Quick-tempered yet likable Biff Grimes falls for the beautiful Virginia Brush, but he is not the only young man in the neighborhood who is smitten with her.Quick-tempered yet likable Biff Grimes falls for the beautiful Virginia Brush, but he is not the only young man in the neighborhood who is smitten with her.Quick-tempered yet likable Biff Grimes falls for the beautiful Virginia Brush, but he is not the only young man in the neighborhood who is smitten with her.
I never even heard of Jack Carson before this film. But I must say, I was widely impressed how he handled his character against Cagney's screen presence. Carson was beautifully convincing as the crude, conniving-yet-vulnerable, conning Hugo Barnstead. And his character ability alongside Hayworth's 'strawberry blonde' is Killer at best. The way their character's are allowed full march to play off each other is the big comic-relief in this movie -- almost stealing the comical cuteness from Cagney's character. This film was also Rita Hayworth's big screen debut. When she originally auditioned for the role, she was ecstatic about the possibility of playing alongside Cagney, for he was her favorite screen villain. She considered Cagney a genius, almost more talented than counterpart Humphrey Bogart. When she was ultimately (and convincingly) cast as Virginia Brush, she about went through the floor (information, courtesy of Warner Bros.). Being in her very first major screen film, and alongside Cagney was a dream come true for Hayworth. She didn't think she would be good enough, however, the rest of the cast (most especially Cagney), worked diligently with her to perfect her character performance, alongside Carson. Overall, the film critics rated her performance as "exceptional". I absolutely LOVED Hayworth in this film. I have always liked Rita Hayworth. But outside this movie, and a few other juicy roles she had, I did not know that she lived in constant insecurity throughout much of her Hollywood career that she didn't feel she 'measured up' to the star-status of the other actresses (poor girl!). Well, she did beautifully in this role of the 'Strawberry Blonde'.
I fell so much in love with this movie classic, that I also modified a personal copy of the script.
- Oct 20, 2006