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||IMDB Rating: 6.9/10 from 1,099 votes
||Release: 11 July 1931 (USA) /
||Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
||Director: Alfred E. Green,
||Stars: Billy House, Edward G. Robinson, Evalyn Knapp, Gladys Lloyd, James Cagney, Margaret Livingston, Maurice Black, Noel Francis, Paul Porcasi, Polly Walters, Ralf Harolde
||Synopsis: Nick Venizelos, an immigrant Greek barber, has an uncommon affinity for poker and other sorts of wagering and a group of his friends bankroll him in a big game, where his weakness for pretty blondes is taken advantage of by sleazy operator Sleepy Sam who cleans him out in a rigged game. Nick accepts help from his buddy Jack as they turn the tables on the grifters, but triumph soon changes to tragedy. Written by Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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This is not exactly the sort of film you'd expect from Edward G.
Robinson in 1931. While he was well-known for his gangster roles, this
character isn't a saint by any stretch, but he's far from vicious or
deadly like "Little Caesar". In addition, this early film is the only
film that ever paired him with Jimmy Cagney. Cagney, at this point, was
the lesser star and has a rather small role in the film as Robinson's
right-hand man. The breakout film, THE PUBLIC ENEMY, was released just
before SMART MONEY and at the point of making this second film, the
studio didn't know that he was now a mega-star.
Robinson is a barber with an uncanny ability to gamble and win.
Eventually, he and his friends pool their money and send him to "the
big city" and even though he at first is bankrupted, he eventually
becomes the biggest and most famous gambler around the country. The
only problems are that he's a lousy judge of women AND the District
Attorney is out to get him no matter what it takes! The film is pretty
well written and interesting--not the usual gangster stuff. Plus, there
are a few neat scenes that took place since the film was created before
the strict Production Code was created--so you get to see Eddie kick a
woman in the rear as well as have another lady try to offer him sex to
pay off her debt to him! Pretty risqué here and there, but in general
this isn't really that violent or salacious a film. Just a good drama
with some nice twists and decent acting.
PS--When you watch the film, look for a brief cameo by Boris Karloff.
He does have a few speaking lines, but he has a rather odd accent--a
Brit trying to sound like an American mug.
Tags for Smart Money Full Movie
, Edward G. Robinson
, Evalyn Knapp
, Gladys Lloyd
, James Cagney
, Margaret Livingston
, Maurice Black
, Noel Francis
, Paul Porcasi
, Polly Walters
, Ralf Harolde
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