Saturday, April 18, 2009

Going My Way

Kulje tietäni / Vandra min väg. US 1944. PC: Paramount. P+D: Leo McCarey. CAST: Bing Crosby (Father Chuck O'Malley), Barry Fitzgerald (Father Fitzgibbon), Rise Stevens (Genevieve Linden). 126 min. A Universal print viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 17 April 2009. - A brilliant print. - Revisited: a masterpiece made during WWII about spiritual regeneration. - The old St. Dominic church is deteriorating, and even finally burns down, but Father O'Malley comes to start a revival with his high spirits. The generation clash (qf. Make Way for Tomorrow) with the old Father Fitzgibbon. - The music is based on the contrast between the Metropolitan Opera, where Genevieve sings the habanera from Carmen, and the church, where Bing Crosby leads a magnificent performance of "Adeste fideles". - It seems that O'Malley has been in love with Genevieve, but because of a misunderstanding had come to believe that Genevieve was not interested in him anymore. - This is a film about the joy of helping, about the pain of the generation gap, and the difficulty of giving up. - It is played as a comedy, but there is a profound sense of sadness and disappointment, also because of the human condition in 1944, as in The Bells of St. Mary's. - Going My Way was made in order to make The Bells of St. Mary's, which was Leo McCarey's original project.

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