The Luck of the Irish (1948)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B.5

USA, 1948.  .  Screenplay by , based on the novel by , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1948.

plays an American journalist who, while traveling through Ireland, is drawn to its beauty and charm both by an innkeeper’s daughter (Anne Baxter) and the sniveling interference of a magical leprechaun (Cecil Kellaway). When money and prestige draw him back to the States to take a job as right hand man and speech writer for a ruthless politician (Lee J. Cobb), Power forgets the experience and is fully ensconced in the world of martinis and debutantes including his fiancé . His little magical friend shows up disguised as a butler, presumably to return a kindness that Power paid him, while Baxter comes to Manhattan on a family matter and inspires a conflict between the glory of his career and the needs of his heart. Henry Koster tries to recreate the balance of warmth and magic that he did so well in The Bishop’s Wife but with far weaker results:  the combination of whimsy and humanity is simply bizarre here, scenes of magical waterfalls (originally tinted green in the original release as if the film wasn’t corny enough) combined with a lot of red-bait preaching against the corruption of political greed. It’s lovely to see Baxter, who has gone down in history for playing vamps and schemers, doing so well with pure, unabashed goodness, but otherwise it’s a fully confusing work that leaves you wondering what you just watched.

2 thoughts on “The Luck of the Irish (1948)

  1. I totally disagree with your review. However, to each their own. I feel this is a lovely story about the tug of war we face between our egos and our hearts. Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter,Jane Meadows, Lee J Cobb and Cecil Kellaway are all charming. It surpasses Bishops Wife in my estimation where I find the players, especially Cary Grant, kind of awkwardly overreaching. In ‘Luck’ all the players feel like a seamless ensemble.

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