Youthful Father Chuck O'Malley led a colorful life of sports, song, and romance before joining the Roman Catholic clergy, but his level gaze and twinkling eyes make it clear that he knows he made the right choice. After joining a parish, O'Malley's worldly knowledge helps him connect with a gang of kids looking for direction and handle the business details of the church-building fund, winning over his aging, conventional superior, Father Fitzgibbon.Written by
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Leo McCarey's sentimental 1944 film, "Going My Way" is a positive film that dealt with the problems of the inner city back when the term hadn't been coined. St. Dominic's Church is an oasis in the middle of the area that has seen better days. We realize how deeply in trouble the parish is from the start as Mr. Haines is trying to give Father Fitzgibbon an idea of how much he owes the bank and the fact the church will disappear soon.
When Father Chuck O'Malley arrives at St. Dominic to try to save it from its uncertain future, Father Fitzgibbon doesn't have a clue the younger man is going to be over him in all matters of importance. Yet, Father O'Malley never steps over the older priest's shoes to make his rank felt.
This film was shot after the more successful, and better made "The Bells of St. Mary's", but it was released earlier than the other film, probably to capitalize on Bing Crosby's popularity. The film, in fact, is a showcase for Mr. Crosby, who was a likable actor and singer. He has good opportunities in the movie.
As good as Mr. Crosby was in the film, Barry Fitzgerald steals the movie with his Father Fitzgibbon. Mr. Fitzgerald's crusty priest was one of the best creations of his long career. Frank McHugh, another excellent character actor of the era is seen as Father O'Dowd. Gene Lockhart also has a small role as the money man, Mr. Haines. Rise Stevens, the soprano is seen and heard in the film singing in her inimitable style.
The film is a classic that should be seen during the holidays, as it brings cheer and hope to everyone lucky enough to catch a screening of it during Christmas.
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