Friday, March 15, 2019

Three Cheers for the Irish ( 1940 )

Peter Casey ( Thomas Mitchell ) is proud to have served 25 years with Chicago's police force. He loves his job so much he never gave retirement a thought, but his superiors did,  and, on the day of his 25th anniversary no less, they tell him to collect his pension. Retirement would be bearable for Casey if it were not for knowing that the new cop ( Dennis Morgan ) taking over his beat is a Scotchman! 

"Scotsman! Scotsman! There be no such thing as a Scotchman!"

To make matters worse, this fetching young rookie has his eyes on Casey's darling daughter Maureen "the apple of me eye". 

Warner Brother's Three Cheers for the Irish begins as a pleasant light-hearted variation of Four Daughters but midway through the film shifts its focus to the growing animosity Casey has for his would-be son-in-law and his political pursuit for the office of city alderman ( councilman ). It would have benefited from having the domestic comedy sequences extended and the other two sisters' parts ( played by Virginia Grey and Irene Hervey ) expanded upon, but the picture nevertheless entertains. 

Priscilla Lane is simply peachy as Maureen, and Irish-American Dennis Morgan does a marvelous job of rolling his Rrrrs in a Scottish brogue. He only sings one song in the film but audiences do get to see his winsome bonny smile in many a scene. Alan Hale has a great part as an over-exuberant practical joker and Frank Jenks, Henry Armetta, and that veteran of Irish-themed pictures J.M Kerrigan are also in the cast. But it is Thomas Mitchell's film entirely, and this excellent actor milks the role for all its worth. 
Like Charles Winniger's character in Little Nellie Kelly, Peter Casey is a stubborn Irishman, and it is particularly sad to see that these two fathers were willing to be separated from their daughters rather than bend their pride and admit that they were being pig-headed. 

Richard Macaulay helped write the screenplay along with Jerry Wald. These two men collaborated on over twenty scripts for Warner Brothers during the 1930s and 1940s including Ready, Willing, and Able, The Roaring Twenties, They Drive By Night, Torrid Zone, Million Dollar Baby, Brother Rat, and Flight Angels. 


  1. Thomas Mitchell-the dad of SCARLETT OHARA in GONE WITH THE WIND the year earlier. Dennis Morgan-played WYNN in KITTY FOYLE, the movie that GINGER ROGERS won the Oscar for BEST ACTRESS. ALAN HALE-worked with ERROL FLYNN in movies. Also his son ALAN HALE, JR. played THE SKIPPER on the beloved show GILLIGANS ISLAND.

  2. Happy St. Paddy's Day to one and all.

    Such a cute movie. It's like having a lovely cup of tea with old friends.

    Something for your trivia file: Priscilla Lane and the guy that doesn't get the girl here, William Lundigan share a June 12th birthdate; she in 1915 and he in 1914.

  3. 'Tis a grand pick for St. Paddy's Day! I always enjoy seeing Priscilla Lane, who is indeed peachy. I had no idea that Jerry Wald and Richard Macaulay were so prolific.

  4. I have a soft spot for Priscilla Lane, so I enjoyed seeing her in this film. And of course, I'll watch anything Thomas Mitchell appears in.