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The Strawberry Blonde (1941)

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

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

Julius J. Epstein (screen play), Philip G. Epstein (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Cagney ... Biff Grimes
Olivia de Havilland ... Amy Lind
Rita Hayworth ... Virginia Brush
Alan Hale ... Old Man Grimes
Jack Carson ... Hugo Barnstead
George Tobias ... Nicholas Pappalas
Una O'Connor ... Mrs. Mulcahey
George Reeves ... Harold
Lucile Fairbanks ... Harold's Girl Friend
Edward McNamara Edward McNamara ... Big Joe
Helen Lynd ... Josephine
Herbert Heywood 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 February 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

One Sunday Afternoon See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Even though IMDB and some other websites use the title "The Strawberry Blonde," the Warner Bros. collateral at the time of release and the current Warner Archives DVD do not include "The," leaving the title as simply "Strawberry Blonde." See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Amy Lind: [Virginia is disappointed that Amy didn't change]
Amy Lind: I'm proud of my uniform. It's a sign to the men that women not only have the same right to work as the men, but that in the eyes...
Virginia Brush: Ooh hush, Amy. You're not at a suffragette meeting now!
Amy Lind: [continuing her tirade] The tyranny for man or for woman. The stupid convention that says a woman will wear such and such. The...
Virginia Brush: Please, Amy, just tonight, try to be a woman not a pamphlet.
Amy Lind: [she stands up, looking at the sky] Women throughout the ages... oh, it's...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Strangers on a Train (1951) 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

 
Brilliant, crisp film-making
29 December 2004 | by mik-19See all my reviews

I have a soft spot for this movie, it makes me cry and it challenges me. It hovers eagle-like over other pieces of quaint, nostalgic Americana in its brilliant mise-en-scène by overlooked film-maker Raoul Walsh, its crisp and very acute script, and its wonderful acting.

James Cagney is the small-town dentist, just out of jail, having been framed by his business partner and boyhood best friend, Jack Carson. Carson married the local beauty, Rita Hayworth of the film's title, and left Cagney with Hayworth's best friend, the free-thinking, no-nonsense Olivia De Havilland. And now, after all these years, Cagney learns that Carson is on his way to his dentist's practice with a bad tooth-ache. What to do ...?

There is such pain underlying all the ebullient humor of 'The Strawberry Blonde', and as usual Walsh gets away with superlative results from mixing genres. From the first frames of the bulldog chasing the cat and the two different social environments on each side of the garden wall, on one side throwing horse-shoes, on the other playing cricket, Walsh wastes no time and is always to the point, telling his story.

Everybody in this movie is perfect. Hayworth waltzes through it all by way of her radiant looks, but Cagney surpasses himself as this charming bigot, always with a black eye to show for the numerous scrapes he gets into.

Olivia De Havilland deserves a whole chapter to herself. I doubt if she was ever better than as the tough kooky, Amy, who never tires of preaching women's lib to Hayworth's Virginia ("I refuse to listen to advanced ideas!"). "What did we come for if not to be trifled with?", she asks, indignantly, of Virginia, seated as they are on the bench in the park, waiting for their beaus. She calls marriage "an institution started by the cavemen and endorsed by florists and jewelers" and insists on her right to pick up men by winking at them. De Havilland is hilarious, and you also notice the vulnerability beneath the feminist swagger.

Not everybody will care for 'The Strawberry Blonde'. If you only give it a superficial look, you will find it dated and cutesy, whereas it is everything but.


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