Kid from Brooklyn, The (1946): Danny Kaye’s Remake of Harold Lloyd

Directed by Norman Z. McLeod, Danny Kaye’s star vehicle, The Kid from Brooklyn, is a remake of Harold Lloyd’s much admired The Milky Way (1936), plus music and Technicolor values added to the saga.

Like The Milky Way, The Kid from Brooklyn was adapted from the Broadway play by Lynn Root.

Kaye, then at the height of his popularity, plays a timid milkman named Burleigh Sullivan, who through chance knocks out prizefighting champion Speed McFarlane (Steve Cochran).

Sensing huge publicity, McFarlane’s manager Gabby Sloan (Walter Abel) promotes Burleigh as the next middleweight champ.  To insure this victory, Gabby fixes several pre-title bouts.

Unaware that his fighting prowess is a sham, Burleigh believes in his success, which isolates him from everyone he cares about, including his girl Polly Pringle (Virginia Mayo).

The truth is revealed during the climactic fight, but a chastened Burleigh emerges victorious thanks to a series of incredible plot twists.

The supporting cast includes Vera-Ellen as Burleigh’s sister Susie, Eve Arden as Gabby’s wisecracking friend Ann Westley.

Reprising his role from Milky Way, Lionel Stander plays Speed’s lame-brained trainer Spider Schultz.

Danny Kaye gets to sing “Pavlova,” which just doesn’t belong in this picture.


Running time: 113 minutes.

Directed by Norman Z. McLeod

Released: March 21, 1946

DVD: August 14, 2007