Going My Way (1944)

126-127 mins | Comedy-drama | 1944

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Padre . Risë Stevens' opening credit bills her as the "Famous Contralto of Metropolitan Opera Association." As Paramount officials were unable to get European copyright clearance for Georges Bizet's opera Carmen , they shot an additional sequence from Bedrich Smetana's The Bartered Bride , which replaced the Carmen sequence in foreign release. HR news items noted the following information about the production: Susan Hayward and Betty Rhodes were considered for roles in this film; Armando Agnini, the stage and technical director of the San Francisco Opera, supervised the staging, and used sets from the S.F. Opera's production of Carmen for this film. The opera sequences were shot at the Shrine Auditorium, and the golf sequence was shot on location at the Lakeside Golf Club in Los Angeles, CA. HR news items also reported that footage of the St. Louis Planter's Hotel and Duffy's restaurant was retained for possible use in the film, and that director McCarey shot eighty-four-year-old Apache Joe Mangum as "Geronimo" for a scene at the St. Louis World Fair. Although no scenes of St. Louis landmarks appear in the film, it is possible that McCarey planned a St. Louis sequence, as it was "Father O'Malley's" hometown. News items also noted that composers Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen were working on a two-act operetta, and that a scene was planned between "street gamin and priest" in a New York hospital to introduce penicillin, the uses of which had only recently been discovered. Neither the operetta nor the hospital scene appear in the film.
       Paramount ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Padre . Risë Stevens' opening credit bills her as the "Famous Contralto of Metropolitan Opera Association." As Paramount officials were unable to get European copyright clearance for Georges Bizet's opera Carmen , they shot an additional sequence from Bedrich Smetana's The Bartered Bride , which replaced the Carmen sequence in foreign release. HR news items noted the following information about the production: Susan Hayward and Betty Rhodes were considered for roles in this film; Armando Agnini, the stage and technical director of the San Francisco Opera, supervised the staging, and used sets from the S.F. Opera's production of Carmen for this film. The opera sequences were shot at the Shrine Auditorium, and the golf sequence was shot on location at the Lakeside Golf Club in Los Angeles, CA. HR news items also reported that footage of the St. Louis Planter's Hotel and Duffy's restaurant was retained for possible use in the film, and that director McCarey shot eighty-four-year-old Apache Joe Mangum as "Geronimo" for a scene at the St. Louis World Fair. Although no scenes of St. Louis landmarks appear in the film, it is possible that McCarey planned a St. Louis sequence, as it was "Father O'Malley's" hometown. News items also noted that composers Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen were working on a two-act operetta, and that a scene was planned between "street gamin and priest" in a New York hospital to introduce penicillin, the uses of which had only recently been discovered. Neither the operetta nor the hospital scene appear in the film.
       Paramount arranged for the film's 27 Apr 1944 premiere to be shown to American troops at battlefronts across Europe. A HR article noted that "arrangement for the simultaneous world-wide showing to the troops in combat areas was made by the Army Pictorial Service," and that the film was shown "from Alaska to Italy, and from England to the jungles of Burma...." All in all, sixty-five prints were distributed for "The Fighting Front" premiere. A 16 Aug 1944 Hollywood premiere donated $10,500 in proceeds to the House of Nazareth orphanage. According to various contemporary news items, by Sep 1944, Going My Way had earned over $7,000,000 in gross revenue, with a total of $10,000,000 in foreign, thereby becoming Paramount's largest grossing film to date. New York Film Critics and the FDYB voted this the best film of the year. The film was nominated for Academy Awards in the categories of Cinematography, Lionel Lindon, and Film Editing, LeRoy Stone. Going My Way won Academy Awards in the following categories: Best Picture; Actor, Bing Crosby; Supporting Actor, Barry Fitzgerald; Direction, Leo McCarey; Writing (original story), Leo McCarey; Writing (screenplay), Frank Butler, Frank Cavett; Music (song), James Van Heusen and Johnny Burke for "Swinging on a Star." In 1945, RKO released The Bells of St. Mary's , in which Bing Crosby reprised his role as "Father O'Malley" (see above). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 Mar 1944.
---
Daily Variety
28 Feb 44
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Feb 44
p. 12
Hollywood Reporter
25 May 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 43
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 43
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jul 43
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 43
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Aug 43
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Aug 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Aug 43
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Sep 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Sep 43
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Sep 43
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Oct 43
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Oct 43
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Oct 43
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Mar 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Apr 44
p. 1, 21
Hollywood Reporter
9 May 44
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 44
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Feb 45
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jul 1950.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Aug 1944.
