Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
USA, 1944. Paramount Pictures. Story by Leo McCarey, Screenplay by Frank Butler, Frank Cavett. Cinematography by Lionel Lindon, John F. Seitz. Produced by Leo McCarey. Music by Robert Emmett Dolan. Production Design by Hans Dreier, William Flannery. Costume Design by Edith Head. Film Editing by LeRoy Stone.
Delightful musical about a kindhearted Irish American priest (Bing Crosby) trying to lift up the spirits of the street kids in his neighbourhood. He’s so laid back and easygoing a guy, he doesn’t even object to singing a song or two for the kiddies, even while tight assed superior Barry Fitzgerald (who was so marvelous as to get two Academy Award nominations for the part, prompting an immediate rule change thereafter) disapproves of everything. The camaraderie between these two great performers is wonderful to watch, but the film is no milestone in storytelling: it is pure, feel-good hokum that wins you over time and time again. Followed by a sequel The Bells of St. Mary’s, starring Crosby and Ingrid Bergman.
Academy Award: Best Picture; Best Actor (Bing Crosby); Best Supporting Actor (Barry Fitzgerald); Best Director (Leo McCarey); Best Original Motion Picture Story; Best Screenplay; Best Song (“Swinging On A Star”)
Nominations: Best Actor (Barry Fitzgerald); Best Cinematography-BW; Best Film Editing
Golden Globe Awards: Best Picture; Best Supporting Actor (Barry Fitzgerald); Best Director (Leo McCarey)