The incredible success of the Broadway comedy Abie's Irish Rose sent movie producers scurrying abot for similar "Catholic-Jewish romance" yarns. First on the scene was Universal's Carl Laemmle, who purchased an obscure theatrical piece titled Just Next Door and transformed it into The Cohens and the Kellys. Jacob Cohen (George Sidney) is a Jewish dry-goods merchant, while Patrick Kelly (Charlie Murray) is an Irish cop. Though they carry on a grumpy-old-man feud, one gets the feeling that the two guys would really like each other were the circumstances right. Those circumstances are forced upon them when Jacob's daughter Nannie Cohen (Olive Hasbrouck) secretly marries Patrick's son. Once the truth comes out, there's a lot of anguish, hand-wringing and denunciations, but all turns out well when the Cohens and the Kellys become business partners. Universal managed to parlay The Cohens and Kellys into a series of feature films, which extended well into the talkie era; many of the follow-up films also starred Charlie Murray and George Sidney, who later teamed for a group of Columbia 2-reelers.
by Hal Erickson synopsis