Little Nellie Kelly (1940)

Passed   |    |  Comedy, Family, Musical

Little Nellie Kelly (1940) Poster

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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  • Judy Garland and George Murphy in Little Nellie Kelly (1940)
  • Judy Garland and Charles Winninger in Little Nellie Kelly (1940)
  • Judy Garland and George Murphy in Little Nellie Kelly (1940)
  • Judy Garland and George Murphy in Little Nellie Kelly (1940)
  • Judy Garland in Little Nellie Kelly (1940)
  • Judy Garland and George Murphy in Little Nellie Kelly (1940)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

24 June 2018 | HotToastyRag
| Surprisingly touching
George M. Cohan has the last laugh on me. His hit Broadway musical Little Nellie Kelly was adapted into a film in 1940, and I almost turned it off. Judy Garland with an Irish accent? Charles Winninger as her stubborn, unreasonable, ridiculously Irish father? I thought I was in for 98 minutes of silliness. It turns out, Little Nellie Kelly almost made me cry! It's a very touching story, a perfect movie to rent on St. Patrick's Day or Father's Day.

Charles Winninger is extremely stubborn and protective over his only child, Judy Garland. When George Murphy wants to court her, Charles forbids it. When she and George marry, he practically disowns her. He's going to seem outrageous at that part of the movie, and you'll think to yourself, "I hope he doesn't have a big part in the movie." Well, he does have a big part in the movie. Don't let the silly title fool you; this is a heavy family affair. It shows how fathers cope with the transition from daughter to woman, and the impact a stubbornness or hatred can have on the younger generation.

I don't want to tell you too much more about the plot, but I recommend you rent it if father-daughter movies make you cry. You won't believe it at the start, but Charles becomes a relatable character, and when George becomes a father himself, he gives a very good performance. Judy gets less irritating as the film progresses, and during the title song, she gets dolled up and dressed in a gorgeous gown by Dolly Tree, looking prettier than she's ever looked.

So, call your dad and invite him over for lunch and a movie. Even if you don't cry, I guarantee he will!

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Plot Summary


Comedy | Family | Musical

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