Get your Irish fix
with this movie classic
The Luck of the Irish features Hollywood Golden Age actors
By Byron Toben
During these 18 months (so far) of COVID restrictions and few live events to attend, I have watched several older films for free on the internet. Many hold up surprisingly well.
One filled a gap in a fringe benefit of being a member of Cine Gael Montreal’s annual Irish film series. In addition to attending their film selections from January through April, members were treated to one or two interim events at Hurley’s Irish Pub for gratis evenings of film documentaries on music, sports, personalities, etc.
To make up for this gap this year, I suggest viewers watch a free film I recently discovered. It is The Luck of the Irish. Made in 1948 by 20th Century Fox, it stars Tyrone Power as an American journalist stranded in coastal Ireland on vacation when his car breaks down. There, he encounters a pleasant lass (Anne Baxter) and even meets an irascible cobbler (Cecil Kellaway) who may be a leprechaun with a hidden pot of gold coins.
Back in New York, he is offered a job as speechwriter and advisor to a rich publisher (Lee J. Cobb) who wants to run for Senator. Taking over the publishing empire and marrying the publisher’s spoiled daughter (Jayne Meadows) seems to be part of the deal.
However, a butler assigned to him resembles the cobbler, and he chances to meet that same down-to-earth Irish lass who was briefly visiting New York on a crowded subway train. Will he throw away his chances for riches or return to Ireland? A charming, tender story despite some clichés about folk tales and drinking.
Some fun fact trivia. Tyrone Power appeared in 48 films, many in swashbuckling roles.
Anne Baxter appeared in 49 films. She was a granddaughter of the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who encouraged her to go into acting.
Jayne Meadows was born in China while her father was there as a missionary. She is more known for TV than movies and married the great TV innovator Steve Allen.
Lee J. Cobb had a long stage and film career and played the lead role of Willy Loman in the original stage version of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Great cast for a popular film of the day.
Cecil Kellaway was nominated for an Academy Award as best supporting actor.
Here is the link to The Luck of the Irish.
Feature image: Cecil Kellaway and Tyrone Power in The Luck of the Irish, IMDb
More articles from Byron Toben
Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been WestmountMag.ca’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated web sites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.
Another fun fact: Jayne Meadows happens to be the sister of Audrey Meadows who played Alice Kramden in The Honeymooners with Jackie Gleason.