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 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.
This week’s musical:
“Paddy O’Day” –Musical #480
20th Century Fox
Jane Withers, Jane Darwell, Pinky Tomlin, Rita Hayworth (as Rita Casino), Russell Simpson, Vera Lewis, Louise Carter
Paddy O’Day (Withers) is an Irish orphan who travels from Ireland to the United States to live with her mother. When she arrives, she learns that her mother is dead. With the help of some friends Paddy make along the way, she is able to stay in the United States and not return to Ireland.
-This is one of four films Jane Withers made in 1935. The others were “The Farmer Takes a Wife,” “Ginger” and “This is the Life.”
-Rita Hayworth’s sixth film role. Rita is credited as Rita Cansino. She changed her last name to “Hayworth” the next year.
-This is Rita Hayworth’s firs prominent film role.
-Jane Withers and Rita Hayworth became friends while making this movie. Withers gave the eulogy at Hayworth’s funeral in 1987.
-Judy Garland was considered for a performance in this film, according to Judy: A Legendary Film Career by John Fricke
-Young Rita Hayworth dancing at the very beginning of the film.
-Keep the Twinkle in Your Eye sung by Jane Withers (three times)
-Changing My Ambitions sung by Pinky Tomlin
-I Like a Balalaika sung by Jane Withers
“Paddy O’Day” is an adorable film and a good example of the type of films child star Jane Withers starred in at Fox. While Shirley Temple made the big budget, glittering A films at Fox, Withers was in the B movies at Fox.
However, she was very popular because she seemed like a regular kid and was more relatable, said TCM Primetime host Robert Osborne.
The only issue in this film is that Withers has a cringe worthy Irish accent. But she’s so adorable that you can look past it. I also wish Jane Darwell had a larger role.
It’s also fun to see 16-year-old Rita Hayworth dancing in the movie, looking young, fresh and not yet glamorized.
One interesting note: Jane Withers didn’t have a major crying scene. This is unusual for a 1930s child star. Most child stars boasted their crying talents.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day with this Irish themed, fun film!