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Going My Way

Screening on Film
Directed by Leo McCarey.
With Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald, Frank McHugh.
US, 1944, 35mm, color, 126 min.

One of the biggest hits of its day stars Bing Crosby as a new priest who arrives at a parish governed by a crusty older priest (Fitzgerald), only to find that it is mired in financial woes. The story of the rescue of the church was heartwarming enough to make it a major wartime success. By the same token, the film is sometimes remembered as saccharine, although the clear-eyed James Agee recommended it as genuinely moving. More recently, scholar Tag Gallagher has convincingly argued for the film's influence on John Ford and Jean Renoir, both of whom were known to admire McCarey's work.

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