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Little Nellie Kelly (1940)

Passed | | Comedy, Family, Musical | 22 November 1940 (USA)
Irish colleen Nellie is in love with handsome Jerry Kelly, even though her father objects. Nellie and Jerry soon marry and announce plans to move to New York, which again angers Nellie's ... See full summary »



(screen play), (based upon: the musical comedy written by)
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Complete credited cast:
Douglas McPhail ...
Timothy Fogarty
Rita Page ...
Sergeant McGowan
George Watts ...


Irish colleen Nellie is in love with handsome Jerry Kelly, even though her father objects. Nellie and Jerry soon marry and announce plans to move to New York, which again angers Nellie's father. Still, fear of never seeing his daughter again convinces the old man to also head to the States. In New York, Jerry becomes a policeman, although fighting crime seems to be easier than fighting with his father-in-law. Tragedy strikes when Nellie dies in childbirth. Jerry and the meddling old man continue to live together and have constant battles over how to raise young Nellie, who grows up to look exactly like her mother. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Judy Sings! See more »


Comedy | Family | Musical


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flickan hela da'n  »

Box Office


$665,300 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


George Murphy, who plays the husband and then the father of the Nellie characters played by Judy Garland was 20 years her senior. See more »


Nellie Kelly: There's nothing like a darn good cry, is there?
Michael 'Mike' Noonan: There's whiskey.
See more »


Featured in That's Entertainment! (1974) See more »


Singin' In The Rain
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Sung by Judy Garland (uncredited) in both a straight and swing version at the Waldorf Astoria
Played also as dance music at the Waldorf
See more »

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User Reviews

Grandpa makes film lose a point, but Judy is an angel
10 January 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Grandpa, Charles Winninger, just should've toned it down a notch. He didn't have to become totally mild mannered. If he was to just be more of a lovable grouch type instead of totally bitter and abrasive, this film would've been a 10. Judy Garland herself was a 10++. She was wonderful in this film. In both roles, as Nelly Kelly sr. and Nelly Kelly Jr. In Ireland in 1922, Nelly sr. is in love with George Murphy, and accepts his marriage proposal and they marry. Grandpa is completely steamed up about this and wants nothing to do with George. As miserable and unpleasant Grandpa is though, he still holds an unconditional love towards his daughter, Nelly Sr. and his granddaughter, Nelly Jr. calling them both "the apple of me eye". One of the reasons Grandpa is so bitter towards George is that he is just so overprotective of his daughter. But there is no reason for him to try and stop them from falling in love and being happy. And there is no reason for him to continue to have such a high level of hatred towards George. Anyway, George and Nelly Sr., with grandpa in tow, sail ship to America, New York. Nelly sr. gives birth to a daughter, but sadly Nelly sr. dies from complications of giving birth. The daughter is named Nelly Kelly jr., in honor of her mother. Judy's death scene actually brought out tears in me. I don't shed tears in films that easily, but with Judy Garland, in this film and in "Me and my gal", I have formed a couple tears. In many of her movies I get somewhat close to that level. Judy is just so beautiful and sweet and charming with a voice from heaven. She is like, almost ethereal. Judy sings " A pretty girl milking her cow". She sings it twice, once as Jr. and once as Sr. She sings it beautifully, especially as Nelly Sr. during a very heartwarming scene near the beginning of the film with her adding a little Irish gaelic to the song. She is just so pure, charming, and wonderful here talking about believing in the stars, kissing and falling in love with George for the first time. Judy is a true angel. She also sings "Singing in the rain" and "Its a great day for the Irish", both as Nelly Jr., wonderfully. We see a montage as little Nelly is growing up. We see a few photographs of Nelly jr. as a child during the montage. Im quite sure that these were real photos of Judy, Frances Gumm as a child. In the present, well 1942, Judy as Nelly jr., is stunning and pretty when she's grown up. She meets and falls in love with Douglas Macphail. She's passionate and romantic with a lovely voice, just like her mother. The title song at the end with Judy on the dance floor is also wonderful. This film is just pure Hollywood golden age magic.

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