Donald Cook plays a fading actor whose son, Donald O'Connor, has just started his own theatrical career. It transpires that both Cook and O'Connor are up for the same part in a Broadway show, and the son is the winner. This results in jealousy from the father--and confusion from the audience, in that the stolid Cook and the loose-limbed O'Connor would never be considered the same "type" in any real-life situation. All is eventually forgiven, and as a bonus both father and son find the loves of their lives: Cook is paired with Frances Dee, and O'Connor gets Peggy Ryan. While Donald O'Connor is virtually the whole show in Patrick the Great, he is given formidable scene-hogging competition from supporting actress Eve Arden.
~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide