Directed by Leo McCarey
Nominated for 10 Oscars, Won 7
Won BP over: Double Indemnity, Gaslight, Wilson, Since You Went Away
Synopsis: Father Fitzgibbon has been with St. Dominics Parish for 45 years ("46 this October!") and is getting older. When he meets Father Chuck O'Malley, the new assistant, he isn't too keen on him. He's young, and very different from Fitzgibbon. He has a different way of doing so many things. But the church is in trouble, financially, and they need to find a way to turn it around. Though Father O'Malley may just be what the church needs. He connects with the trouble-making youth gang, but also handle the business and the busy-bodies of the church. But can he win over the trust and adoration of the superior Fitzgibbon?
This film won Bing Crosby his first and only Oscar. However, this film wasn't exactly Oscar material. It was a collection of stories, surrounding the church, and the two Fathers, O'Malley and Fitzgibbon. It's a humorous story, but not exactly the most deep of films. It's light-hearted, but it doesn't go a whole lot deeper than that.
The story is cliche at best. The old man not so welcoming of the younger guy, and the new way he's heading, and while the younger guy tries to appeal to him, it can't be done. But eventually it does, through his showing of potential, and his general charm and how much he cares.
That being put aside, this film was average at best, filled with cliche story lines, and while it made a nice film to watch once and appreciate Bing Crosby and the films he made, this was certainly not his best, nor was it Best Picture worthy. There were random smatterings of stories that were unnecessary, and storylines that could've and should've been played up more but weren't (the taming of the local troublemaker children, the forming of their choir, etc). Though, undeniably, the chemistry between Crosby and Fitzgerald was great.
Overall, the film wasn't that great, was a little too long for the subject it was about, and was just an okay film. There were a handful of good songs, and Bing Crosby is undeniably a very good actor, as is Barry Fitzgerald, but it didn't have much to it other than that.
Music – 7.5/10
Emotional Connection- 5/10
Overall Enjoyment- 6/10
Overall Package- 7/10