Irene (1940)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Musical, Romance  |  3 May 1940 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 361 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 1 critic

Sent by her employers on an errand to the home of the wealthy Mrs. Vincent, Irene O'Dare meets Don, a friend of Bob, Mrs. Vincent's son. Attracted to Irene, Don decides to invest some money... See full summary »



(screen play), (from the musical comedy by: "Irene " book by) (as James H. Montgomery)
0Check in
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

China Seas (1935)
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When earthy Dolly Portland is rejected by Captain Gaskell in favor of a socialite, she aids Jamesy McCardle, in league with Malay pirates, in his plot to seize his ship.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery
Libeled Lady (1936)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A newspaper man, his jilted fiancée, and his lawyer hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news-story into the truth, before a high-society woman can sue for libel.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy
Certificate: Passed Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A political hack becomes President during the height of the Depression and undergoes a metamorphosis into an incorruptible statesman after a near-fatal accident.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Walter Huston, Karen Morley, Franchot Tone
Crime | Mystery | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Hercule Poirot investigates a series of murders in London in which the victims are killed according to their initials.

Director: Frank Tashlin
Stars: Tony Randall, Robert Morley, Anita Ekberg
Darling Lili (1970)
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Set during WWI, this movie is a cute spin on the Mata Hari legend.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Julie Andrews, Rock Hudson, Jeremy Kemp
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Chester Kent struggles against time, romance, and a rival's spy to produce spectacular live "prologues" for movie houses.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler
The Big Clock (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A career oriented magazine editor finds himself on the run when he discovers his boss is framing him for murder.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Ray Milland, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Laughton
The Cat's-Paw (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Naive Ezekial Cobb, brought up by his missionary father in China returns to America to seek a wife. Corrupt politicians enlist him to run for mayor as a dummy candidate with no chance of ... See full summary »

Directors: Sam Taylor, Harold Lloyd
Stars: Harold Lloyd, Una Merkel, George Barbier
Wonder Man (1945)
Comedy | Fantasy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Boisterous nightclub entertainer Buzzy Bellew was the witness to a murder committed by gangster Ten Grand Jackson. One night, two of Jackson's thugs kill Buzzy and dump his body in the lake... See full summary »

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Vera-Ellen
Nevada Smith (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A naive half-Indian, half-white man evolves into a hardened killer as he tracks down his parents' murderers.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Steve McQueen, Karl Malden, Brian Keith
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Perky young Nanette attempts to save the marriage of her uncle and aunt by untangling Uncle Jimmy from several innocent but ensnaring flirtations. Attempting one such unentanglement, ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Wilcox
Stars: Anna Neagle, Richard Carlson, Victor Mature
Riffraff (1936)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Fisherman Dutch marries cannery worker Hattie. He quits his poorly paid job to concentrate on getting better working conditions as union leader. Unfortunately, the union members disagree ... See full summary »

Director: J. Walter Ruben
Stars: Jean Harlow, Spencer Tracy, Una Merkel


Complete credited cast:
Mr. Smith
Alan Marshal ...
Bob Vincent
Granny O'Dare
Mrs. Vincent
Arthur Treacher ...
Eleanor Worth
Stuart Robertson ...
Princess Minetti
Juliette Compton ...
Mrs. Newlands Grey
Roxanne Barkley ...


Sent by her employers on an errand to the home of the wealthy Mrs. Vincent, Irene O'Dare meets Don, a friend of Bob, Mrs. Vincent's son. Attracted to Irene, Don decides to invest some money in Bob's latest venture, the "Madame Lucy" dress shop, in order to give Irene a job there as a model. She is very successful and Bob also becomes attracted to her. Smith, the manager assigns Irene and other models to display gowns at Mrs. Vincent's charity ball, but Irene ruins the gown she was to wear, and appears instead in a quaint blue dress that had belonged to her mother... and it is a big hit. A guest, Princess Minetti, places her as the niece of Ireland's Lady O'Dare, and Irene does not deny the relationship. Smith decides to set her up in a Park Avenue suite as the niece of Lady O'Dare, so that she can attend socially important gatherings wearing and displaying, of course, Madame Lucy gowns. A jealous model tells the truth to a newspaper columnist who writes an expose, which somewhat ... Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Siren Irene... You'll Love Her On The Screen... A Miss In Distress Or Gay Adventuress?


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Irène  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)


| (color sequence) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was adapted from a popular Broadway musical that originally opened at the Vanderbilt Theater on Nov. 18, 1919 and ran for 675 performances. Irene Dunne and Jeanette MacDonald were replacement cast members during its long run. The musical was later revived with Debbie Reynolds in the lead. This version opened at the Minskoff Theater in New York on March 13, 1973 and ran for 594 performances. See more »


Donald 'Don' Marshall: I understand discretion is your middle name.
Bretherton, the Butler: Mr. Marshall, if butlers told all they knew, society would be a shambles.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are presented by marionette figures of Anna Neagle and Ray Milland. See more »


Version of Irene (1926) See more »


Worthy of You
(1940) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Harry Tierney and Joseph McCarthy
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Not bad pre-war era musical
2 December 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Anna Neagle was never one of my favorites. She was one of those oh-so-ladylike actresses that you just couldn't picture doing things us mere mortals do every day without thinking. However, in the early 40's, the British actress was Americanized for three musical films based upon old Broadway shows. "Irene" was the first of the three (followed by remakes of "No No Nanette" and "Sunny"), and by far the most charming. As the oh-so-Irish Irene O'Dare, Neagle becomes a superstar overnight when she shows up at a Long Island party wearing an old gown of her grandmother's (that salty old favorite May Robson) that has eyes all aglow. Dashing Ray Milland and her dizzy mother (Billie Burke) are instantly taken with her, and she is soon a celebrity. They believe her to be related to European blue-bloods, not realizing she is a simple working girl. Only Milland and his business partner (Roland Young as "Madame Lucy", the apparent designer of the "Alice Blue Gown") know the truth.

I was familiar with the score thanks to a recording of the 1973 revival with Debbie Reynolds; most of the songs are either cut or given minor arrangements, with the exception of "Alice Blue Gown" which is turned into a cute production number filled with a variety of different races wearing the outfit. Hattie Noel and the Dandridge sisters are given the bulk of the production number, while Neagle earlier sang it to her grandmother and sisters. Neagle's singing voice, while not bad, is no Jeanette MacDonald; It is hard to believe that she was one of Britain's most popular musical stars. Her acting, however, is pretty good, and she is most convincing as an Irish lass. Milland is handsome and quite charming; He is the perfect leading man. Billie Burke and Roland Young (reunited from the "Topper" series as well as several others) are good as well, and May Robson is always a delight. (The Broadway musical for those who are interested featured Monte Markham in the Milland role, and Ruth Warrick, Billy DeWolfe, and Patsy Kelly in the Burke, Young, and Robson roles respectively).

RKO went all out for the production design of the film, giving it a marvelous art deco look. It is equal in design to any of the Astaire/Rogers musicals, and just as charming. The only thing I disliked was the lack of music; I wanted a production number of the rousing title song which gets more attention as background music than as a musical number. Still, as a comedy with music, "Irene" is very well done, and being taken from that point of view makes it a film worth viewing.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Does anyone know where I can buy or rent this movie? lmccrea_46
Discuss Irene (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: