Little Nellie Kelly
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In this whimsical bit o' blarney from George M. Cohan's 1922 hit, Judy Garland plays dual roles: plucky Irish immigrant Nellie (Judy's first grownup part) and her daughter, Little Nellie. Both Nellies contend with the same cantankerous coot, the laze-about father (Charles Winninger) who fusses mightily when Nellie marries an upstanding lad (George Murphy) and repeats the process years later when Little Nellie falls in love. Radiant and winning, Garland sings It's a Great Day for the Irish, Singin' in the Rain and more classic tunes. But the film's finest moment may be the heartrending hospital scene in which Garland's touching, emotionally subtle performance gives promise of the superb dramatic actress she would become.
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Top customer reviews
Warner issues good old movies this way - discussing!
A wonderful heartwarming movie that I hope is soon released on DVD. It showcases Garland who is brilliant in every respect, right down to commanding an irish brogue better than more irish people. What a talent!! My gosh, this girl could do anything!! Probably the most talented individual of the 20th century.
The rest of the cast is exceptional as well....Charles Winninger as her cantakerous father/grandfather who holds the picture together with his stubborn Irish pride. George Murphy who tears your heart out in Judy's death scene...he practically steals the scene away from Judy which is no small feat. And Douglas McPhail who woos the young Nellie Kelly with great aplomb. Sadly, McPhail would commit suicide by poisoning himself on December 6, 1944 which was such a waste because he was a talented young man. Too bad MGM didn't quite know what to do with him.
All around, Little Nellie Kelly is pure escapism at its best with a show stopping "Singin in the Rain" number by Judy which can do it better than anyone!! Yes, this film is rated 5 stars from me....it is entertainment at its brightest with Judy Garland in the glory days of her MGM career! God Bless Her!
While the plot is fairly simple and typical of the formula employed by MGM during the WWII era, it is enjoyable fluff enhanced by a few musical numbers featuring young Judy who had a beautiful voice even early in her career that was augmented by personality, youthful radiance, and talent. The story centers on the youthful escapades of Nellie, a teen who has been raised by her maternal grandfather and her NYC policeman father since her mother died in childbirth. While not as complex as her role in Presenting Lily Mars where she blossoms into a more adult role, Judy as the perpetual ingenue growing up is oddly satisfying, but it is Garland's singing in this one that sealed the deal for me.
This film is in decent though not remastered condition.
I've changed my mind. Every time I think about this movie I can't get past that domineering old coot willing to do anything to destroy the happiness of his family just to suit himself. "In my home I'm king!"
Highlights are Judy singing It's a Great Day for the Irish, A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow, and a great rendition of Singin' in the Rain.
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