Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


IRISH EYES ARE SMILING (1944). Director: Gregory Ratoff.

This purports to tell the life story of composer Ernest R. Ball (Dick Haymes) who wrote such popular songs as When Irish Eyes Are Smiling and Mother Macree. However it comes off as just the usual fictionalized schlock in most of these Hollywood musical biopics about subjects who are too dead to protest and whose life story is not well known enough for the audience to care. June Haver is the quick-with-her-fist gal that Ball falls in love with. Veda Ann Borg shows up briefly in a vivid bit as a bitchy performer who fires Haver. Monty Woolley, the real star of the film, gives an excellent performance, but he's completely wasted in this tripe. Haymes makes a pleasant and attractive leading man, and has a nice voice. Haver is as competent as ever; she's just not very distinctive. Famous baritone Leonard Warren sings one of the ballads and steals the show. Clarence Kolb and Anthony Quinn are along for the ride. Nice music. The Bonnie with a Bustle number is high camp. A completely contrived script.

Verdict: Can't beat that bustle! **.

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