Fox // 1935 // 73 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge P.S. Colbert // July 5th, 2013
"She's a plucky little girl."
Plucky, you say? Aye, you've got it in one, then! T'would be no other but Paddy O'Day (Jane Withers, Golden Hoofs), that pint-sized daughter of Erin, herself. Little Paddy's traveling on a third class fare, aboard a big ship steaming towards America, where her dear old mother does the cooking and the scrubbing up for a wealthy family by the name of Ford.
"Keep a twinkle in your eye," goes her song, and a fine step dance too does Paddy, with Tim (her scrappy, stowaway pup) and the rest of the passengers and all cheering her on. Never mind that the little girl travels alone, she's being well looked-after by her new Russian friends, the Petrovich family: Momuschka, Popuschka, and daughter Tamara (Rita Cansino, soon to become Rita Hayworth, and a bonafide superstar in her own right). They've come to reunite with their cousin Mischa (George Givot, Wake Up And Live), owner of a little café he dreams of transforming into the biggest night club in all o' New York.
Faith, me heart breaks to inform that Miss O'Day will be receiving the saddest of news from the crack staff at Ellis Island: her poor Mam has passed away and gone onto her great reward. Now made an orphan, our wee Paddy will have no choice but to be shipped back to Eire; may the lord bless and keep her.
It certainly wouldn't be the thing for me to spoil what's upcoming for you: how our girl winds up hiding out in the Ford family mansion, trying to dodge the twittering Aunties, and their eccentric, bird-loving nephew Roger (Pinky Tomlin). You'll neither get out of me exactly how the Petroviches come back into the stew, though why bird-brained Roger gets his heart stolen by the more-than-fair Tamara shouldn't be hard to work out for even the thickest among y'as!
"This Disc Has Been Manufactured Using The Best Source Material Available." That says it all, folks. Fox offers Paddy O'Day through its "Cinema Archive" made-on-demand DVR program, which often lends itself to distributing prints rife with careworn pictures and sounds, and this one falls squarely into that woeful category. Also keeping with tradition, there are no extras available here.
Such a shame too, for this brief, briskly-paced programmer has lots of natural charm. Then eleven years old, Withers was a ball of dynamic, cherubic talent. Tomlin, primarily famous as a singer and songwriter ("The Love Bug Will Bite You If You Don't Watch Out," "What's The Reason I'm Not Pleasin' You?"), exhibits a natural comic flair, and Givot is an unadulterated hoot as the English-mangling mogul-in-his-own-mind, Mischa Petrovich. Their efforts are done no favors by this sloppy afterthought of a release, that I can tell y'as!
Saints preserve us! The production's a treasure indeed, but the presentation
here is guilty as sin.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 73 Minutes
Release Year: 1935
MPAA Rating: Not Rated