Friday, February 24, 2012

30 Days of Oscar Day 30: Going My Way

Movie: Going my Way
Year: 1945
Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor - Bing Crosby, Best Actor - Barry Fitzgerald, Best Supporting Actor - Barry Fitzgerald, Best Director - Leo McCarey, Writing Original Story, Writing, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Original Song "Swinging on a Star"

Wins/Snubs: I have never seen the same actor nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for the same role, but Barry Fitzgerald did win for Best Supporting Actor and Bing Crosby won for Best Actor.  Picture, Director, both writing awards, and Best Song were all big winners that year. Laura won for Cinematography and Editing went to Wilson neither of which I know.  12 Songs were nominated including "The Trolley Song" from Meet Me in St. Louis, but I really like the winner too.  

I wanted to finish off this year's series with another Best Picture winner I'd never seen.  And after the success of An American in Paris, I went with another famous crooner in the lead role.  Going My Way is the story of Father "Chuck" O'Malley (Bing Crosby) who has been sent to St. Dominic's in New York City (though you'd never know it) to help the aging Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzpatrick) bring the parish back to solvency before the bank forecloses.  Father O'Malley has trouble integrating with the parish at first, but eventually his methods of directing the parish bear fruit and things get better (boys stop stealing and join the choir, people stop being evicted and a young homeless woman gets married).  However, they still need money for the mortgage and the choir rents out the Metropolitan Opera (Father O'Malley's old girlfriend is their new "Carmen") and intends to sell the rights to some songs that Father O'Malley wrote.  Of course it all works out.  

Bing Crosby is very convincing as the young priest who is "going his way" through life, pursuing religion and trying to help people.  He has the helpful attitude that people take seriously but older people are pretty sure might cause trouble.  It's a good movie that obviously follows the morals of the day and though I'm surprised it beat both Gaslight and Double Indemnity, it's very much an Oscar worthy film.  It has the same sort of feel-good-ness that It's a Wonderful Life or Mrs. Miniver or The Bells of St. Mary's does so well.  Here's the video of the choir singing "Swinging on a Star".


David Bishop said...

I always thought Going My Way was a better movie than The Bells of St. Mary's, so I never really got why the latter receives so much more attention.

Buttercup said...

I agree. Going My Way is a better movie, but I think Ingrid Bergman was the reason for The uber-popularity of Bells of St. Mary's. Like BofSM, but love Going My Way.