Best Picture Winners Part 17 (of 87): Going My Way


Title: Going My Way
Year: 1944
Starring: Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Frank McHugh
Director: Leo McCarey
Runtime: 2 hrs 6 mins

Is It Any Good?: It’s flat. Boring and that’s the worst thing a film can be. It doesn’t hold up for a modern audience in any way. Bing Crosby won the Oscar for his portrayal of Father Chuck O’Malley a newly arrived priest whose been put in charge of getting St. Dominic’s back to form. You see it’s (now former) head priest Father Fitzgibbons is behind about six months in debt for the mortgage on the church and the landlord Mr. Haines wants his money and he’s not the sort of taking no for an answer. And that’s just where it starts for the new priest in charge.

Memorable Quote: Father Fitzgibbons: A golf course is nothing but a poolroom moved outdoors.

Competition: Going My Way was probably the weakest of the field on 1944 yet it is this film that walked away with the win. This year was the first with only five nominees and precedent that would stand until 2008 when the field was re-expanded to ten. First up the Billy Wilder classic and my personal favorite film in this field Double Indemnity. A film noir standard as well as a defining film in the genre. Gaslight features the Best Actress winning performances from Ingrid Bergman. One which I cannot help but feel is a makeup for not giving it to her last year for Casablanca. That being said it’s an awesome psychological thriller. Since You Went Away is schmaltzy, and bloated. Previous Oscar winners Claudette Colbert (1934) and Jennifer Jones (1943) outshine the midland writing. Lastly, we have a forgotten biopic about President Woodrow Wilson in which Alexander Knox is absolute gold. He probably should have won the Oscar here,  but since Crosby did his performance like the film was lost to time.

Next up we have a film I’ve never seen. One of the few on this list. We’ll see how it goes.

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