---
Los Angeles Times
16 Jan 1945.
---
Motion Picture Herald
2 Sep 44
p. 29.
Motion Picture Herald
6 Jan 1945.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Feb 44
p. 1763.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
26 Feb 44
p. 1773.
New York Times
5 Sep 1943.
---
New York Times
3 May 44
p. 25.
New York Times
7 May 44
p. 3 (sec 2.)
Variety
8 Mar 44
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Leo McCarey Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
Exec prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser supv
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Vocal arr
Mus assoc
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Dance dir
Dance dir
Dance dir asst
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hair supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Opera tech adv
Tech adv
Unit mgr
Asst unit mgr
Scr clerk
STAND INS
Double for Risë Stevens
Double for Bing Crosby
Double for Frank McHugh
SOURCES
SONGS
"Habanera" and "First act finale" from the opera Carmen , music by Georges Bizet, libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy
"Going My Way," "The Day After Forever" and "Swinging on a Star," music by James Van Heusen, lyrics by Johnny Burke
"Silent Night, Holy Night," music by Franz Gruber, lyrics by Joseph Mohr, English lyrics, anonymous
+
SONGS
"Habanera" and "First act finale" from the opera Carmen , music by Georges Bizet, libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy
"Going My Way," "The Day After Forever" and "Swinging on a Star," music by James Van Heusen, lyrics by Johnny Burke
"Silent Night, Holy Night," music by Franz Gruber, lyrics by Joseph Mohr, English lyrics, anonymous
"Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, That's an Irish Lullaby," music and lyrics by J. R. Shannon
"Adeste Fideles (O, Come All Ye Faithful)," music and lyrics by John Francis Wade
"Ave Maria," music by Franz Schubert, lyrics traditional
"Three Blind Mice," traditional.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Padre
Premiere Information:
"The Fighting Front" premiere: 27 April 1944
New York premiere: 3 May 1944
Production Date:
16 August--22 October 1943
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
25 February 1944
Copyright Number:
LP13471
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
126-127
Length(in feet):
11,761
Length(in reels):
14
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

In New York City, mortgage broker Ted Haines, Sr. reluctantly tells elderly Irish priest Father Fitzgibbon that if the overdue payment on St. Dominic's church is not soon received, he will call in the mortgage. Haines's son Ted, Jr. urges leniency, but his father is adamant. Father Charles Francis Patrick O'Malley arrives in St. Dominic's neighborhood and makes a bad impression on a few neighbors because of his easy-going and unconventional manner. By the time Father O'Malley introduces himself to Father Fitzgibbon as his new curate, he has donned a sweatshirt and casual pants, and immediately puts the very traditional Fitzgibbon on his guard. The next day, O'Malley is visited by his childhood friend, Father Timothy O'Dowd, a jocular priest from the neighboring parish. Only O'Dowd is aware that O'Malley has been sent to take over the pastorship of St. Dominic's, which, in addition to being in financial trouble, is in a troubled neighborhood. When Ted, Jr. tries to evict Hattie Quimp, who initially found O'Malley to be a nuisance, O'Malley intercedes and promises that the church will guarantee her rent. As he is walking back to St. Dominic's, O'Malley sees teenagers Tony Scaponi and Herman Langerhanke stealing turkeys from a truck. The boys escape into the church garden where they encounter Fitzgibbon, to whom they give one of their stolen turkeys as a gift. That night over their turkey dinner, O'Malley suggests that the boys are delinquents, and Fitzgibbon defends the boys until he learns of their theft. Instead of punishing the boys, however, O'Malley takes them to a baseball game. One day, Officer Patrick McCarthy brings eighteen-year-old runaway Carol James to ... +


In New York City, mortgage broker Ted Haines, Sr. reluctantly tells elderly Irish priest Father Fitzgibbon that if the overdue payment on St. Dominic's church is not soon received, he will call in the mortgage. Haines's son Ted, Jr. urges leniency, but his father is adamant. Father Charles Francis Patrick O'Malley arrives in St. Dominic's neighborhood and makes a bad impression on a few neighbors because of his easy-going and unconventional manner. By the time Father O'Malley introduces himself to Father Fitzgibbon as his new curate, he has donned a sweatshirt and casual pants, and immediately puts the very traditional Fitzgibbon on his guard. The next day, O'Malley is visited by his childhood friend, Father Timothy O'Dowd, a jocular priest from the neighboring parish. Only O'Dowd is aware that O'Malley has been sent to take over the pastorship of