20 March 1999 | Art-22
This comedy about Irish ethnic pride is a winner.
Most of the players in this wonderful comedy were not household names even in 1935, but that does not detract one bit from enjoying it, especially if you are Irish. The driving force of the film is that the Murphy's of Center City, Iowa, have changed their name to Murfree due to Marjorie Gateson's social climbing ambitions. Now that her husband, William Harrigan, is running for mayor, victory depends on the Irish vote in Ward 4, led by a proud Irishwoman, Maureen Delany, who becomes indignant just at the suggestion that any Irishman would change his name. The comedy's pleasures are increased when Harrigan's father, James Barton, comes to find out why Harrigan hasn't written in four months. Barton, with his whimsy and impromptu Irish dances, and Delany, with the twinkle in her eye for Barton, steal the film, but all the supporting cast is generally excellent. I particularly liked Herman Bing doing his exaggerated German accent and mannerisms. A good film from beginning to end.