Going My Way

Critics Consensus

Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald are eminently likable, and film is pleasantly sentimental, but Going My Way suffers from a surplus of sweetness.



Total Count: 25


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,756
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Going My Way Photos

Movie Info

It took some doing to persuade the staunchly Catholic Bing Crosby to play a happy-go-lucky priest in Going My Way; luckily he acquiesced, winning an Academy Award in the process. Crosby is cast as Father Chuck O'Malley, newly arrived at rundown, heavily in debt St. Dominic's Church. Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald), the cranky, set-in-his-ways curate of St. Dominic's, is none too pleased with O'Malley's breezy, "modernistic" methods. Fitzgibbon is content to adhere to the policies he has followed for nearly 45 years. Without overtly challenging Fitzgibbon's authority (he likes the old buzzard, and the feeling is mutual), O'Malley sets about to win the confidence of the local street toughs, organizing the boys into an angelic church choir. He also forestalls the plans of St. Dominic's mortgage holder Ted Haines (Gene Lockhart) to evict Fitzgibbons by arranging a fundraising choir tour, to be headlined by O'Malley's childhood friend, opera star Genevieve Linden (Rise Stevens). When he's not coming to the rescue of St. Dominic's, O'Malley is smoothing the path of romance for Haines' son (James Brown) and orphaned Carol James (Jean Heather), and arranging for a reunion between Fitzgibbons and his nonagenarian Irish mother. There is sentiment by the bucketful in Going My Way, but director Leo McCarey sagaciously tempers the treacle with moments of genuine hilarity and several delightful (and seemingly spontaneous) musical interludes. In addition to Crosby, Oscars went to Barry Fitzgerald, Leo McCarey, screenwriters Frank Butler and Frank Cavett, and Burke and Van Heusen's song hit "Swingin' On a Star." Bing Crosby repeated his father O'Malley characterization in McCarey's 1945 sequel The Bells of St. Mary's. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Bing Crosby
as Father O'Malley
Barry Fitzgerald
as Father Fitzgibbon
Eily Malyon
as Mrs. Carmody
Porter Hall
as Belknap
Thomas P. Dillon
as Officer McCarthy
George Nokes
as Pee Wee
Tom Dillon
as McCarthy
Hugh Maguire
as Pitch Pipe
Sybil Lewis
as Maid at Metropolitan Opera House
George McKay
as Mr. Van Heusen
Jack Norton
as Mr. Lilley
Anita Bolster
as Mrs. Quimp
Adeline de Walt Reynolds
as Mother Fitzgibbon
Gibson Gowland
as Churchgoer
Julie Gibson
as Taxi Driver
Robert Tafur
as Don Jose
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Critic Reviews for Going My Way

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for Going My Way

  • Jul 11, 2018
    Der Bingle burbles bubbly as a bouncy and hip priest sent in to Hail Mary a losing parish. Barry Fitzgerald plays the cantankerous older curmudgeon already running things, unaware that time has passed him by. There's nary a sermon in hearing, but plenty of singing to solve whatever problems that might show up in this lighthearted romp that gave the befuddled audiences of the day exactly the assurance they must've needed in the face of the burgeoning youth demographic. Not bad.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 10, 2015
    Cool performance by Bing Crosby in an otherwise slow film.
    Jared H Super Reviewer
  • Sep 09, 2013
    Sentimental but a bit dull. This is the film to see with the kids at Christmas if you don't want them exposed to the least bit of stress. Crosby is not offensive but you wish he could be ever so slightly.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 29, 2013
    Made with good intentions and featuring honest performances from Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald, "Going My Way" is sadly just too maudlin and much too long to be considered a good film. If anything, it's worth watching because of its place in film history as a Best Picture winner, its amiable characters and because of Bing Crosby's chart topper, "Swinging on a Star," but other than that, it's poorly-paced, overlong by a good half hour and just way too nice.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

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