82. Going My Way (1944)
This one is a very personal choice for me. Let's put aside the schmaltzy and hokey qualities the film's plot has. And let's put aside the controversy the Catholic Church has been going through the past decade or so. I grew up Catholic (even though I am not anymore) and both my parents (and both grandmothers for that matter) were (and are) very proud of being Irish Catholic. This film was something my mother would put on anytime she felt she needed a pick-me-up. My mother LOVED this movie (this hits home for me since she passed away in 2003) and it is really a good film. The friendship between the more relaxed Father O'Malley (played by the legendary Bing Crosby) and the conservative, old-world Fathet Fitzgibbon (the delightful Barry Fitzgerald) is an Odd Couple-like relationship that is quite heartwarming. My absolute favorite scene is the one where O'Malley has his boys' choir sing for his friend, the opera singer (played by real Metropolitan Opera star Rise Stevens). The boys charm her with singing the jazzy "Swingin' On a Star," and then, to impress her, they sing "Ave Maria," in which she lends her beautiful soprano and joins them. Anyone who grew up listening to "Ave Maria" (as I did) will begin to sing along (as I do!). My mother's favorite scene, of course, was the scene in which O'Malley sings "Too-ra-Loo-ra-Loo-ra" to the old Fitzgibbon. It always made her cry. Its such a wonderful film and I am pleased to have it represented on my list in dedication to her. I miss you mom!
Next Post: #81