×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Irene

Back in 1919 - 20 a smash musical comedy and then in 1926 a hit First National film starring Colleen Moore, Irene emerges this time as dated celluloidia. It's old-fashioned from several angles, further handicapped by familiar story pattern.

With:
Anna Neagle Ray Milland Roland Young Alan Marshal May Robson Billie Burke

Back in 1919 – 20 a smash musical comedy and then in 1926 a hit First National film starring Colleen Moore, Irene emerges this time as dated celluloidia. It’s old-fashioned from several angles, further handicapped by familiar story pattern.

Starring combination of Anna Neagle and Ray Milland cannot wholly carry this film over the hurdles. The negative factors are not so much in the acting as they are in Alice Duer Miller’s screenplay and Herbert Wilcox’s direction, neither of which is ultra-1940. The screenplay and direction, too, closely follow the original film. In the Colleen Moore starrer a 1,000-foot segment of a grand ball was given over to a color sequence, quite revolutionary in those days, but reprised now it just makes the fore and afterparts in black and white look all the more ordinary in comparison.

Neagle, as the girl who steps from the tenements to a modeling job and then into society, gives a rather spotty performance. She’s too broadly Irish, for one thing, and not flattered by the camera in the first 50 minutes for another. In the color sequences she shows up much better, her red hair being especially noticeable, and is okay in one feathery dance routine, and when singing ‘Alice Blue Gown’. However, she doesn’t give the part the comedy content Moore did, which makes the Hibernian dialect all the more unnecessary.

‘Castle In Your Dreams’, ‘Gown’ and the title song are still very worthy tunes, from the original score.

Roland Young, noted for his dry comedy, is merely dry in this picture as manager of Mme Lucy’s. Two other performers wasted are Isabel Jewell and Doris Noland, Neagle’s tenement house pals. Marsha Hunt hasn’t much to do as the almost-jilted sweetie of Alan Marshal, while May Robson’s role as the motherly but straitlaced Irish grandmother is overdone and unbelievable.

1940: Nomination: Best Score

Irene

Production: Imperadio/RKO. Director Herbert Wilcox; Producer Herbert Wilcox; Screenplay Alice Duer Miller; Camera Russell Metty; Editor Elmo Williams; Music Harry Tierney, Joseph McCarthy; Art Director L.P. Williams

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1940. Running time: 104 MIN.

With: Anna Neagle Ray Milland Roland Young Alan Marshal May Robson Billie Burke

More Film

  • Playwright Mark Medoff author of "Children

    Mark Medoff, 'Children of a Lesser God' Playwright, Dies at 79

    Mark Medoff, the playwright who wrote Tony Award-winning play “Children of a Lesser God,” died Tuesday in Las Cruces, N.M. He was 79. His daughter Jessica Medoff Bunchman posted news of his death on Facebook, and the Las Cruces Sun-News attributed the cause to cancer. “Children of a Lesser God” starred John Rubinstein and Phyllis Frelich [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Interscope Films Relaunches With Full Slate at Tribeca (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Interscope record label’s interest in film/music crossover isn’t exactly a secret: With hit companion albums for “A Star Is Born,” “Black Panther” and “La La Land,” they’ve seemed to own the soundtrack space at times in recent years. And the company hasn’t completely made a secret of its desire to move into film production. [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame': Fans and Theaters Assemble for Biggest Marvel Movie Ever

    For San Diego resident Shawn Richter, “Avengers: Endgame” is more than the conclusion to a monumental period in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the West Coast branch chair of Avengers Initiative, a cosplay charity that raises money for causes like the Ronald McDonald House Children’s Charities, the comics of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are [...]

  • Jillian Bell appears in Brittany Runs

    Amazon's 'Brittany Runs a Marathon' Sets Summer Release

    “Brittany Runs a Marathon” will be rushing to theaters on Aug. 23. Amazon Studios dated the comedy on Wednesday. The pic, starring Jillian Bell (“Rough Night,” “22 Jump Street”), won the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival. The flick follows the titutal Brittany, who decides to run around New York City in order to [...]

  • Lionsgate Hires Lynn Whitney in Marketing

    Lionsgate Hires Former Warner Bros. Exec Lynn Whitney

    Lionsgate announced Wednesday that Lynn Whitney will become head of worldwide paid media, partnerships, promotions and consumer products. Whitney was formerly the executive VP of worldwide media at Warner Bros.   In her new role, Whitney will build out media campaigns for movies like Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron’s romantic comedy “Long Shot.” “I am [...]

  • El silencio de otros

    Film Review: 'The Silence of Others'

    “Forgiven but not forgotten” is a platitude we routinely use to end disputes both petty and grievous, but it’s the reverse outcome — the mass forgetting of crimes and conflicts never truly resolved — that itches away at a post-Franco Spain in “The Silence of Others.” Soberly chronicling the ongoing legal battle of General Franco’s [...]

  • A Womans Work-The NFLs Cheerleader Problem

    Tribeca Documentaries Explore Gender Issues in Sport

    Up until recently, what it meant to be a professional female athlete in a world dominated by men wasn’t an issue that garnered high volumes of public interest, let alone national headlines. But that all changed in October 2017 when stories from the New York Times and the New Yorker detailing sexual allegations and improper [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content