Three Cheers for the Irish


1h 39m 1940
Three Cheers for the Irish

Brief Synopsis

A Scottish lad and Irish lass risk their families' wrath by marrying.

Film Details

Also Known As
You Can't Beat the Irish
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Release Date
Mar 16, 1940
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 9 Mar 1940
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 39m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Synopsis

After twenty years of devoted service to the police force, Irish police officer Peter Casey finds himself pensioned off and replaced by rookie Angus Ferguson, whom Casey considers a "contemptuous Scottishman". While delivering a complaint one night to the Casey apartment, Angus meets Casey's eldest daughter Maureen, who runs the motherless Casey household, and a mutual attraction arises between the young people. After retiring, Casey begins to get underfoot, and so Maureen and her sisters Patricia and Heloise encourage him to run for the post of alderman. Casey accepts the challenge, and with the help of his hooligan friend Gallagher, launches his campaign. Meanwhile, Maureen and Angus have been courting, and on the night that they are secretly married, Casey pleads with Maureen to never see the Scotsman again and tries to interest her in Michael Flaherty, a nice Irishman. When Casey's campaign runs short of funds, Heloise naïvely solicits a donation from her bookie friend, Joe Niklas. Upon learning the identity of his benefactor, Casey asks his constituency to elect his opponent, and his announcement sparks a barroom brawl in which Angus arrests him for disturbing the peace. After being pardoned by the judge, Casey chastises Maureen for her friendship with the Scotsman, and when Angus announces their marriage, the furious Casey orders the newlyweds to leave his house. Casey loses his daughter but wins the election as the voters, who admire his honesty, elect him alderman. On Christmas eve, he finally wins back Maureen when the familiy is reconciled at Maureen's bedside as she gives birth to twins.

Film Details

Also Known As
You Can't Beat the Irish
Genre
Comedy
Romance
Drama
Release Date
Mar 16, 1940
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 9 Mar 1940
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 39m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Articles

Three Cheers for the Irish


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

SOURCES:
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
IMDB
Three Cheers For The Irish

Three Cheers for the Irish

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 SOURCES: 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 IMDB

Virginia Grey (1917-2004)


Virginia Grey, one MGM's lovliest, but underused leading ladies of the late '30s and '40s, died in Woodland Hills, California on August 1 of heart failure. She was 87.

She was was born in Los Angeles on March 22, 1917, and was exposed to the film industry at a very young age. Her father, Ray Grey, was a Keystone Cop and acted in several other of Mack Sennett's comedies with the likes of Mabel Normand, Dorothy Gish and Ben Turpin. When her father died when she was still a child, Virginia's mother encouraged her to join the acting game and audition for the role of Eva for Uncle Tom's Cabin, a big budget picture for Universal Studios in the day. She won the role, and acted in a few more pictures at the studio: The Michigan Kid and Heart to Heart (both 1928), before she decided to temporarily leave acting to finish her schooling.

She returned to films after graduating from high school, and after bouncing around Hollywood doing bits for various studios, she hooked up with MGM in 1938. Her roles in her first few films were fairly non-descript: In Test Pilot and Ladies in Distress (both 1938), she did little more than look pretty, but in the following year she had scene-stealing parts in The Women (upstaging Joan Crawford in a delicious scene as a wisecracking perfume counter girl) and as the suffering heroine in Another Thin Man (both 1939).

Despite her versatility (she could handle comedy or drama with equal effectiveness), MGM would cast her in some above-average, but hardly starmaking movies: Whistling in the Dark, The Big Store (both 1941), and Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942). She left MGM in 1943 and became a freelance actress for several studios, but her material as a leading lady throughout the '40s were mediocre: Swamp Fire, House of Horrors (both 1946), and Mexican Hayride (1948) were sadly the more interesting films in her post-MGM period. But by the '50s she was a well-established character actress, appearing in fairly big-budget pictures: All That Heaven Allows, The Rose Tattoo (both 1955), Jeanne Eagels (1957).

In the '60s, Grey turned to television and found work on a variety of hit shows: Wagon Train, Peter Gunn, Bonanza, My Three Sons, I Spy, and several others; plus she also captured a a couple of notable supporting parts in these films: Madame X (1966), and Airport (1970), before retiring completely from acting in the early '70s. She is survived by her sister, Lorraine Grey Heindorf, two nieces and two nephews.

by Michael T. Toole

Virginia Grey (1917-2004)

Virginia Grey, one MGM's lovliest, but underused leading ladies of the late '30s and '40s, died in Woodland Hills, California on August 1 of heart failure. She was 87. She was was born in Los Angeles on March 22, 1917, and was exposed to the film industry at a very young age. Her father, Ray Grey, was a Keystone Cop and acted in several other of Mack Sennett's comedies with the likes of Mabel Normand, Dorothy Gish and Ben Turpin. When her father died when she was still a child, Virginia's mother encouraged her to join the acting game and audition for the role of Eva for Uncle Tom's Cabin, a big budget picture for Universal Studios in the day. She won the role, and acted in a few more pictures at the studio: The Michigan Kid and Heart to Heart (both 1928), before she decided to temporarily leave acting to finish her schooling. She returned to films after graduating from high school, and after bouncing around Hollywood doing bits for various studios, she hooked up with MGM in 1938. Her roles in her first few films were fairly non-descript: In Test Pilot and Ladies in Distress (both 1938), she did little more than look pretty, but in the following year she had scene-stealing parts in The Women (upstaging Joan Crawford in a delicious scene as a wisecracking perfume counter girl) and as the suffering heroine in Another Thin Man (both 1939). Despite her versatility (she could handle comedy or drama with equal effectiveness), MGM would cast her in some above-average, but hardly starmaking movies: Whistling in the Dark, The Big Store (both 1941), and Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942). She left MGM in 1943 and became a freelance actress for several studios, but her material as a leading lady throughout the '40s were mediocre: Swamp Fire, House of Horrors (both 1946), and Mexican Hayride (1948) were sadly the more interesting films in her post-MGM period. But by the '50s she was a well-established character actress, appearing in fairly big-budget pictures: All That Heaven Allows, The Rose Tattoo (both 1955), Jeanne Eagels (1957). In the '60s, Grey turned to television and found work on a variety of hit shows: Wagon Train, Peter Gunn, Bonanza, My Three Sons, I Spy, and several others; plus she also captured a a couple of notable supporting parts in these films: Madame X (1966), and Airport (1970), before retiring completely from acting in the early '70s. She is survived by her sister, Lorraine Grey Heindorf, two nieces and two nephews. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was You Can't Beat the Irish. According to news items in Hollywood Reporter, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Jane Bryan were slated to star in this film and Warners planned to borrow Fred MacMurray from Paramount for the lead. Songwriters Jack Scholl and M. K. Jerome were awarded an ASCAP award for their work on this picture.