Abie's Irish Rose (1946)

96-96.5 or 98 mins | Comedy-drama | 27 December 1946

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HISTORY

In the opening title card, Anne Nichols' name appears above the title. Although the onscreen credits list the production company as Bing Crosby Producers, Inc., the copyright claimant is listed as Bing Corsby Productions, Inc. Nichols' play ran for six years on Broadway, according to a 30 Dec 1946 article in Time . Later it served as the basis for a radio comedy serial, but the program was canceled in 1945 because of listener protests about its stereotyped ethnic portrayals. Although the play was an all-time box-office champion, the Var reviewer expressed doubts that the film would find an audience at a time when "minorities become political footballs, when all the energies of postwar rehabilitation seem to focus on an effort for better understanding...the story has become a topical misfit." The NYT reviewer agreed, stating, "it is downright embarrassing to see characters upon the screen insulting each other because one happens to be a Jew and the other an Irish Catholic." In a 6 Nov 1946 article, DV quotes members of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, who deemed the film, "the worst sort of caricature of both Jews and Catholics." A 22 Dec 1946 NYT article reported that after objections from the Anti-Defamation League, which complained about the use of Jewish characters for comedy relief, some of the gags referring to "Jewish parsimony" were cut.
       In a 3 Feb 1947 article, HR noted that Rabbi Max Nussbaum defended the picture's intent to promote racial tolerance. Although he stated that "qualitatively the picture could have been much better," and that ... More Less

In the opening title card, Anne Nichols' name appears above the title. Although the onscreen credits list the production company as Bing Crosby Producers, Inc., the copyright claimant is listed as Bing Corsby Productions, Inc. Nichols' play ran for six years on Broadway, according to a 30 Dec 1946 article in Time . Later it served as the basis for a radio comedy serial, but the program was canceled in 1945 because of listener protests about its stereotyped ethnic portrayals. Although the play was an all-time box-office champion, the Var reviewer expressed doubts that the film would find an audience at a time when "minorities become political footballs, when all the energies of postwar rehabilitation seem to focus on an effort for better understanding...the story has become a topical misfit." The NYT reviewer agreed, stating, "it is downright embarrassing to see characters upon the screen insulting each other because one happens to be a Jew and the other an Irish Catholic." In a 6 Nov 1946 article, DV quotes members of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, who deemed the film, "the worst sort of caricature of both Jews and Catholics." A 22 Dec 1946 NYT article reported that after objections from the Anti-Defamation League, which complained about the use of Jewish characters for comedy relief, some of the gags referring to "Jewish parsimony" were cut.
       In a 3 Feb 1947 article, HR noted that Rabbi Max Nussbaum defended the picture's intent to promote racial tolerance. Although he stated that "qualitatively the picture could have been much better," and that certain scenes and characters did not accurately reflect real Jewish life, Rabbi Nussbaum pointed to other films, such as The Jolson Story (See Entry), which presented realistic portrayals of Jews and lauded producer Bing Crosby's service to Jewish and minority causes. A 6 May 1947 HR news item noted that despite a "whispering campaign" against the film, theaters that played the picture made a profit, and additional exhibitors were gradually booking the film. The news item added that the picture had been cleared by the Anti-Defamation League, the Legion of Decency and the Production Code Administration.
       This film marked the motion picture debuts of Joanne Dru and Richard Norris. Anne Nichols' play also was the basis for the 1929 Paramount film of the same title, which starred Charles Rogers and Nancy Carroll (See Entry). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
30 Nov 1946.
---
Cue
21 Dec 1946.
---
Daily Variety
6 Nov 1946.
---
Daily Variety
25 Nov 46
p. 3, 10
Film Daily
29 Nov 46
p. 7.
Harrison's Reports
30 Nov 46
p. 190.
Harrison's Reports
21 Dec 46
p. 201.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Apr 46
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Nov 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Dec 46
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 47
p. 1, 18
Hollywood Reporter
6 May 47
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
29 Jun 46
p. 3066.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
30 Nov 46
p. 3334.
New York Times
22 Dec 1946.
---
New York Times
23 Dec 46
p. 19.
Time
30 Dec 1946.
---
Variety
27 Nov 1946.
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Supv film ed
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cos des
MUSIC
Mus supv
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Abie's Irish Rose by Anne Nichols (New York, 23 May 1922).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Abie's Irish Rose," music and lyrics by Robert Wells and Mel Tormé.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Anne Nichols' Abie's Irish Rose
Release Date:
27 December 1946
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 21 December 1946
Production Date:
began 15 April 1946
Copyright Claimant:
Bing Crosby Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
27 December 1946
Copyright Number:
LP820
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
96-96.5 or 98
Length(in feet):
8,693
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
11615
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On V-E Day in London, American soldier Abie Levy falls in love with U.S.O. entertainer Rosemary Murphy, and shortly after, they are married by an Army chaplain, Rev. Tom Stevens. When Abie returns home, however, he keeps his marriage a secret, knowing that his father Solomon would not approve of his marrying an Irish Catholic woman. A few months later, Rosemary returns to the United States, prompting Abie to reveal to Solomon that he met a woman overseas and intends to bring her to dinner. That evening, Abie introduces Rosemary as Rosie Murphiski, allowing Solomon to infer that she is Jewish. Although Rosemary privately protests to Abie, he insists that the deception is necessary until Solomon has time to know and love her. Delighted with Rosemary's beauty and sweetness, Solomon enlists the family rabbi, Dr. Jacob Samuels, to help plan a Jewish wedding for the couple. On the day of the wedding, Rosemary's father Patrick flies in from California with his friend, Father John Whelan, but arrives just after the vows have been uttered. Because Patrick dislikes Jews as much as Solomon dislikes the Irish, Rosemary has told him she is marrying a man named Michael McGee. When Patrick and Solomon finally learn about their children's deception, they engage in a fierce argument, while Solomon's friends, Isaac Cohen and his wife, side with Rosemary and Abie. Patrick insists that the Jewish marriage is not legal, and Father Whelan gets a special dispensation to allow him to perform a Catholic wedding ceremony. Abie and Rosemary are wed three times, but their fathers refuse to have anything to do with the couple or with ... +


