However, an accidental fire destroys much of the church (which had appeared to have been built of rock, but, whatever) and everyone commits to rebuilding St. Dominic's. However, Bing finds that he has been transferred to another parish, so as his last act of kindness he arranges Father Fitzgibbon's mother to visit him in New York, all the way from Ireland.
So....like I said, if you like Bing Crosby you'll be royally entertained by this film. If you do NOT like him, I just saved you two hours of torture. I don't mind him, but I did find it hard to believe in him as a singing, dancing, joking priest. On the other hand, Fitzgerald is nothing but believable as the older, sterner priest who resents the young whipper-snapper showing up trying to "fix" things. This part of the story still seems fresh today. Are we doomed to continually mis-trust the generation we do not belong to? Speaking of Barry Fitzgerald, he is part of a very interesting bit of trivia. This year, for the only time, the same actor in the same role was nominated in both "Best" and "Best Supporting" categories. After this embarrassment, Academy rules were changed so that you can only be nominated once a year in one category for one role.
There were a few notable casting choices in this film. I noticed that one of the troubled youths was played by Carl Switzer, best known as a child actor as "Alfalfa" in The Little Rascals series. He did a good job in this. Also noteworthy was William Frawley as one of the music publishers; this was seven years before he would gain immortal fame as Fred Mertz on the classic TV series "I LOVE LUCY."
Going My Way
*Academy Award Best Picture of 1944*
Produced and Directed
by Leo McCarey
by Leo McCarey
Screenplay by Frank Butler & Frank Cavett
Story by Leo McCarey
Here's the Academy Award-winning song,
with Bing and the Robert Mitchell Boys Choir
(in alphabetical order)
Since You Went Away
If you are a fan of film noir you must see Double Indemnity. It stars Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, and Edward G. Robinson in the classic thriller directed by Billy Wilder about Stanwyck wanting to kill her husband. Gaslight is the other side of the story, with Charles Boyer trying to kill his wife, Ingrid Bergman. She won Best Actress for this; newcomer Angela Lansbury was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Since You Went Away is a WWII home-front drama starring Claudette Colbert that I had never heard of before doing research for this review. And Wilson was a biographical film about a basketball trapped on a deserted island. Just kidding; it's about President Woodrow Wilson, but nobody remembers it (or him) today. From this year, the number of nominees for Best Picture were whittled down to five, just like all the other major categories. It stayed this way for the next 60 plus years.