit trying to sound like an American mug.


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