6.5/10
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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 »

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Writers:

(screen play), (based upon: the musical comedy written by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Jerry Kelly
...
Michael Noonan
Douglas McPhail ...
Dennis Fogarty
Arthur Shields ...
Timothy Fogarty
Rita Page ...
Mary Fogarty
Forrester Harvey ...
Moriarity
James Burke ...
Sergeant McGowan
George Watts ...
Keevan
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Geo. M. Cohan's Great Broadway Show! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flickan hela da'n  »

Box Office

Budget:

$665,300 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The photos shown of little Nellie Kelly growing up are photos of Judy Garland as a child. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Arena: The Orson Welles Story (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

The Irish Washerwoman
(uncredited)
Traditional Irish Jig
Played during the opening credits
Reprised by the band in the St. Patrick's Day parade
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Grandpa's Just A Jerk...
14 June 2008 | by (Minneapolis, MN) – See all my reviews

As others have commented, the film does (on its face) have things to (potentially) enjoy: Judy's singing, Arthur Freed's handiwork, Cohan's songs, and a possible musical and comic look at Irish immigrants in New York. But in almost every way the film stiffs. Judy climbs from the wreckage (as usual) unscathed: her freshness and energy nearly making the film and songs rise to the level of entertainment. But George Murphy is the complacent stiff, the songs are mostly mediocre at best (except for a jazzy "Singin' In The Rain' by Judy), and worst of all "Grandpa" is a character who - although meant to be curmudgeonly and adorable in his irascibility - comes off as almost criminally abusive, ruining his daughter's one leap at married bliss, and doing a good number on his grand-daughter's as well. The actor in that role (the usually reliable Charles Winninger) gives an unlikeable and near one-note performance which constantly grates, until the viewer wants to strangle him. This may or may not have been purposeful, but - in terms of making the film (a light musical affair) bearable to watch - it is a disaster. You feel both aggravated by Grandpa's insistent hostility towards the happiness of others, and put off by the passivity of others toward his ugly and pointless behavior over the course of years. I don't think this is the stuff of light entertainment, but of a psychological essay. Grandpa's just a jerk...

It is true that every now and then you will find an unheralded film to be undeserving of its anonymity. This is not one of those cases: the film drags along, forgettable song after forgettable song, stiff actor after stiff actor, sentimental stereotype after sentimental stereotype, and all made worse by that horrible Irish stew pot of a Grandpa. This one can be skipped without feeling cheated.


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