When Anne Roberts (Joan Blondell) tries to get a job as a hotel housekeeper, bellhop Bert Harris (James Cagney) takes one look at her and knows he wants her to work at the hotel. The position has already been filled, but Bert fixes it so that Anne gets the job. Even though Bert is a bellhop by day, he’s got gambling and bootleg alcohol rackets going on the side and he wants Anne to be his partner in crime.
After catching hotel guest A. Rupert Johnson, Jr. (Guy Kibbee) in a compromising situation, Johnson gives Bert quite a bit of money to keep his mouth shut. Bert and Anne go to a fancy hotel in another city to celebrate and end up meeting fellow con artist Dan Barker (Louis Calhern). Dan and Bert plan a scam to pull together, but in the end, it’s Bert and Anne are the ones who get ripped off. They hop on a train to try to find Dan, but on the way, Anne meets and falls in love with Joe Reynolds (Ray Milland). Joe is more sophisticated and cultured than Bert and Anne can’t resist that. Even though Bert confesses his feelings toward her, Anne decides marries Joe instead.
A year passes and turns out Joe is much more like Bert than Anne realized. He’s stolen $30,000 from the company he works for and is facing a prison sentence. Anne knows the only person who can possibly get him out of this mess is Bert, so she turns to him for help. Bert comes up with a plan, but it backfires and Bert is the one who ends up in prison. When Anne comes to visit him, she tells Bert that she loved him all along.
What a duo James Cagney and Joan Blondell were! I’ve seen nearly all of the movies they made together and I’d say Blonde Crazy is one of their best, second only to Footlight Parade. Blonde Crazy is practically tailor-made for Cagney and Blondell — snappy dialogue, pre-code antics, and plenty of chances for Blondell to be sassy and for Cagney to be his high-energy self. They make it an absolutely irresistible movie. Whether you’re a fan of Cagney, Blondell, or pre-codes in general, you will have a lot of fun with Blonde Crazy.