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6 - The Strawberry Blonde (1941)

A cracking change of pace for James Cagney, here playing pugnacious hot-head, Biff Grimes, desperately in love with scheming social climber, Virginia Brush (Rita Hayworth). When she sets her sights on the more enterprising Hugo Barnstead (Jack Carson), Biff is left with the rather more modern thinking Amy (Olivia de Havilland). The film charts their turbulent courtship, and subsequent bumps in the road, as Biff comes to realise that his dream girl may be right in front of his eyes.

Cagney and de Havilland's chemistry is magnificent; he the backward traditionalist appalled by the idea of a smoking, free-thinking gal, and she the quick-witted radical who matches his insults blow for blow.

Magic Moment: Fresh out of prison, Biff takes a walk in the park.

Go to Number 5

Strawberry Blonde [DVD] [1941] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Starring James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland, Rita Hayworth, Alan Hale, Jack Carson