The crooner, Bing Crosby, plays Father O’Malley in Going My Way, winner of seven Academy Awards, and its sequel, The Bells of St. Mary’s. In the timeless classic, Going My Way, the young priest is assigned to a financially ailing New York Irish parish church with the mission of turning it around unbeknown to Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald), the founding pastor. Along the way, he befriends the parish hoodlums and tries to turn them into choirboys. The singing by Crosby, the boys, and an opera singer enhances the film.
In the sentimental movie, The Bells of St. Mary’s, Father O’Malley is sent to a parish with a school that is overcrowded and in need of major repairs. He butts heads with the sister superior, Sister Benedict (Ingrid Bergman), especially when he starts his first day by giving the students the day off. A businessman wants them to sell the school to him and turn it into a parking lot. The nuns are praying for a miracle. This is my favorite of the two movies.