Irish Eyes Are Smiling is an awful lot of hokum and baloney, but for those in the mood for an undemanding piece way to pass the time, it has a good deal of attraction. Anyway, no one expect Hollywood to be any good at biographies -- especially when they're songwriter biopics, where the only reason they're being filmed is to give the creators an excuse for a bunch of musical numbers. That's really the only excuse for Smiling, because the screenplay is strictly from hunger (and doesn't really make much sense into the bargain). Still, what does it matter when you have some yummy Technicolor settings splashed across the screen, taking advantage of its turn-of-the-century-ish time frame to parade a few lovely costumes? Besides, there's Monty Woolley, behaving in that irascible but irresistible manner of his, throwing in some sarcasm-laced asides every so often. And June Haver has rarely looked prettier, which is saying quite a lot indeed, and handles her musical numbers with considerable skill. Dick Haymes is no great actor, but he's in exceptionally fine voice, and that's what matters in this kind of picture. Throw in an over-qualified Anthony Quinn and some dependable character actors in support, and the result is an entertaining, if empty, little picture.
by Craig Butler review