Going My Way

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Going My Way, a 1944 film directed by Leo McCarey. It is a light-hearted musical comedy/drama about a new young priest (Bing Crosby) taking over a parish from an established old veteran (Barry Fitzgerald). Crosby sings five songs in the film. It was followed the next year by a sequel, The Bells of St. Mary's. This picture was the highest-grossing picture of 1944. Its success helped to make movie exhibitors choose Crosby as the biggest box-office draw of the year, a record he would hold for the remainder of the 1940s.



Parish life at Saint Dominic's includes gossip, youth mischief, and a rather shady landlord, but new curate Father Charles "Chuck" O'Malley (Bing Crosby) seems to land on his feet. As older Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald) watches Father O'Malley in action, he feels his days as pastor of his flock may be numbered. The two priests must find "modern" ways to deal with an age-old problem — ministering to the people in an economically disadvantaged neighborhood of New York City. O'Malley, for his part, must deal with an interrupted romantic relationship from his past with opera star Genevieve Linden (Rise Stevens) and Carol James (Jean Heather), a "wayward" aspiring singer. Father O'Malley and his friend Father Timothy "Timmy" O'Dowd (Frank McHugh) take the elderly Fitzgibbon to play golf. The old priest calls a golf course "a pool room outdoors." Father Fitzgibbon goes to ask the bishop if he is being replaced. He becomes ill and speaks to Chuck of the 45 years since he was in the "old country." Father Fitzgibbon says his mother in Ireland is over 90. O'Malley makes the neighborhood boys into a choir. He gives the youth leader, Tony Scaponi, (Stanley Clements) his St. Louis Browns baseball jacket. Just as all the pieces of the plot seem to have fallen into place, the parish church is damaged in a massive fire. On Christmas Eve the people gather in a temporary church. Father O'Malley has been transferred to a new assignment; the new assistant is Father O'Dowd. Prior to the Mass, Mrs. Fitzgibbon totters in to embrace her beloved son. Father O'Malley quietly slips away.


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