(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.
(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!”