CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rita Hayworth shines in The Strawberry Blonde (1941) alongside James Cagney and Olivia de Havilland

The Strawberry Blonde and Biff on a date

Since Rita Hayworth is my classic movie goddess of the month, I decided to watch some of  her movies. Top of the list, the wonderful period comedy from 1941 The Strawberry Blonde, co-starring James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland and Jack Carson. Talk about some star power. Rita is Virginia Brush, the Strawberry Blonde, who is every guy's dream. She has so many callers coming to date her, it borders on the ridiculous.  Biff Grimes (played by James Cagney) is the dentist of their small town who takes a fancy to her, so when his best bud Hugo (played by the always reliable Jack Carson) sets up a double date with Virginia and her friend Amy (Olivia de Havilland) who is a brash suffragette, the fireworks begin. Amy doesn't hold back on her ideas which include doing everything a man can do, like smoking and swearing. And she believes there is nothing wrong with winking at men so they can pick her up. She has the most delightful wink too.

Heads turn as Virginia walks by

Anyway Biff prefers Virginia but Hugo always manages to steal her away. Biff does manage one date with Virginia which turns out to be great but weeks later she winds up marrying Hugo. Biff and Amy end up marrying but Biff still carries a torch for Virginia. Flash forward a few years where Biff is struggling and Virigina convinces Hugo to give him a job. Which is fine until some documents get signed that shouldn't have and Biff has to take the fall. And he resents Hugo even more. They will meet years later on when Hugo needs emergency surgery on his tooth and Biff relishes the opportunity. Let's just say it's a painful extraction for Hugo.

Biff caught between two girls

I love this movie. All four leads are great, especially Cagney and De havilland. They really make this movie but also get wonderful support from Carson and Hayworth. So nice seeing Hayworth in a comedy, where I think she could have been a top screen comedienne had she did more of them. Also co-stars Alan Hale as Biff's dad and George Reeves (TV's Superman) as a Yale student who gets into a brawl with Biff. Good stuff!

Amy and Biff


Irene Palfy said...

Just love this film.. Can't say more - just I love it.. :")

MovieFreak said...

Olivia de Havilland completely steals this whole film! i was cracking up with her so much especially when she is trying to act a little tough and then James Cagney just comes and tears down her front. i think i absolutely died when she gave a wink to a guy that was walking by! i love Olivia and James together i wish they had been paired more. the whole film is adorable as soon as it was over i wanted to watch it again.


Related Posts with Thumbnails