The film depicts Olcott's slow (too slow!) rise to fame, as well as his courtship of flame-haired Rose Donovan (Dahl).
Andrea King plays Lillian Russell, an actress previously portrayed on film by Alice Faye. King plays Russell as brassy but kindhearted; the film is livelier when she's on the screen. King had costarred with Morgan in GOD IS MY CO-PILOT in 1945.
Morgan sings a great many songs, and a viewer's liking for the film may thus depend in part on a liking for Irish tunes! Since I like both Morgan and his voice, I found it mostly enjoyable, although weakly scripted.
The film's final sequence, featuring the title song, is very well done. I believe the pretty little girl Morgan sings to in this number is his real-life daughter, Kristin. According to Morgan's IMDb entry, she appeared in the film when she was eight years old. (As a side note, I love knowing that Morgan and his wife Lillian had been married for 61 years when he passed away in 1994.)
Viewers may want to be aware that the film depicts the era of minstrel shows, and in accurately depicting this entertainment tradition, it includes several scenes with performers in blackface.
As is the case too often in Warner Bros. films of the '40s, the film is frequently weighted down by the leaden "humor" of the male supporting cast, which includes George Tobias, Alan Hale (Sr.), Ben Blue, and George O'Brien. Shaving 10 or 15 minutes of these scenes from this 101-minute film would have made a better movie.
The supporting cast includes Sara Allgood as Olcott's mother and William Frawley as a famous Irish tenor whose voice gives out. Peggy Knudsen and Penny Edwards appear in show sequences.
MY WILD IRISH ROSE was directed by David Butler, who directed several other Dennis Morgan movies. Butler also directed a number of Doris Day films, including CALAMITY JANE (1953) which I think is one of her best movies.
MY WILD IRISH ROSE was recently released on DVD-R by the Warner Archive.
This film can also be seen on TCM, which has posted the trailer online.
For more information and photos, please visit the Official Andrea King Website.