Private Izzy Murphy (1926)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Countries - United States   |  
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Broadway entertainer Georgie Jessel beat his "friendly rival" Al Jolson to the screen by one year in the wartime comedy drama Private Izzy Murphy. Of Jewish-Irish heritage, merchant Izzy (Jessel) falls in love with 100-percent Irish colleen Ellen Connaghan (Patsy Ruth Miller). To make her proud of him, he joins the Fighting 69th, the famed WWI Irish-American regiment. Performing valiantly on the battlefield, Murphy returns home a hero (and, amusingly, wearing fewer medals than the real-life Jessel would display in his talk-show appearances of the 1960s). Even so, Ellen's staunchly Catholic father (played by German actor Gustav von Seyfertitz) refuses to allow his daughter to marry a Jew. Izzy's buddies convince the old man that he could never find a better son-in-law than our hero, leading to an elaborate wedding finale. Private Izzy Murphy did well enough for Warner Bros. to offer George Jessel the lead in their pioneering talkie The Jazz Singer; but Jessel (who'd appeared in the last-named production on Broadway) turned down the offer, to his everlasting regret.



Catholicism, courage, cross-cultural-relations, Judaism, love, marriage, romance, soldier