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Going My Way
Directed by Leo McCarey
Produced by Leo McCarey
Written by Frank Butler
Frank Cavett
Starring Bing Crosby
Barry Fitzgerald
Frank McHugh
James Brown
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) May 3, 1944
Running time 130 min.
Language English

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.

Contents

Plot

Bing Crosby

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 transferred to a new assignment, the new assistant is Father O'Dowd. Prior to the Mass, Mrs. Fitzgibbon totters in the embrace her beloved son. Father O'Malley quietly slips away.

Cast

Awards

The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards won 7 awards:

Award Result Winner
Best Motion Picture Won Paramount Pictures (Leo McCarey, producer)
Best Director Won Leo McCarey
Best Actor Won Bing Crosby
Best Actor Nominated Barry Fitzgerald
Best Writing, Screenplay Won Frank Butler and Frank Cavett
Best Original Motion Picture Story Won Leo McCarey
Best Supporting Actor Won Barry Fitzgerald
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White Nominated Lionel Lindon
Winner was Joseph LaShelleLaura
Best Film Editing Nominated Leroy Stone
Winner was Barbara McLeanWilson
Best Music, Song Won Swinging on a Star – Music: James Van Heusen • Lyrics:Johnny Burke

In 2004, Going My Way was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

The film missed out on Best Art Direction, Black-and-White, Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture, Best Sound, Recording, Best Special Effects, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.

Fitzgerald was nominated as both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for his role, winning the latter and losing the former to Crosby. This was the first and only time this has occurred in Academy history; the rules were subsequently changed to ensure that actors could only be nominated in one category.

Miscellaneous

Until recently, this film was only available on DVD as a double feature with another notable Crosby film, Holiday Inn.

This film included the song "Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral", which Crosby sang and promoted.

After World War II, Bing Crosby presented a Paramount Pictures theatre edition of Going My Way to Pope Pius XII at the Vatican. Crosby showed the Holy Father his 1944 Academy Award for Best Actor.

It is unclear of the exact location of St. Dominic's Parish in New York City, however, it is suggested that it is somewhere near Midtown, Manhattan. First, Bing Crosby revealed that it was ten blocks from the parish to the Metropolitan Opera House, at that time located on 39th Street in Midtown, thus the parish is either on 49th or 29th Street. Also, during the fire at the church, firefighters tackling the blaze bore the number 54 on their helmets, possibly suggesting FDNY Engine 54, stationed in Midtown.

Adaptations to other media

Going My Way was adapted as a radio play the January 8, 1945 broadcast of The Screen Guild Theater starring Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald and Paul Lukas. It was also adapted on the May 3, 1954 broadcast of Lux Radio Theater with Barry Fitzgerald.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Casablanca
Academy Award for Best Picture
1944
Succeeded by
The Lost Weekend
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