Jan. 20, 2011
18. The Strawberry Blonde (1941)
Starring James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland, Rita Hayworth, Alan Hale, Jack Carson, George Tobias
Directed by Raoul Walsh
Plot: “Biff Grimes is crazy about Virginia Brush, but his ‘pal’ Hugo Barnstead marries her himself and makes Biff the fall guy for his shady dealings. Though Hugo seems to have everything Biff wanted, Biff learns that having what one wants and wanting what one has can be two very different things.” (from IMDb)
Though the story is very simple (and rather silly), charismatic performers and a charming turn-of-the-century setting carry this film. Cagney gives a characteristically energetic performance, de Havilland is her usual adorable and talented self, Hayworth shines in one of her few comedic roles, and Carson does a great job of playing the double-crossing friend. I couldn’t help it—by the time the credits rolled and I heard the last chorus of “The Band Played On” I had a big goofy grin on my face.