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The Strawberry Blonde (1941)

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.


Raoul Walsh


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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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


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


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Release Date:

22 February 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Uma Loira com Açúcar See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In March 1941, Warner Brothers was distributing this film on a double bill with another comedy, Honeymoon for Three (1941) starring Ann Sheridan and George Brent. See more »


When Alan Hale gets thrown out of the saloon, we can clearly see his abundant white and gray hair. However the stuntman lands on the ground by the pole, his hair is dark. See more »


Nicholas Pappalas: [while playing horseshoes] Beef, what is it the score?
Biff Grimes: I don't know. Haven't you been keeping track?
Nicholas Pappalas: Since when do I suppose to knowhow to count?
Biff Grimes: You can count in Greek, can't you?
Nicholas Pappalas: But this ain't no Greek game.
Biff Grimes: Are we playing for money?
Nicholas Pappalas: Sure.
Biff Grimes: in that case, I'm way ahead.
Nicholas Pappalas: I think tomorrow mornin' I start to go to night school.
See more »


Version of The Strawberry Blonde (1959) See more »


Let the Rest of the World Go By
(1919) (uncredited)
Music by Ernest Ball
Lyrics by J. Keirn Brennan
See more »

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User Reviews

See a charming, romantic side of Cagney you never knew!
20 October 2006 | by prfrmrSee 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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