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Kelly the Second (1936)

Passed | | Action, Comedy, Romance | 21 August 1936 (USA)
Patsy Kelly as a prizefight manager who helps a truck driver be a champ. Good kelly comedy, Also with talents of great silent comedian, Charley Chase.


Gus Meins


Jefferson Moffitt (screen play) (as Jeff Moffitt), William H. Terhune (screen play) (as William Terhune) | 4 more credits »


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Homicide detective Mike Conovan investigates the shooting of fellow detective Monigan...who apparrently was moonlighting as guard for a bookie. He finds that all the bookies in town are ... See full summary »

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Complete credited cast:
Patsy Kelly ... Molly Kelly
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Cecil Callahan (as Guinn Williams)
Charley Chase ... Dr. J. Willoughby Klum
Pert Kelton ... Gloria
Edward Brophy ... Ike Arnold
Harold Huber ... Spike
Maxie Rosenbloom ... Butch Flynn
DeWitt Jennings ... Judge (as DeWitt C. Jennings)
Syd Saylor ... Dan


Lunch counter manager Molly Kelly gets into an altercation with truck driver Cecil Callahan that lands Callahan in jail. After seeing his fighting skills, though, Molly and her boss, Dr. Klum, decide to turn him into a prizefighter. Together they have great success, thanks in no small part to Molly's unorthodox training techniques. Eventually Callahan is good enough to challenge the heavyweight champion, but jealousy may intervene. Written by Bill Morrison

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Exposing the prize fighting racket from the laff side!! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 August 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Irish Washerwoman See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Press previews for the film in April, 1936 ran 85 minutes, but 15 minutes were cut for the released film in August, 1936. Billy Gilbert's role as "Fur Trader" did not survive the cut. It is not known if the preview print was shown anywhere to paying customers. See more »


In the shot from behind Molly's lunch counter of the patrons awaiting their orders, a shadow of the boom microphone is visible on the wall behind. See more »


Edited into Kelly Finds a Fighter (1953) See more »


Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms
(1808) (uncredited)
Music traditional
Hummed by Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable little comedy
20 July 2006 | by vandino1See all my reviews

Hal Roach decided to try pushing Patsy Kelly up from short subjects to feature stardom and this is the first attempt. It's actually quite good, mostly because of the expert cast on hand. An odd title, although it refers to Patsy Kelly's character being Guinn Williams "second" in the ring, it's never said: she's referred to only as William's trainer. But the film is an odd duck overall, anyway. It has a loopy start with Williams as a two-fisted truck driver who gets into a donnybrook on the street after accidentally hijacking Kelly's car onto the rear bumper of his truck. When the cops arrive the two of them dash off to her place of employment: a pharmacy run by Charley Chase. Now the film becomes equal parts Kelly-Williams and Chase as Williams is given a 'no-fight-or-else' probation by the Judge and Chase inadvertently puts up his pharmacy as Williams' bond. Weirdly, Kelly and Chase decide that Williams SHOULD keep fighting... but in the boxing ring instead. This leads to a ringside get together with gangster Ed Brophy and his mob, featuring girlfriend Kelton and head bodyguard Harold Huber. From here on the film becomes equal parts Chase, Brophy and Kelly-Williams. When Chase gets in trouble with Brophy lots of complications ensue.

Quite a slapsticky film, with lots of frantic antics keeping the movie going at top speed. It rarely lets up for a quiet moment and that's to its advantage. Even with all the fights and gangsters and jealousy stuff between Kelton and Kelly over Williams, the film is still a good- natured romp from start to finish. Even the gangsters are fun, especially Huber who looks like he's having a blast as Brophy's slyly wisecracking strong arm. Charley Chase, even here late in his career, plays the nervous bumbler better than any other. And Williams may never have gotten a bigger or better role in his career, seeing as he was usually relegated to small supporting roles in most of his film appearances. Kelly is expert, as always, although she's directed to shout most of her lines, making her a tad too brassy and one-note after awhile (whereas in contrast Chase and Huber get laughs by almost muttering some of their lines). Only the expert comedian Pert Kelton is left without much of a part and almost nothing funny to say. Too bad. But this little comedy is still worth a look for its modest but goofy charm.

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