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Hard to Handle (1933)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 28 January 1933 (USA)
Small time con artist Lefty Merrill has co-organized a crooked dance marathon and set-up his girlfriend to win the prize money. When his partner disappears with money before the contest is ... See full summary »

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writers:

Robert Lord (screen play), Wilson Mizner (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Cagney ... Lefty Merrill
Mary Brian ... Ruth Waters
Allen Jenkins ... Radio Announcer
Ruth Donnelly ... Lil Waters
Claire Dodd ... Marlene Reeves
Robert McWade ... Charles Reeves
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Storyline

Small time con artist Lefty Merrill has co-organized a crooked dance marathon and set-up his girlfriend to win the prize money. When his partner disappears with money before the contest is over, he's forced to come up with a series of cons to help pay it back. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Movies' Prodigal Son-of-a-Gun is back again! Faster and funnier than "Winner Take All" and "Blonde Crazy"! Caveman Cagney turns on the heat! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 January 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Bad Boy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$189,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The uncredited character "Ralph Blackman - band leader" is a parody of the famous bandleader Paul Whiteman. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the dance marathon Lefty says that the prize money (10 $100 bills) is fresh from the US Mint. The US Mint produces coins. Paper money is produced by the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. See more »

Quotes

Lefty Merrill: What do I know about grapefruit? I never even saw a grapefruit!
See more »

Connections

References The Public Enemy (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Grapefruit Acres
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Played by a radio orchestra and sung by an unidentifed man
Played as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Who Could Really Handle James Cagney?
17 July 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Hard to Handle has James Cagney dusting off his role as con man that he debuted with in Blonde Crazy. That film was a bit more serious and had the virtue of Joan Blondell.

Here the Blondell role is split in two and Cagney deals with a mother/ daughter duo of Ruth Donnelly and Mary Brian. Like Blondell, Donnelly gives as good as she gets from Cagney.

Donnelly and Cagney were roughly the same age and Brian was about six years younger than Cagney. Ridiculous now when you think about Donnelly and Brian being mother and daughter. No film maker could get away with that casting now.

There's no real story to this film, Cagney moves from one con to another, skirting ever so close to illegality. Donnelly and Brian are alternately for and against him and not at the same time either at certain points.

It's a film that relies solely on the charm of Jimmy Cagney which is considerable. And it's the stuff Cagney was disputing with Jack Warner over.

His last con involved the marketing of grapefruit, from the man who made grapefruit tossing a national past time at breakfast/


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