When silent star Colleen Moore nervously faced a microphone for her first "sound" test, the results were so positive that virtually every member of the First National executive board shouted unanimously, "Thank God! She can talk!" In the long run, however, it probably wouldn't have mattered if she could have talked or not, since most of her early talkies -- including Smiling Irish Eyes -- were produced by her then-husband John McCormick, who was disinclined to fire his own wife! In her first musical appearance, Moore plays Kathleen O'Connor, an Irish lass in love with would-be songwriter Rory O'More (James Hall). Upon achieving success on Broadway, O'More forgets all about Kathleen and begins dallying with such sophisticated tootsies as Frankie West (Betty Francisco) and Goldie DeVeer (Julanne Johnston). Heading to America herself to be reunited with O'More, Kathleen finds nothing but disappointment and heartache -- not to mention ample opportunities to sing. Adding to the ethnic mix of Smiling Irish Eyes is the presence of two stereotypical Jews, played by William Strauss and Otto Lederer; also on hand is future cowboy sidekick George "Gabby" Hayes, plus teeth and minus beard, as a New York cabbie.
by Hal Erickson synopsis