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Tyrone Power and Cecil Kellaway (the leprechaun) make this modern day,
comic, fairy tale a wonder to behold (and I'm not even Irish). Their
performances are excellent and make a possibly hokey story into a gem. The
old traditions that may seem "quaint" to an outsider, or in this case, our
sophisticated hero (visiting the bumpkins), are just as odd to a displaced
leprechaun in New York City (there to settle a debt of honor). The
traditions and ties borrowed from the old country will touch your heart and
help better define what is true-ly important in life.
Our leprechaun is a bit unorthodox (of course), but he makes a believer our of our hero, cynical to the extreme. "Luck of the Irish" makes you want to believe, and at the end of the movie, will leave you warm and content, with a smile on your face.....
Tyrone Power is a man who encounters a leprechaun in "The Luck of the
Irish," also starring Anne Baxter, Jayne Meadows Cecil Kellaway, and
Lee J. Cobb. Power plays Stephen Fitzgerald, a newspaperman who takes a
job with an influential publisher turned politician, Augur (Cobb) - not
because he believes in Augur, but because of the money and prestige.
Egging him on is Augur's elegant, glamorous daughter (Meadows) who's in
love with him. And who can blame her. It's outrageously handsome and
charming Tyrone Power. While in Ireland, Fitz meets a young woman,
Nora, to whom he's attracted, and a leprechaun with the proverbial pot
o' gold. Even though Fitz gets the gold, he returns it, and the
leprechaun is in his debt. When Fitz returns to New York, the
leprechaun appears as a servant, Horace, and strange things begin to
This is a charming film that effortlessly draws you into its whimsical story. Power did many comedies when he first signed with 20th Century Fox, and if you've seen them, you know he performed them beautifully. His reactions while a bartender is telling a leprechaun story are hilarious. It's a shame this versatile actor didn't put down his sword and do more comic roles. He'd pay homage once again to the land of his ancestors in "The Long Gray Line" for John Ford seven years later. How sad that when the really good parts were finally coming his way, he died. Anne Baxter is darling as Nora, and Meadows is appropriately brittle. The two are great opposites - Baxter natural and sweet, Meadows made up and bejeweled. Kellaway is excellent as Horace, the leprechaun turned houseman.
"The Luck of the Irish" will leave you with a smile on your face. Uplifting stories are hard to find - see this one.
I am a voracious channel surfer. I freely admit that. And when I was laid up with a heating pad applied to a sore neck one morning, the poor remote control was nearly smoking from the furious usage. But I stopped in my tracks as AMC portrayed Anne Baxter as Nora. She looked like the Mira Sorvino of her generation, right down to the delicate brow wrinkles of concern. Then the story drew me in. I didn't move for the next two hours. The leprechaun faded as a cultural image and became instead a vehicle of introspection and divine influence. The character played by Tyrone Power is ageless - men in the workplace are forever torn between following the dreams of their heart, or selling out to "the man" for stability and comfort. For Tyrone, the cost would have included his morality and honesty, which in today's world are sacrificed too easily and too often in the business arena. One comment worth making about the character of Nora; I was pleasantly surprised by how she never tried to manipulate situations to gain what she longed for. She accepted outcomes in a strong and self-assured manner, when it would have been easy to fall back on feminine wiles to turn things her way. A timeless film containing many lessons worth learning!
This film was shown recently on cable; it was a refreshing change of
pace. This 1948 movie, directed by Henry Koster, is a delightful
experience for the young at heart and for those of us enchanted by the
Irish folk lore.
The movie's plot is just a pretext to present Tyrone Power, one of the most handsome actors of the period, in a light comedy that takes him to Ireland, the land of his ancestors, to discover himself. The story is a fantasy, if not, how could we believe in Stephen's transformation by what he witness at the waterfall by the river, or his encounter with Nora at the inn? Not only that, but no sooner than he is back in New York, Horace, the leprechaun, makes an unexpected entrance in his life, and suddenly he discovers Nora riding the IRT?
This is a movie to be enjoyed because of the marvelous cast. Tyrone Power plays Fitz who is a different man from his experiences in Ireland. Fitz, evidently, having drunk the Irish whiskey, and eaten the Irish stew, is a changed man. Mr. Power plays this man effortlessly.
Equally excellent is Cecil Kellaway. His Horace is a man that has all the magical powers to lure Fitz back to the "old sod". Horace is a clever old man who can see right through anyone. Anne Baxter is also a great asset. Ms. Baxter and Mr. Power had a nice chemistry. Her Nora shows the right balance to attract Fitz and make him fall in love with her and with Ireland.
Lee J. Cobb's Augur, doesn't have much to do, but he is good as the man who wants to please his daughter above all things. Jayne Meadows made a rare appearance in the movie as Frances, the spoiled girl that wants Fitz for herself and will do everything in her power to get him.
This movie was a rare find. Watch it and cherish it with an open heart.
