Blonde Crazy - 1931
Blonde Crazy - Released November 14, 1931 - Directed by Roy Del Ruth
The film begins with the on screen title of: "The leading Hotel of a small mid-western city"
James Cagney is a smarmy bellhop constantly looking to run a minor con on someone, and he tries to do so on the new hotel employee played by Joan Blondell (she's a maid). But she's streetwise and can't be taken, and soon Cagney's cagey con-artist is upping his game to try and win her approval, and eventually the two become an enterprising con-artist team that travels higher into upper class society while specializing in stealing from other crooks (they target other crooks because the maid isn't going to tolerate stealing from the hoi polloi).
The title Blonde Crazy seems to be a play on two things: the phrase "gone crazy" and the obvious reference to pre-code era star Joan Blondell and her hair.
Cagney and Blondell are a good match because they're both sharp with their dialogue and fast, though Cagney's faster and sharper, which isn't usual with Blondell in a 1930's picture where she often leaves the male lead tagging along behind.
From former screen legends who have faded into obscurity to new revelations about the biggest movie stars, Valderrama unearths the most fascinating little-known tales from the birth of Hollywood through its Golden Age.
Winner of the 2020 Peter C. Rollins Book Award
Longlisted for the 2020 Moving Image Book Award by the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation
Named a 2019 Richard Wall Memorial Award Finalist by the Theatre Library Association
Original Page December 2012 | Updated March 17, 2021