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Author Topic: Smart Money (1931)  (Read 949 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« on: August 13, 2012, 05:42:05 AM »

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022403/

Smart Money (1931)

cast, courtesy of imdb

Edward G. Robinson    ...   Nick 'The Barber' Venizelos
    James Cagney    ...   Jack
    Evalyn Knapp    ...   Irene Graham
    Ralf Harolde    ...   Sleepy Sam, earlier mistaken for Hickory Short
    Noel Francis    ...   Marie (Sleepy Sam's girl)
    Margaret Livingston    ...   District Attorney's girl
    Maurice Black    ...   Greek barber
    Billy House    ...   Irontown salesman-gambler (as William House)
    Paul Porcasi    ...   Alexander Amenoppopolus
    Gladys Lloyd    ...   Second cigar stand clerk
    Polly Walters    ...   Lola (manicurist)


Robinson plays a Greek country barber who moves to the city -- with his buddy played by Cagney -- and moves up in the gambling world. This is more of a gambling movie than a gangster movie. This was the only movie that Robinson and Cagney appeared in together. And in this pre-Code-enforcement movie, Cagney and Ed G. are giving it to each other up the ass  Grin

I give this a 7.5/10

This film was released about 3 months after The Public Enemy, and 6 months after Little Caesar. Not sure when it was filmed in relation to those movies, but I'd have to assume that it was filmed before the release of The Public Enemy; if WB knew what a star Cagney was to become in The Public Enemy, he probably wouldn't have gotten this supporting role - even a supporting role as significant as this one.

Some call this a "gangster film;" TCM put it on their Greatest Classic Gangster Films: Prohibition Era DVD boxset (along with with The Public Enemy, Little Caesar, and The Roaring Twenties). But IMO this is not really a "gangster film" (and certainly has nothing to do with Prohibition); Robinson is a gambler, this is not about organized crime. Nevertheless, since it has Robinson and Cagney, and they're gambling which is definitely an illegal activity, and it's made right around the beginning of the WB Gangster Cycle, some people consider it a Gangster Film; IMO, it's interesting for fans of the Gangster genre to see, to see the genre that was just in its infancy; you get the fast-talking Robinson and Cagney, so it has some similarities to the gangster films, though not a gangster film....

« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 05:23:14 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2017, 04:08:27 PM »

Lots of pretty blondes here. The women in these '30's gangster or almost movie look much better than their counterparts in the '40's and '50's. But, guess what, Robinson and Cagney play a gay couple. At least Cagney plays a homosexual and Robinson a bisexual. And Cagney is clearly having fun out of it: only fun he had as his part is minor. The movie is made up of two parts and the second (the rise of Robinson to gambling czar or almost) has got a little imaginative conclusion. But the movie is worth a peep. 6/10

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drinkanddestroy
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2017, 05:26:56 PM »

Lots of pretty blondes here. The women in these '30's gangster or almost movie look much better than their counterparts in the '40's and '50's. But, guess what, Robinson and Cagney play a gay couple. At least Cagney plays a homosexual and Robinson a bisexual. And Cagney is clearly having fun out of it: only fun he had as his part is minor. The movie is made up of two parts and the second (the rise of Robinson to gambling czar or almost) has got a little imaginative conclusion. But the movie is worth a peep. 6/10

I liked this more than you did.

Definitely, Cagney and Robinson are pitching and catching.

And Robinson plays total queer in Little Caesar. Zero interest in chicks.

p.s. in the book  The Hoods - which supposedly is based on real life but also (according to Leone) a lot is ripped off gangster movies - the gang IMO is bisexual as well.

I guess that in a censorship-free world, the bad guys have to be both kicking ass and well as giving/taking it up the ass.

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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 02:01:02 AM »

Well, I liked the first half but the second is so uninventive that brings the first down the drain: they are visibly disconnected. In the first part Robinson is definitively hetero and Cagney is simply out of the picture. Looks like those who devised the second half wanted to have fun with the characters.  And in the censorship-free world you have The Godfather and Goodfellas. There the family (with extramarital relationships) and procreation rule, no room for gay relationship.

« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 02:10:46 AM by titoli » Logged

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