Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)

Early on watching Bing Crosby's priest Father O'Malley, I thought that it seemed a very similar choice for the actor who starred in Going My Way. I should have followed my own advice and done a little more research before viewing. The Bells of St. Mary's is a deliberate follow-up to 1944's best picture winning Going My Way with Crosby playing the same character.

Here Father O'Malley is the new headmaster at a Catholic school. He and Sister Mary Benedict (Ingrid Bergman) trade moral lessons with each other, using their students as evidence to support their points. One of the best moments is Sister Benedict teaching a young boy to box after feeling guilty that her advice to "turn the other cheek" got him pummeled. Father O'Malley coyly observes her behavior and playfully calls her on it.

I'm becoming more and more impressed with Ingrid Bergman after now seeing Casablanca, Gaslight, and Bells of St. Mary's. Three distinct characters and she disappears into each of them with only her beauty and subtle Swedish accent as the common thread between them.

This is a good film, but nothing that hasn't been seen before.

105 to go...

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