The Luck of the Irish (1948)

The Luck of the Irish Poster

Following American reporter Stephen Fitzgerald from Ireland to New York, a grateful leprechaun acts as the newsman's servant and conscience.

Film Overview
"The Luck of the Irish" is a 1948 American romantic funny directed by Henry Koster. The film showcases renowned stars like Tyrone Power and Anne Baxter in leading functions. The story revolves around Stephen Fitzgerald, a successful global reporter, his encounter with a Leprechaun, and the ensuing dilemmas involving his love life and understanding of success.

Plot Summary
Stephen Fitzgerald, played by Tyrone Power, is a hardworking foreign reporter for a New York newspaper, who is constantly travelling. On his check out to Ireland with a good friend, Bill Clark (Lee J. Cobb), he encounters a seemingly strange male, Horace (Cecil Kellaway), who claims to be a Leprechaun. Despite his hesitation, Stephen succumbs to a magical spell that forces him to stay in Ireland.

Stephen quickly succumbs to a local girl, Nora (Anne Baxter), and gets accustomed to an easier, serene life in the countryside. On the other hand, Horace follows Stephen to America, with the motive of recovering his stolen pot of gold. The plot thickens as Stephen oscillates in between his love for Nora, his old flame Frances (Jayne Meadows), and the exigencies of his high-pressure task. The unanticipated existence of the Leprechaun, who experiences a development spurt in the American climate, adds a component of humor and confusion to the unfolding storyline.

Sub-plot and Climax
The film takes a twist when Nora pertains to New York, revealing that she is a wealthy heiress. She competes with Frances for Stephen's affection, while Horace, now a full-sized guy, gets a task at Stephen's paper workplace. Stephen's seesaw in between the love of the simple, no-frills Irish girl and the glamorous, high-society Frances represents his problem of picking between a tranquil, modest life and an attractive, effective one. Meanwhile, Horace becomes an experience at the newspaper workplace, with his philosophical yet eccentric commentaries on life, including some lighthearted moments to the film.

The climax of the movie unravels Stephen's decision about his career and love life. After much consideration, he picks Nora over Frances, showing that real love and an easy life hold more interest him than popularity and high-end. Horace obtains his pot of gold and, in a comical turn, shrinks back to his original Leprechaun size.

Film Reception
The story, though whimsical, is a distinct blend of dream and romance, underpinned by the primary theme: the tussle between materialism and simplicity. "The Luck of the Irish" successfully packages comedy with parallel narratives of love and contrasts between various way of lives.

Provided the age, the film's innovative technique was favored and it amassed favorable evaluations. It earned Cecil Kellaway an election for Best Supporting Actor at the 1948 Academy Awards. The movie effectively captivated audiences with its lively characters and funny plot, communicating the simple appeal frequently related to 1940s Hollywood movie theater.

The charm of "The Luck of the Irish" depends on its light-hearted story of a guy's struggle in between his love and profession, challenged by the unexpected existence of a Leprechaun. The movie discreetly brings to surface his internal struggle in between ordinary modernity and charming simpleness. It is a must-watch for those who delight in classic Hollywood romantic funnies infused with a touch of dream.

Top Cast

  • Tyrone Power (small)
    Tyrone Power
    Stephen Fitzgerald
  • Anne Baxter (small)
    Anne Baxter
  • Cecil Kellaway (small)
    Cecil Kellaway
    Horace (A Leprechaun)
  • Lee J. Cobb (small)
    Lee J. Cobb
    David C. Augur
  • James Todd
    Bill Clark
  • Jayne Meadows (small)
    Jayne Meadows
    Frances Augur
  • J. M. Kerrigan (small)
    J. M. Kerrigan
    Tatie the Innkeeper
  • Phil Brown (small)
    Phil Brown
    Tom Higginbotham
  • Charles Irwin (small)
    Charles Irwin
  • Helen Dietrich
    Piano player
  • Ruth Clifford (small)
    Ruth Clifford
    Secretary (uncredited)