The Luck of the Irish is a humorous, adorable film. The casting was excellent. Tyrone Power is perfect for the role of a writer struggling between seeking wealth and staying true to himself, and Anne Baxter, as always, is a delight to see. Most actresses have difficulty doing an Irish accent believably, but Anne Baxter pulls it off quite well and is not only beautiful, but endearing as well. A good lesson can be learned from this film and there are several good quotations in it. The end is satisfying and leaves the viewer feeling happy and perhaps a little whimsical. The only pity is that this film could not have been shot in color. Can't you just imagine how gorgeous that waterfall would have been in "Glorious Technicolor?"
American Steven Fitzgerald doesn't believe in any of the lore he hears
when visiting Ireland. But he knows a pretty lass when he sees one and
becomes immediately smitten with sweet, innocent, gullible Nora (Anne
Baxter) who believes in faith, family, leprechauns and God knows what
else. But then there's that beautiful dame in New York-- sophisticated,
smart and, did I mention, the boss's daughter. What's a fellow to do?
There's also a sweet irascible, white haired fellow who keeps following
Steven and who thinks he's a leprechaun.
Lighthearted basic plot has serious notes of ethics and judgment. Should Steven reach for the golden ring of corporate accomplishment or be true to his mind and heart, and follow his love to Ireland?
And should we all put a Banshee on whoever is keeping this movie out of print on DVD.
I have to believe this movie was inspired by "Miracle on 34th Street."
In both, a supposedly fantastical person (Santa Claus, leprechaun) puts
his oar into the lives of some cynical, unhappy people, makes them
realize What's Truly Important, and changes their lives forever, for
the better. Sappy nonsense, but absolutely enjoyable from start to
This is one of Jayne Meadows' first films. I thought I recognized her from an early TV panel show, and I did. She appeared many times on the old "What's My Line" show. She is the sister of Audrey Meadows, who played Alice Cramden on many of Jackie Gleason's "The Honeymooners" shows. Thanks to IMDb for the details that make these old films more interesting.
A hidden Gem from the stables of Fox Studios in the 1940's, "Luck of the Irish" Was probably a toss-off film for Tyrone Power. Luckily for us viewers, this picture has an undeniable charm much like "Arsenic and Old Lace" or "It's a Wonderful Life". Cecil Calloway steals scenes left and right as a somewhat over-sized Leprechaun, and there's plenty of Irish charm in this movie to satisfy all. My only regret is that Fox didn't film this in color. That being aside, I WILL add this to my DVD collection should it ever come out (HEAR THAT, FOX?). For overall ambiance, think "Brigadoon" w/out the music or color, and you have a delightful comedy suitable for the whole family.
The Luck of the Irish has Tyrone Power on holiday in the country of his
ancestors. He meets a sprightly colleen in Anne Baxter and happens to
capture a leprechaun's treasure. But the leprechaun pulls a whole drama
scene on him and feeling sorry for him, he lets the leprechaun keep the
The leprechaun played by Cecil Kellaway wishes him good luck and travels back to America to see that Power gets it or at least what Kellaway considers good fortune. Kellaway is a bit of a scamp, but it turns out he's got a wise old Irish head on his shoulders.
This may very well have been Cecil Kellaway's career role. He rips off the film from the leads especially Tyrone Power who he has most of his scenes with. Kellaway got an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Supposedly when first released the Irish scenes had a green sepia tint to them. Not on the print I saw, it was straight black and white. One wonders why Darryl Zanuck didn't bother to do the whole thing in color for his favorite star, Tyrone Power.
Other performances of note are Lee J. Cobb as the publishing magnate whose political views Power is diametrically opposed to, but who accepts a position with him. Also Jayne Meadows who is Cobb's daughter and purportedly one of the perks that goes along with the job. She's got her eyes set on Power as a husband.
Money and the comforts of life that can be bought with it are not easy things to turn down, especially if one has a taste for them. It's led to many a good person's downfall. It's the dilemma Power is faced with and I think you can figure out how he resolves it.
The Luck of the Irish is a nice whimsical film and it's good family entertainment.
Whilst travelling through Ireland, dapper New York reporter, Steven
Fitzgerald, happens across what appears to be a leprechaun. Though at
first immensely sceptical, Steven comes to find out that it is in fact
true, and coupled with his meeting with the lovely Nora, Steven finds
himself at conflict about if he should stay in New York? With his
prosperous future certain, or follow his roots to the Emerald Isle?
You know, it's just one of those films that never needs the hard sell, it's enchantingly simple and the perfect way to either while away a dark winters night, or gather the family round on a Sunday afternoon. Tyrone Power takes the lead as Fitzgerald, and after watching him in so many swashbucklers over the years, it's rather refreshing to see him in a charming and light comedy role, and he appears to be enjoying himself as well it has to be said. Lead female duties fall to a radiant Anne Baxter as Nora, whilst Cecil Kellaway is positively delightful as the leprechaun of the piece, a very astute piece of casting to be sure to be sure. I personally could have done with a bit more of Lee J. Cobb in the film, but on reflection his character is strong and business driven, and therefore too much of him could have easily detracted from this lovely little tale.
Based on the Constance Jones novel, The Luck Of The Irish is full of whimsy and romantic leanings, it is in short, delightful. 7/10
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