St. Dominic's, which, in addition to being in financial trouble, is in a troubled neighborhood. When Ted, Jr. tries to evict Hattie Quimp, who initially found O'Malley to be a nuisance, O'Malley intercedes and promises that the church will guarantee her rent. As he is walking back to St. Dominic's, O'Malley sees teenagers Tony Scaponi and Herman Langerhanke stealing turkeys from a truck. The boys escape into the church garden where they encounter Fitzgibbon, to whom they give one of their stolen turkeys as a gift. That night over their turkey dinner, O'Malley suggests that the boys are delinquents, and Fitzgibbon defends the boys until he learns of their theft. Instead of punishing the boys, however, O'Malley takes them to a baseball game. One day, Officer Patrick McCarthy brings eighteen-year-old runaway Carol James to see O'Malley. O'Malley, who had had his own band and composed music before entering the priesthood, coaches Carol on her singing, but when she rejects his offer of a housekeeping job at the church, he urges her to return home. Knowing she will not take his advice, O'Malley loans Carol ten dollars. After earning the trust of the boys's gang, O'Malley convinces them to train as a choir. When sounds of the boys rehearsing "Three Blind Mice" rise into the church from the cellar, Fitzgibbon loses his patience with O'Malley's unconventional methods and goes to see the bishop to ask for O'Malley's transfer. Fitzgibbon returns deflated, as he has learned that the bishop sent O'Malley there to take over for him. Distraught by his apparent retirement, Fitzgibbon runs away, but O'Malley puts McCarthy on the alert, and he returns late that evening with a storm-bedraggled Fitzgibbon, who is then coddled by O'Malley and the housekeeper, Mrs. Carmody. The two priests share a sip of whiskey, and Fitzgibbon confides his longing to see his ninety-year-old mother, who still lives in Ireland, after which O'Malley soothes him with an Irish lullaby. Not long after, O'Malley encounters another childhood friend, Metropolitan Opera star Genevieve Linden, who is surprised that her old flame "Chuck" has become a priest. When Mrs. Quimp informs Fitzgibbon that Carol has taken an apartment across from hers and is receiving visits from Ted, Jr., O'Malley is sent to "handle" the situation. O'Malley learns that Ted, Jr. and Carol met on the street and fell in love immediately, and that Ted, Jr. has let her live in a vacant apartment without his father's knowledge. Some time later, Jenny and O'Dowd visit St. Dominic's and make an appreciative audience when O'Malley rehearses the boys choir. O'Dowd reports that he has shopped around for publishers for O'Malley's original song, "Going My Way," but that publishers rejected the "schmaltzy" song. When Ted, Sr. comes to the apartment to discover why his son quit his job and has disappeared for two weeks, he discovers that Ted and Carol have married. The newlyweds are blissfully happy despite Ted, Sr.'s ire, but his anger soon dissipates when Ted, Jr. dons an Army Air Force uniform, and, after bidding Carol a loving farewell, reports for service. O'Dowd, meanwhile, lures his friend, Max David, a music publisher, and Max's partners, to the Metropolitan Opera House, where Jenny has arranged for the orchestra and St. Dominic's boys choir to back her as she sings a classical arrangement of "Going My Way." The publishers gently reject the song as too highbrow, but are delighted by O'Malley's more upbeat song, "Swinging on a Star." Instead of paying O'Malley directly for the song, Max and his partners surreptitiously deposit a huge payment in the collection box during Fitzgibbon's Sunday sermon at O'Malley's suggestion. Fitzgibbon is elated by the generous donations of his parishioners, which is enough to make the mortgage payments, and he even accompanies O'Malley and O'Dowd when they play golf. Fitzgibbon's happiness comes to an abrupt end, however, when the church burns down. The elderly priest loses all hope and falls ill after he collects only thirty-five dollars from a neighborhood collection. O'Malley then tells Fitzgibbon that Ted, Jr. has had a minor jeep accident and will be returning home, and really lifts the pastor's spirits when he tells him that Jenny, who has taken the boys choir with her on a concert tour, has sent a $3,500 check from the proceeds. Construction soon begins on the new church, and O'Malley informs Fitzgibbon that he has been transferred to another church for the same type of assignment. Fitzgibbon, now fond of O'Malley, is sad to see him go and is chagrined when O'Dowd becomes his new curate. As Fitzgibbon praises O'Malley to his parishioners and informs them of his departure, Jenny brings in Fitzgibbon's elderly mother by arrangement with O'Malley. Fitzgibbon tearfully embraces his mother for the first time in forty-five years, and O'Malley walks away into the night. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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