Paramount release of Leo McCarey production. Stars Bing Crosby; features Rise Stevens. Directed by McCarey. Screenplay, Frank Butler and Frank Cavett, camera, Lionel Lindon; editor, Leroy Stone; songs, Johnny Burke and James Van Heusen. Tradeshown in L.A. Feb. 25, ’44. Running time: 126 MIN.
Father Chuck O’Malley – Bing Crosby
Jenny Linden – Rise Stevens
Father Fitzgibbon – Barry Fitzgerald
Bing Crosby gets a tailor-made role in “Going My Way,” and with major assistance from Barry Fitzgerald and Rise Stevens, clicks solidly to provide topnotch entertainment for wide audience appeal. Picture will hit hefty biz on all bookings.
The overlong 126 minutes contain many episodes which could be deleted for more compactness. Despite this drawback, however, picture is a warm, human drama studded liberally with bright episodes and excellent characterizations accentuated by fine direction of Leo McCarey. Intimate scenes between Crosby and Fitzgerald dominate throughout, with both providing slick characterizations.
Crosby plays a young priest interested in athletics and music who’s assigned as assistant to crusty Fitzgerald in an eastside church saddled with burdensome mortgage that might be foreclosed by grasping Gene Lockhart. Progressive youth and staid oldster clash continually, but Crosby gradually bends Fitzgerald to his way. Crosby gets the tough kids of the neighborhood to organize a choir through smattering of athletics, ballgames and shows, does the usual round of kindly deeds in blithesome manner and eventually sells a song to pay the church mortgage.