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The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Family  |  21 February 1946 (Sweden)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 5,029 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 24 critic

At a big city Catholic school, Father O'Malley and Sister Benedict indulge in friendly rivalry, and succeed in extending the school through the gift of a building.

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Title: The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)

The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
William Gargan ...
Ruth Donnelly ...
Sister Michael
Joan Carroll ...
Martha Sleeper ...
Mary Gallagher - Patsy's mother
...
Dr. McKay
Richard Tyler ...
Eddie Breen (as Dickie Tyler)
...
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Storyline

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 <ghelton@airmail.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Your heart will be wearing a smile! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 February 1946 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Leo McCarey's The Bells of St. Mary's  »

Box Office

Gross:

$21,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene in which Father O'Malley (Bing Crosby) is singing with the nuns, he asks if they know "Birmingham Bertha". That song was co-written by Grant Clarke, who also co-wrote "The Land of Beginning Again", which is sung in this film by Crosby. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Sister Mary Benedict: Did anyone ever tell you that you have a dishonest face? For a priest, I mean.
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Connections

Referenced in EWTN Live: Word on Fire's Catholicism Miniseries (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

O Sanctissima
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
A slightly sugar-coated impression of Catholic education, but heartwarming
21 June 2005 | by (Virginia, United States) – See all my reviews

I had often heard how this film was nominated for Best Picture and other important Academy Awards, so I was glad to see it on cable a few days ago. I was very pleased with it. The film builds up to quite an emotional, dramatic ending. There are some moments when Ingrid Bergman simply shines with a special radiance. Bing Crosby was excellent also, although I think he had many better songs to sing in his long career. The direction seems slow-paced at times, but in a way this measured pacing gives the audience a better chance to focus on the characters on the screen.

The story certainly touched upon some important issues of Catholic education in the 1940's and 1950's. There were always fine attempts to help children from the other side of the tracks to prosper in a private school, with assistance of various kinds. The postwar population boom, however, led to huge numbers of children being educated as cheaply as possible in crowded, old, unsafe buildings. It was not uncommon to have 70 pupils in one classroom. In this film the nuns are relentlessly polite, but in real life they had to be very strict to control large classes. The picture refers to "fire traps" and the fact that St. Mary's School was about to be condemned. How ironic this was, for just 13 years later -- on December 1, 1958 -- a fire swept through the antiquated Our Lady of the Angels elementary school in Chicago, killing 92 children and three nuns. That tragic fire led to sweeping changes in building code laws and the modernization of thousands of schools across America, both public and private.


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One Nation Under God? LaLaLaLorelei
Does anyone else find Father O'Malley too goofy? roghache
A great favorite - but I have questions mdoyle-26
Funny trivia K_Ace
A Christmas Movie? cynthiaAAndrews
Patsy's parents. . .what the hey??? miriamwebster
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