Youthful Father Chuck O'Malley led a colorful life of sports, song, and romance before joining the Roman Catholic clergy, but his level gaze and twinkling eyes make it clear that he knows he made the right choice. After joining a parish, O'Malley's worldly knowledge helps him connect with a gang of kids looking for direction and handle the business details of the church-building fund, winning over his aging, conventional superior, Father Fitzgibbon.Written by
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Considered one of the centerpieces of the MCA/Paramount Film Library, it was initially telecast in Omaha Tuesday 11 November 1958 on KETV (Channel 7); it next launched the Paramount Collection in Minneapolis Monday 5 January 1959 on WTCN (Channel 11); its next telecasts took place in Toledo 7 January 1959 on WTOL (Channel 11), and simultaneously Saturday 10 January 1959 in Los Angeles on KNXT (Channel 2), in Philadelphia on WCAU (Channel 10), in St. Louis on KMOX (Channel 4) and in Chicago on WBBM (Channel 2); its television premiere in New York City took place Sunday 25 January 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2) and in Asheville, North Carolina Sunday 22 March 1959 on WLOS (Channel 13), launching the MCA/Paramount Library on those cities also. In Milwaukee it was first telecast 10 April 1959 on WITI (Channel 6), in Phoenix 11 June 1959 on KVAR (Channel 12), in Grand Rapids 6 August 1959 on WOOD (Channel 8), in Detroit 23 September 1959 on WJBK (Channel 2) and in Seattle 6 November 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7); on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday 26 November 1959, it enjoyed its initial airing in both Pittsburgh on KDKA (Channel 2) and in San Francisco on KPIX (Channel 5). In Johnstown it first aired 22 December 1959 on WJAC (Channel 6). Universal first released this one on DVD 2 November 1999 in tandem with Holiday Inn (1942), again, as a single, 6 February 2007, and again 11 November 2014 as one of 24 titles in Universal's Bing Crosby Silver Screen Collection. Since that time, it's also received an occasional airing on Turner Classic Movies. See more »
When Fr. Chuck says to Fr. Fitzgibbon, "She's a singer," Fr. Chuck's hand change positions. See more »
Father O'Malley (Bing Crosby) has been assigned to take charge of struggling church, Saint Dominic's. He's taking over for kindly old Father Flitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald), but doesn't want the elder priest to know it just yet. O'Malley's fresh approach and youthful appeal help get the troubled neighborhood kids involved in the choir and solve the church's financial troubles.
Charming, sentimental tale that won a total of seven Oscars, including two for writer-director Leo McCarey. Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald took home statues, as well. They're both perfect in this. Bing sings a few songs, including "Swinging on a Star" and "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral." Good support from Risë Stevens, Stanley Clements, Frank McHugh, Jean Heather, Eily Malyon, and Gene Lockhart. Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer also has an amusing role.
Cynics and anti-religious types will surely hate it and mock it. Their loss. This is a delightful, sincere classic with heart and humor. The story is simple but effectively told. It's the kind of movie that puts a big smile on my face and leaves me with the warm fuzzies. Love that ending! It's followed by a wonderful sequel, The Bells of St. Mary's, as well as many big and small screen imitators over the years. Open your hearts and minds and give it a shot. Leave the pessimism at the door, though.
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