In the lead-up to the 2020 Oscars (to be televised on February 9), we’ll be featuring two award-winning films. The first is “Going My Way” (1944), starring Bing Crosby as a young priest, Father Charles O’Malley, newly assigned to the parish of St. Dominic’s Church in New York City.
Father Fitzgibbon, the long-time pastor of the church, is a bit put off by the informal style of the younger priest, who he assumes is his new assistant. But the truth is that Father O’Malley was sent by the bishop to take over the affairs of the parish, while Fr. Fitzgibbon would remain as pastor.
Throughout the movie, there are generational conflicts between the two priests, some problems experienced by the parishioners, such as eviction and youth gangs, and some financial problems for the church itself. But with Bing Crosby in the cast, you will not be surprised that there will be several musical numbers to balance out all of the drama.
That brings us to the point in the discussion where we must talk about the many, many awards this movie received. It was nominated for ten Oscars and won seven of them, including Best Picture, Best Director, and two for Best Writing.
Then it gets interesting when we get to the acting categories. Both Bing Crosby and his co-star, Barry Fitzgerald (who played Fr. Fitzgibbon) were nominated for Best Actor, the first and only time this happened. Crosby won that award, but Barry Fitzgerald was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor and won that one. That was the first time an actor was nominated for two different awards for the same role. “Going My Way” was also the first film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards and The Golden Globes. There are so many “firsts” for this movie, it’s hard to keep track.
The film was released in Japan was on October 1, 1946.
In the Prange Collection we have one book entitled, Going My Way/わが道を往く (Prange Call No. PN-0236), about this movie. Click the images below to view selected pages.