Favorite things about… Blonde Crazy (1931)

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(Image via Rare Film)

The favorite film:
Blonde Crazy, a pre-code crime comedy from Warner Bros.

The cast:
James Cagney as Bert
Joan Blondell as Ann
Louis Calhern as Dapper Dan
Noel Francis as Helen
Ray Milland as Joe
Guy Kibbee as A. Rupert Johnson Jr.

The synopsis:
Bellhop Bert Harris helps Ann Roberts get a job as a chambermaid at the hotel where he works. Bellhoppin’ isn’t Bert’s only job. He’s also a gambler, a bootlegger, and a blackmailer. After one particularly successful blackmailing scheme, Bert and Ann leave town together, winding up at a fancy hotel where Bert may carry out more schemes with the notorious con man Dapper Dan Barker.

Fun facts:

  • The film was directed by Roy Del Ruth, one of five collaborations between the director and James Cagney.
  • The film was originally titled Larceny Lane, according to TCM. This title was preserved for the British release of the film.
  • Joan Blondell was named a WAMPAS Baby Star during the filming of Blonde Crazy.
  • Joan Blondell and James Cagney co-starred in seven films: Sinner’s Holiday, Other Men’s Women, The Public Enemy, Blonde Crazy, The Crowd Roars, Footlight Parade, and He Was Her Man. All of these films were released between 1930 and 1934.
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(Image via Doctor Macro’s High Quality Movie Scans)

Favorite things (& quotes):

  • Bert leaning over the table and flirting with Mrs. Snyder to secure a job for Ann
  • “And the worst monkey of them all is that guy Bert Harris!”
  • Bert wooing (or, attempting to woo) Ann with “hooch and sandwiches”
  • Bert saying that he wouldn’t mind if Ann socked him every day (after being socked by her over that “hooch and sandwiches” scheme)
  • Bert’s laugh
  • “He’s doing better than alright! Look what he’s pushing around!”
  • “You’re not a collar ad, but you’re not bad looking either.”
  • “Why should I be jealous of a bleached-out bag like that?”
  • “I wish you could get it through your thick skull that I’m not at all interested in your lady-friends!”
  • “I’ve taken money out of a lot of funny places, but never anything like this before, hooooney!”
  • “Lucky for you, I wasn’t there. You’d probably be minus an eye!”
  • “It’s tough nowadays. Sometimes, I think I’ll go legit.”
  • Bert reading Reynolds’ poetry aloud (complete with dramatic hand motions)
  • Bert’s reaction to learning that Ann is in love with another man — saying it’s okay because he would have messed something up “before the rice was out of [her] hair,” etc.
  • “What is it, a wedding or a funeral?” “Both.”
  • Things take a dramatic turn near the end there! Very dramatic.
  • Ann and Bert’s repetition of “hooooney” and “baaaaaby” throughout the whole film
  • Bert’s adorable smile after Ann says she loves him
  • “If I had the wings of an angel hooooney, over these prison walls I would fly!”
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  1. Pingback: August 2016 in Film (+ a small blog announcement) | The Motion Pictures

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