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Three Cheers for the Irish (1940) stars Thomas Mitchell as Peter Casey, an Irish-American New York City cop who is forced to retire on his 20th anniversary with the force. Already unhappy with his involuntary retirement, Mitchell is beside himself when his daughter Maureen, played by Priscilla Lane, falls in love with Angus Ferguson (Dennis Morgan), a Scottish cop who has taken over his beat. When he discovers they have wed in secret, he bans them from his house.
Directed by Lloyd Bacon, with a screenplay by Jerry Wald and Richard Macaulay, the film costars Warner Bros' old reliable character actor Alan Hale, as well as Virginia Grey, Irene Hervey and William Lundigan. Ironically, although Dennis Morgan appears as a Scottish-American, he played Irishmen so often that fans believed he really was Irish. In fact, he came from Milwaukee and his descendants were from The Netherlands, Sweden and Scotland.Three Cheers for the Irish opened at the Strand Theater in New York on March 9, 1940 and went into general release on March 16th, just in time for St. Patrick's Day. The New York Times accused Thomas Mitchell of putting on his "Gerald O'Hara" accent from Gone with the Wind (1939), and found the Irish brogues employed by the other actors "thick enough to cut with a knife and so is the plot, which at times approaches that state where even an uncaptious critic might be inclined to mutter: 'Too thick!'" By contrast, The Motion Picture Herald called it a "well-balanced picture with very good performances by Priscilla Lane and Dennis Morgan. Patrons said very good. Box office not so hot."
For Priscilla Lane, who had become popular, thanks to the Four Daughters film series, and Dennis Morgan, who would be one of Warner Bros.' biggest musical stars in the 1940s, Three Cheers for the Irish was little more than a footnote in their careers.
Producer: Hal B. Wallis
Director: Lloyd Bacon
Screenplay: Richard Macaulay, Jerry Wald
Cinematography: Charles Rosher
Art Direction: Esdras Hartley
Music: Adolph Deutsch
Film Editing: William Holmes
Cast: Priscilla Lane (Maureen Casey), Thomas Mitchell (Peter Casey), Dennis Morgan (Angus Ferguson), Virginia Grey (Patricia Casey), Irene Hervey (Heloise Casey), Alan Hale (Gallagher), William Lundigan (Michael Flaherty), Frank Jenks (Ed McKean), Henry Armetta (Tony), Morgan Conway (Joe Niklas).
BW-99m. Closed Captioning.
by Lorraine LoBianco
Gilpatrick, Kristin Famous Wisconsin Film Stars
Motion Picture Herald March 1940
Nugent, Frank S. "Three Cheers for the Irish", The New York Times 9 Mar 40