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Going My Way (Universal Cinema Classics)
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Part of this reluctance to delve may be due to the film's pastoral (no pun intended) ambience and relaxed pace, which could have inspired the producers of the Andy Griffith Show a few years later (check out the checker game scene). It takes its time, telling its story on its own terms, and this simply doesn't sit well with the majority of modern multi-taskers who've been fed a steady diet of breakneck action orgies, sophomoric sex comedies, and formulaic, artificial romantic comedies. But if you give it a chance and let it work its charms it will eventually win you over. To borrow a line from the film, it will "grow on you." Maybe not in the first viewing, maybe not even in the first few years...but eventually.
Its charms worked instantly on audiences in need of hope, inspiration, and a chuckle or two during the Second World War, making it a huge box office hit in 1944. It even won over critics of the day: James Agee stated that "Going My Way" "points the way to the great films which will be possible when Hollywood becomes aware of the richness and delight of human character for its own sake." It earned seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and a Best Actor Oscar for Bing Crosby (as Father Chuck O'Malley), who was starting his run as the #1 box office star for a record five consecutive years.Read more ›
Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald) has been at St. Dominic's in New York since it was built, but the financially strapped parish is in arrears on the mortgage payment, and Mr. Ted Haines Sr. (Gene Lockhart), of the S&L that holds the note, would like nothing better than to be able to foreclose on the church, because then he could raze the building and turn it into a parking lot. Meanwhile, the Bishop has sent a young priest, Father Chuck O'Malley (Bing Crosby) to St. Dominic's to look into the situation, and very quickly the good Father finds that he has his hands more than full.
Sent to take charge without "taking charge," in deference to Father Fitzgibbon's tenure, Father O'Malley has his work cut out just trying to save the church; but that's not all he has to contend with. Found alone on the street by a local policeman, a girl named Carol James (Jean Heather) is brought to St.Read more ›
GOING MY WAY touches, very lightly, upon the clash of those two strains among the clergy of the era. As it turns out, the more traditional Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald) is more irascible than truly terrifying. And young Father O'Malley can be as all business behind the charm and easy going manner. He just knows that you win more flies with honey than vinegar. And he knows how to get things done. He also knows that he can loosen up the older priest with a few rounds of golf and some fresh air.
The plot amounts to little more than "Let's put on a show to save the parish church." Almost absurdly, a famous opera star (played by famous opera star Rise Stevens) shows up to help out, and high power music publishers rush to buy the young priest's "original" composition "Swinging On a Star" after hearing Bing and his choir of former street kids sing it as a lark. It's hokum, of course, but it's almost guaranteed to make viewers nostalgic for a more innocent era--even if it's one before their own time.
Film historians and popular culture scholars would likely have a field day analyzing this film as a product of the WWII era. God and country themes are never too far from the surface, as one might expect. And these are certainly ideals that one would not expect to be challenged in any American film of the era. But the film is a bit more complex that its current day critics might suggest.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's difficult to find a movie that speaks to everyone who's watching but I feel that this movie does just that. Read morePublished 9 days ago by piccadilly
I loved this movie when i was younger and really enjoyed seeing it again. It was nice seeing it with no interruptions.Published 16 days ago by Karen Ebeling
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