Kathleen Mavourneen (1937 film)

Kathleen Mavourneen is a 1937 British-Irish musical drama film directed by Norman Lee and starring Sally O'Neil, Tom Burke and Jack Daly.[1][2] The story had been filmed several times previously, including a silent version (1919), starring Theda Bara and a previous 1930 Tiffany talkie also starring Sally O'Neil. This version, also known as "Kathleen", was filmed in Ireland, and features the character of Old Mother Riley who appeared in her own film series. It was shot at Welwyn Studios.[3]

Kathleen Mavourneen
Directed byNorman Lee
Produced byJohn Argyle
Written byThomas Moore (poem)
Clara Mulholland (novel)
John Glen
Marjorie Deans
StarringSally O'Neil
Tom Burke
Jack Daly
Sara Allgood
Music byGuy Jones
CinematographyBryan Langley
Edited byF.H. Bickerton
Distributed byWardour Films
Release date
Running time
75 minutes
CountryIrish Free State
United Kingdom


Kathleen O'Moore returns home to rural Ireland, and finds she has rivals for her affections in the shape of poor boy Michael Rooney (Tom Burke) and wealthy squire Dennis O'Dwyer (Jack Daly). The two rivals in love team up to rescue Kathleen from her unpleasant aunt (Ethel Gryffies), who has arranged a loveless but profitable marriage for the girl.[1]

Partial cast

Critical reception

The New York Times said, "An Irish-made picture it is, as flavorsome in its dialogue and occasional glimpses of country life as a horse fair in County Cork; and as silly and sentimental in its story as a poor imitation of Hollywood can be."[4] Allmovie calls the film, "a fanciful bit of blarney predicated on the ballad "Kathleen Mavourneen."[1]



  • Low, Rachael. Filmmaking in 1930s Britain. George Allen & Unwin, 1985.
  • Wood, Linda. British Films, 1927-1939. British Film Institute, 1986.

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