My Wild Irish Rose stars Golden Age of Hollywood tenor Dennis Morgan as turn-of-the-century tenor Chauncey Olcott, who brought "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling," "Mother Machree" and more beloved airs to eager theater audiences.
The Warner Bros. musical MY WILD IRISH ROSE purports to tell the life story of popular 19th century balladeer Chauncey Olcott-or at least, the version set down by Olcott's daughter Rita. Starting his career in minstrel shows, Olcott (Dennis Morgan) is given his first break by stage luminary Lillian Russell (Andrea King), who casts him as her Broadway leading man. Though their relationship is platonic so far as Russell is concerned, the newspapers have a field day concocting an imaginary romance, driving a wedge between Olcott and his hometown sweetheart Rose Donovan (Arlene Dahl). No matter what his personal problems, Olcott rises to heretofore unimagined show-biz heights with his sentimental Irish ballads, including "A Little Bit of Heaven", "Mother Macree" and, of course, the title tune. I LOVE LUCY fans will be amused by the casting of a generously toupeed William Frawley as famed Irish tenor William Scanlan, who after his voice fails him generously passes the torch of celebrity to Olcott.
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