The Happiest Millionaire (1967)
On this Saint Patrick’s Day, TCM will be showing many Irish themed film standards. With that in mind, I wanted to pick a movie that would be an extra delight to add to the Irish themed day. The Happiest Millionaire is a classic Disney musical full of hope, enthusiasm, and laughter. In the film Irish immigrant, John Lawless (Tommy Steele) goes to work for an eccentric family. Though tempted to leave his new employers, it is easy to see that with a song and a dance John will fit in as the new butler. The real conflict in the story is that of millionaire Anthony J. Drexel Biddle (Fred McMurray) must deal with his children leaving the nest and experiencing the world that is beyond the athletic minded Biddle Bible School.
John Lawless as a character is very similar to another famous Disney house guest, Mary Poppins. Both characters while doing their duty also help to heal relationships within a family, thus, helping each member find their own happiness. However, John does not do this with a spoon full of sugar; rather, he serves drinks and canapés. Earlier today on TCM, Tommy Steele was playing another Irish character in Finian’s Rainbow. Steele is a leprechaun on the verge of becoming mortal if he does not find his stolen gold.
One final note about The Happiest Millionaire, Anthony Biddles wife, Cordelia, is played by TCM March Star of the Month, Greer Garson. This film coming a year after she played Mother Prioress in The Singing Nun (1966), this film gives audiences the typical Greer Garson performance. Her characters calmness and Garson’s beautiful voice, make her character the perfect “straight-man” to Anthony Biddles overreactions.
What are some other Irish themed movies that you enjoy watching?