29 June 2009 | jotix100
Irish from Cleveland
Ernest Ball, an aspiring composer from Cleveland, struggled through his younger years to make it in the business. After not being able to make it in his home town, Mr. Ball decides to go East to New York, the capital of the world of entertainment where his music was appreciated and went to have the recognition he deserved.
"Irish Eyes Are Smiling", the biographic film didn't make a good impression of the man and his life. In fact, this was a rather uninspired production of Twentieth Century Fox that must have been created for Dick Haymes, the actor with a golden voice who was at his prime. Directed by veteran actor/director Gregory Ratoff, this is a dull movie where some of Ernest Ball's songs are prominently placed in a musical comedy that didn't do anything to please audiences.
Mr. Haymes had a pleasing tenor voice, but as far as the acting department went, he was at a disadvantage playing opposite Monty Wooley, or even a young Anthony Quinn. This was June Haver's second appearance in a film after her success in "Home in Indiana". She doesn't have much to do as the main interest of Ernest Ball.
The best of Mr. Ball's songs, "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling", which he composed with lyrics by Chauncey Olcott and George Graff proved to be a song that survived the author as it became a standard hymn always associated with Irish celebrations and a must for St. Patrick's Day.