Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tonight's Movie: The Irish In Us (1935)

THE IRISH IN US is a somewhat creaky mid-'30s vehicle for James Cagney and Pat O'Brien, who play brothers vying for the hand of beautiful Olivia DeHavilland. A third brother is played by Frank McHugh.

O'Brien is a policeman and McHugh a fireman, while Cagney is his mother's spoiled darling who dreams of being a fight promoter but doesn't hold down a job in the meantime. O'Brien dreams of marrying police captain's daughter DeHavilland, and trouble begins brewing when he brings her home for dinner and Jimmy gets a look at her.

It's not a particularly good movie, but it's mildly entertaining thanks in large part to the star power involved, and it makes very appropriate St. Patrick's Day viewing. I especially enjoyed the set decoration; when I wasn't watching the actors, I was examining the furnishings of the O'Hara family's working-class apartment.

This black and white film runs 84 minutes. It was directed by Lloyd Bacon, whose most notable films include 42ND STREET, FOOTLIGHT PARADE, and KNUTE ROCKNE, ALL AMERICAN, which of course starred Pat O'Brien and Ronald "The Gipper" Reagan.

This movie is not available on VHS or DVD. It's a relatively minor film in the careers of its stars, but perhaps it will eventually be released on DVD so that Cagney and DeHavilland completists can see it. (Update: This film is now available on DVD-R from the Warner Archive.)

As with so many movies, film fans are fortunate that this title is still available via TCM. The trailer can be seen at TCM's website.


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