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Father O'Malley, the unconventional priest from 'Going My Way', continues his work for the Catholic Church. This time he is sent to St. Mary's, a run-down parochial school on the verge of condemnation. He and Sister Benedict work together in an attempt to save the school, though their differing methods often lead to good-natured disagreements. Written by
Greg Helton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Leo McCarey was inspired to write the original story in tribute to his own aunt and childhood counselor Sister Mary Benedict, one of the Sisters who helped to build the Immaculate Heart Convent in Hollywood and who died in a typhoid fever epidemic. See more »
When Sister Benedict is starting to erase her drawn portrait on the blackboard when Father O'Malley walks in, she barely erases any of the portrait, but in the next scene most of the portrait is already erased. See more »
As the companion piece to "Going My Way", "The Bells of St. Mary's" shares the same pleasant, upbeat tone, and it has a similar story that, though stylized, has some worthwhile and thoughtful material. Besides Bing Crosby, the cast here features Ingrid Bergman and several solid supporting players such as Henry Travers and Rhys Williams.
As Sister Benedict, Father O'Malley's foil here, Bergman gives this movie its own feel, with themes somewhat different from those in O'Malley's debates with Barry Fitzgerald's character in "Going My Way". Everyone has their own preference between the two movies, but as fine an actress as Bergman is, it's really hard to match - much less top - the dimension that Fitzgerald added in the other film.
Probably each of the two Father O'Malley movies should just be enjoyed for its own merits. While the story here is hardly anything weighty, "The Bells of St. Mary's" offers good entertainment and some worthwhile, positive thoughts.
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