Little Nellie Kelly (1940)

96 or 98 mins | Musical | 22 November 1940

Director:

Norman Taurog

Writer:

Jack McGowan

Producer:

Arthur Freed

Cinematographer:

Ray June

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Although the film was based on George M. Cohan's musical comedy of the same name, little of the original plot was transferred to the screen. Judy Garland's "swing" rendition of "Singin' in the Rain" was among the musical numbers featured in the 1974 M-G-M compilation picture, That's Entertainment . "Nellie Kelly" was the first adult role played by Garland and the first feature film of actor-singer John Raitt (1917--2005), who appeared in a small role as an "Intern." After appearing in small roles in several films, Raitt went to Broadway and became a star, playing the lead in such popular musicals as Carousel and The Pajama Game . He also starred in the film version of The Pajama Game (see below), among other films, and was the father of country-Western singer Bonnie Raitt. ... More Less

Although the film was based on George M. Cohan's musical comedy of the same name, little of the original plot was transferred to the screen. Judy Garland's "swing" rendition of "Singin' in the Rain" was among the musical numbers featured in the 1974 M-G-M compilation picture, That's Entertainment . "Nellie Kelly" was the first adult role played by Garland and the first feature film of actor-singer John Raitt (1917--2005), who appeared in a small role as an "Intern." After appearing in small roles in several films, Raitt went to Broadway and became a star, playing the lead in such popular musicals as Carousel and The Pajama Game . He also starred in the film version of The Pajama Game (see below), among other films, and was the father of country-Western singer Bonnie Raitt. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 Nov 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
15 Nov 40
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 40
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Aug 40
p. 38.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Sep 40
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Nov 40
p. 4.
Motion Picture Daily
13 Nov 40
p. 4.
New York Times
25 Dec 40
p. 33.
Variety
20 Nov 40
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Women's cost
Men's cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
Mus adpt
SOUND
Rec dir
DANCE
Dance dir, waltz teacher to Douglas McPhail
MAKEUP
Make-up created by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the musical Little Nellie Kelly by by George M. Cohan (New York, 13 Nov 1922).
SONGS
"Nellie Kelly I Love You," music and lyrics by George M. Cohan
"It's a Great Day for the Irish" and "A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow," music and lyrics by Roger Edens
"Singin' in the Rain," music by Nacio Herb Brown, lyrics by Arthur Freed
+
SONGS
"Nellie Kelly I Love You," music and lyrics by George M. Cohan
"It's a Great Day for the Irish" and "A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow," music and lyrics by Roger Edens
"Singin' in the Rain," music by Nacio Herb Brown, lyrics by Arthur Freed
"Danny Boy," music and lyrics by Fred E. Weatherly, adapted from a traditional Irish air.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 November 1940
Production Date:
29 July--19 September 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
13 November 1940
Copyright Number:
LP10064
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
96 or 98
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
6612
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Irishman Michael Noonan does his best to avoid work of any kind, even though his beloved daughter Nellie tries her best to convince him to do some. When Nellie and her sweetheart, Jerry Kelly, marry over Michael's petty objections, he vows never to speak to Jerry, even though he reluctantly agrees to accompany the pair to America. After several years in New York, the three become citizens and Jerry becomes a policeman, but Michael still will not speak to him. When Nellie dies giving birth to a baby daughter, Michael again refuses to make peace with Jerry, even though he continues to live with him and take care of the baby. Many years later, Jerry has risen to the rank of police captain, and the baby, also named Nellie, has grown into a young woman who is the image of her mother, and like her mother is torn by her love for both Michael and Jerry. Their daily squabbling becomes more serious when Nellie takes an interest in young Dennis Fogarty, the son of Michael's old friend Timothy. Michael makes unreasonably objections against Dennis, while Jerry tries to make Nellie realize that Michael is using her devotion to him for selfish reasons. She continues to see Dennis, but is heartbroken when Michael leaves home after a fight over Dennis. Some time later, at the Policeman's Ball, Nellie and Dennis decide to take a walk in the park, and discover that Michael has finally gotten a job as a hansom cab driver. Despite his inability to control the horse, he seems to be suited for the job and all ends happily as the three ... +


Irishman Michael Noonan does his best to avoid work of any kind, even though his beloved daughter Nellie tries her best to convince him to do some. When Nellie and her sweetheart, Jerry Kelly, marry over Michael's petty objections, he vows never to speak to Jerry, even though he reluctantly agrees to accompany the pair to America. After several years in New York, the three become citizens and Jerry becomes a policeman, but Michael still will not speak to him. When Nellie dies giving birth to a baby daughter, Michael again refuses to make peace with Jerry, even though he continues to live with him and take care of the baby. Many years later, Jerry has risen to the rank of police captain, and the baby, also named Nellie, has grown into a young woman who is the image of her mother, and like her mother is torn by her love for both Michael and Jerry. Their daily squabbling becomes more serious when Nellie takes an interest in young Dennis Fogarty, the son of Michael's old friend Timothy. Michael makes unreasonably objections against Dennis, while Jerry tries to make Nellie realize that Michael is using her devotion to him for selfish reasons. She continues to see Dennis, but is heartbroken when Michael leaves home after a fight over Dennis. Some time later, at the Policeman's Ball, Nellie and Dennis decide to take a walk in the park, and discover that Michael has finally gotten a job as a hansom cab driver. Despite his inability to control the horse, he seems to be suited for the job and all ends happily as the three generations are reconciled. +

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.