Friday, January 8, 2016

Mock Squid Soup: Going My Way

MOCK! and The Armchair Squid are proud to welcome you to Mock Squid Soup: A Film Society, meetings on the second Friday of each month. This month, each of us is choosing another society member's movie to review as listed in The Mock Squid Soup Film LibraryGoing My Way was first reviewed by Birgit.

Title: Going My Way
Director: Leo McCarey
Original Release: 1944
My Overall Rating: 3 stars out of 5
via Wikipedia
Going My Way was 1944's cinematic dynamo, the rare film that finished #1 at the box office and also won the Best Picture Oscar for a given year.  Bing Crosby is Father Chuck O'Malley, a breezy priest whose light touch transforms his new parish.  He converts the neighborhood toughs into the church's boys choir and even charms Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald).  The elder Fitzgibbon is initially disapproving of O'Malley's casual nature and even attempts to have him reassigned, only to find the power structure was not quite what he'd originally thought.

Bing won a Best Actor Oscar for the film but we all know you don't cast the Once in a Century Voice for his thespian talents.  He sings five songs in all.  "Swinging on a Star" was the Oscar winner but "Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra" is the one that makes your heart melt.  Then again, he may not even be the best singer in the picture.  World class mezzo Risë Stevens darn near steals the movie as Genevieve Linden, Father Chuck's one-time girlfriend, now Metropolitan Opera diva.  My favorite scene is the one in which she discovers her old beau's new profession.

Going My Way is an undeniably sweet movie.  One can easily see why audiences and critics ate it up in the late-War era.  For the musical performances alone, it's a worthy classic.  I don't know if I'd ever be up for a full repeat viewing but there are a few scenes I can see cherry-picking from time to time.

Trivia challenge again for February!  Pick your own movie to share.  Post three clues on Friday, February 5th.  Post your reveal and review on Friday, February 12th.  Meanwhile, please visit my friends today:


13 comments:

  1. Hmm... I don't remember seeing this one, but I'm almost sure I have.
    I hate when that happens.

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    1. I understand. A lot of Cary Grant movies run together in my mind.

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  2. Wow, I better check this out.

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  3. I haven't seen that in years. I remember The Bells of St. Mary's, too. Bing reprized his role as the priest, and I think Ingrid Bergman was a nun.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. You are right-it is Ingrid!

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    2. The sequel was more significantly more successful at the box office, no doubt thanks to Ms. Bergman.

      I've never seen it.

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  4. I remember seeing this such a long time ago and (like Jannie) The Bells Of Saint Mary's.
    Even as a child I didn't really like Bing as much as I like everyone else in the movie. But like you said it is a sweet movie.

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    1. I can't say I care for him as an actor but the voice is undeniably special. The classical singers play in another league altogether but as naturally gifted male pop singers go, there aren't too many worth even comparing. Perhaps Messrs. McCartney, Mercury and Cooke are in his league but that's about it. In our present era when everyone's voice is digitally manipulated, it's astonishing to hear a man who achieves such warmth and color, seemingly without effort.

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  5. I have never seen this one. Another movie to add to my list. Sounds like one worth seeing! Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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  6. Isn't that a great scene! When she says Budapest, she made me want to go and so I did when I was 18. Glad you picked this classic which I love. I also love Frank McHugh as the priest friend of Bing's. I never cared for the main song, I thought it can go away:) Swinging on a Star was a huge hit for Bing that year as well.

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    1. The title song is thoroughly forgettable indeed. I wouldn't have published it either.

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