It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.
This week’s musical:
Top O’ the Morning (1949) – Musical #450
Bing Crosby, Ann Blyth, Barry Fitzgerald, Hume Cronyn, Eileen Crowe, John McIntire, Tudor Owen, Jimmy Hunt, Morgan Farley,
When the Blarney Stone is stolen from an Irish village, an American insurance investigator Joe Mulqueen (Crosby) travels to Ireland to investigate. In Ireland, the local police Sergeant Briany McNaughton (Fitzgerald) is trying to investigate the case. Joe falls for McNaughton’s daughter Conn (Blyth).
• Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald were in three films together, and this was their last film together.
• Bing Crosby originally wanted Deanna Durbin in the leading lady role, but she turned the film down as she wanted to retire from films.
• Working titles were “Diamond in the Haystack” and “Needle in a Haystack.”
• Filmed in late-1948 and released in mid-1949.
• The traditional Irish songs.
• “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” performed by Bing Crosby
• “The Donovans” performed by Barry Fitzgerald, Ann Blyth, Bing Crosby, John Costello and chorus
• “Top O’ the Morning” performed by Bing Crosby
• “Oh, ‘Tis Sweet to Think” performed by Bing Crobsy and Ann Blyth
When it came to casting for “Top O’ the Morning,” central casting scoured Hollywood for all the Irish actors they could find to cast in the film. The result? Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald and Ann Blyth, whose mother was born in Ireland.
Set in a small village in Ireland, the film begins when the Blarney stone is stolen. While the local police try to crack the case, an insurance detective from New York (played by Bing Crosby) also comes to uncover the case.
“Top O’ the Morning” is a fun, endearing and overall lighthearted. It’s a cute story with lively music — mostly traditional Irish songs but with two original songs.
One highlight is that we get the opportunity to hear Ann Blyth sing, which is always a treat.
While overall the film is sweet and joyful, the end does briefly take a turn. Nevertheless, this a sweet and fun film with an outstanding cast.
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