On V-E Day in London, American soldier Abie Levy falls in love with U.S.O. entertainer Rosemary Murphy, and shortly after, they are married by an Army chaplain, Rev. Tom Stevens. When Abie returns home, however, he keeps his marriage a secret, knowing that his father Solomon would not approve of his marrying an Irish Catholic woman. A few months later, Rosemary returns to the United States, prompting Abie to reveal to Solomon that he met a woman overseas and intends to bring her to dinner. That evening, Abie introduces Rosemary as Rosie Murphiski, allowing Solomon to infer that she is Jewish. Although Rosemary privately protests to Abie, he insists that the deception is necessary until Solomon has time to know and love her. Delighted with Rosemary's beauty and sweetness, Solomon enlists the family rabbi, Dr. Jacob Samuels, to help plan a Jewish wedding for the couple. On the day of the wedding, Rosemary's father Patrick flies in from California with his friend, Father John Whelan, but arrives just after the vows have been uttered. Because Patrick dislikes Jews as much as Solomon dislikes the Irish, Rosemary has told him she is marrying a man named Michael McGee. When Patrick and Solomon finally learn about their children's deception, they engage in a fierce argument, while Solomon's friends, Isaac Cohen and his wife, side with Rosemary and Abie. Patrick insists that the Jewish marriage is not legal, and Father Whelan gets a special dispensation to allow him to perform a Catholic wedding ceremony. Abie and Rosemary are wed three times, but their fathers refuse to have anything to do with the couple or with each other. The Cohens stand by the newlyweds, however, offering them both friendship and financial help, and a year later, they arrive at Abie and Rosemary's apartment to help them decorate a Christmas tree. Rosemary has given birth, but neither grandparent has visited or offered congratulations, until Father Whelan arrives with a reluctant Patrick, who is pleased to see the Christmas tree. Patrick brings presents for a girl, hoping that the baby is not a boy because he does not want his grandchild to bear the name Levy all of his life. Soon after, Dr. Samuels arrives with Solomon, who carries a menorah and presents for a boy, and the two grandfathers again become embroiled in a loud, endless argument. Father Whelan and Dr. Samuels are joined by Rev. Stevens, and the three theologians intervene and bring out a baby boy named Patrick Joseph Levy. Patrick loves the name as much as Solomon hates it, and Solomon declares that he will call the baby "Mr. Levy." Little Pat's twin sister is then brought out and when Solomon learns that she is named Rebecca for Abie's dead mother, his heart is softened. The joy of holding the babies brings the grandfathers together, but their happiness is temporarily interrupted when baby Pat swallows a hook from a Christmas tree ornament. A doctor saves the boy, much to the relief of the grandfathers, who immediately start to argue over who gets to hold Pat. A passing policeman stops by to investigate the doctor's badly parked car, and upon hearing the twins cry, assures Abie and Rosemary that he has a foolproof system for getting babies to sleep. Holding the twins close, the policeman sings both an Irish lullaby and a Jewish song, soothing them to sleep and proving to the grandfathers that their separate cultures can be satisfactorily intertwined. Patrick and Solomon then shake hands, and everyone enjoys a happy holiday. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.