Going My Way (1944)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Pleasant movie

No conflict or surprises

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Going My Way

Studio:  Paramount Pictures

Genre(s):  Musical/Drama

Release Date(s):  May 3, 1944

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


Give us the freaking money, old man!!!

St. Dominic’s Church is in trouble.  It is behind on payments and threatened by foreclosure by Ted Haines, Sr. (Gene Lockhart) and his son Ted Haines, Jr. (James Brown).  The aging pastor Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald) is slowing down and out of touch with much of his congregation.  When a young, new priest named Father Charles O’Malley (Bing Crosby) is transferred to the church, he makes a rocky first impression…but Father O’Malley has a way of turning things around and is out to save St. Dominic’s Church.

Directed by Leo McCarey and with a screenplay based on his story, Going My Way is a musical drama.  The movie was praised by critics and won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Bing Crosby), Best Screenplay, Best Original Motion Picture Story, Best Song (“Swinging on a Star”) with nominations for Best Cinematography (Black-and-White), and Best Film Editing.  Barry Fitzgerald won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor but also had the distinction of being nominated for Best Actor (which went to Crosby) which led to a change by the Academy to help distinguish the categories.  The movie was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress in the National Film Registry.


Great…I get free puppies…because that helps

Going My Way is a really pleasant film.  It is full of likeable characters and situations and it feels like it is one of those pictures out to please everyone.  By employing a popular star in Bing Crosby, Going My Way succeeds in being a charmer.

The movie is rather bland, but enjoyable.  You know that nothing bad is going to happen, and Bing Crosby is such a nice guy that it is all going to work out for him.  This makes for a problem in the movie, but despite the lack of conflict, it is a nice and fun ride.  In a day and age where everything has to have conflict, it is good to get back to a time where everything is alright and turns out ok in the end…even if it takes away from the story’s plot.

As mentioned, Bing Crosby is just a nice guy in the movie.  He is charming, and with his singing, it really becomes a showcase for the character.  Barry Fitzgerald is a bit of a cliché as the elderly priest, but he is necessary for the plot and most of the other supporting actors really don’t get enough screentime to full develop as their own characters.


Father O’Malley makes a desperate plea to impress the kids with his wicked awesome St. Louis Browns uniform

The movie looks good.  It is primarily set based and just has a real classic feel.  The really bland settings are enhanced by the great score and the frequent musical numbers inserted into the movie by Crosby who manages to croon and sing his way through most of the story in a way that legitimizes the singing.

Going My Way is just one of those nice pictures.  The movie isn’t controversial.  It does not test boundaries and has little conflict in it.  Instead, Going My Way is one of those movies out to please everyone…and it succeeds.  The combination of a charming star in Crosby and a nice story leads to a fun film.  The movie’s success led to what would be an almost more popular sequel The Bells of St. Mary’s in 1945 which became a Christmas holiday mainstay and a TV series starring Gene Kelly in 1962.

Related Links:

The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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