Best Picture Winners #17 – Going My Way (1944)

I wondered how the awesomeness of Casablanca could ever be topped. Except for some awkward cuts (oops, forgot to mention that in my review….. eh, oh well!), that movie was great and I totally understand its classic status. You had engaging characters, an intriguing story and perfect chemistry between Bogart and Bergman (who, incidentally, never acted together in another movie, despite how great they were on screen).

Musicals don’t often win Best Picture prizes. And that next year’s winner, a Bing Crosby flick called Going My Way, was classified as one when I researched the plot summary. I figured that it would be a musical when I saw Bing Crosby in the cast list. To me, he’s the voice of Christmas. Oh, the number of times I’ve heard his renditions of Silver Bells and White Christmas on WASH-FM during the holiday season as a child!

I wish I liked Going My Way. I really wanted to like it. It had a sweet story. Bing Crosby plays a young priest who has been hired to help a struggling church. His interactions with the rough neighborhood kids in particular make him stand out. He turns them into choirboys (cue the obligatory musical sequence where we get to hear Bing Crosby singing). He also helps a teenaged runaway whose parents just don’t understand her (ah teen angst, it knows no time period).

And other things happen. But I had already tuned out by the hour mark.

For a movie with Bing Crosby as the main star, you’d think there would be a musical sequence every five minutes. Not so. We didn’t get to hear him sing a whole song until almost an hour in the movie. Sad face.

I honestly tuned out by then anyway.

I’m gonna keep this short and sweet:

The plot may have been sweet, but good Lord, it was too long. WAYYYY TOOOOOOO LOOOOOONG.

I will say another good thing about this movie. I had no idea that old song Swingin’ On A Star was from this movie. A baritone in my high school choir sang that tune for our annual Cabaret Show when I was in high school. I knew it was an old song but had no idea it was from a movie. My ears perked up when I heard those familiar first lines.

Other than that…… Meh. Too long and a real disappointment after such a classic movie like Casablanca. When I am looking for anything else to keep me occupied during a movie, I know I’m in trouble……

Two stars out of five

Next time: An “aside” movie, that is, a Best Picture nominee, called Gaslight!