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1944: Going My Way

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Going My Way

Set in Manhattan in an impoverished neighborhood, Bing Crosy plays a Catholic priest sent to the parish to try to help the local aging father get the church on its feet, which is fairly dire financial straits and is danger of foreclosure.

Despite a few missteps at the start, he managed to use his charm and musicianship to convince the neighborhood boys/troublemakers to form a choir, help the locals with their problems, and get things on track, only to be terribly derailed near the end, due to factors beyond his control.

It's a fairly light drama, with comedic and musical moments, but is quite touching and charming. The interplay between the new modern priest (Bing) and the established aging traditional priest is both wonderful and amusing.

The film went on that year to win 6 additional awards besides Best Picture, including Best Actor for Bing Crosby, and Best Supporting Actor for Barry Fitzgerald, who plays the older father.

This is the first film I've seen with Bing Crosby, and he does make for a pretty compelling presence. I, ever naive, had not been aware of his film career, knowing him only for some of his music. Apparently, he was one of the most popular actors in the 40s, and with his handsomeness and charm, I can see sort of see why.

While I thought the film was quite lovely and an enjoyable watch, I'm not sure I see it as a Seven Oscar sort of film.
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