Think Sister Act without the classroom… Bing Crosby plays Father O’Malley, an unorthodox priest who is sent to get cranky old Father Fitzgibbon’s parish back on its feet. After dealing with a couple of the town’s boys’ shenanigans, O’Malley decides that the best medicine for disobedience is a boys choir. It just so happens that O’Malley is a talented singer and musician. He even used to perform on stage. (Sounding familiar?) O’Malley eventually brought in one of his famous singer friends to perform for the kids, which then inspired them to perform for a music publisher. And, after some convincing, O’Malley won purchase of his song, which then went to help the parish.
I feel like someone had an idea for the story and just needed a setting. They chose a parish, but it could have been anywhere. It came across to me like they were trying too hard. The use of the parish was handled loosely, without regard for consistency with reality. I had a hard time taking anyone seriously.
Not my favorite, but generally satisfying. I realize that Going My Way was filmed before Sister Act, but I think I prefer the Whoopi Goldberg version, which made Bing’s performance less impressive.