90 Days of Oscar Nominees #61 – The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945)


In my attempt to have a more prolific repertoire of Oscar Nominated Films, I have taken it upon myself to watch 90 new Best Picture Nominees that I’ve never seen before between 5 Dec 2017 and The 90th Annual Oscars on 4 Mar 2018.

Here is my 61st review of the 90 chosen Films…

“If we don’t fail sometimes, our successes won’t mean anything. You must have courage. Don’t give up. ” – Sister Mary Benedict

Number of Times Seen – 1 (2 Feb 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A priest is sent to be the principal of a parochial school and clashes with the head nun on how things should be run,

My Take on it – After watching Going My Way (1944) a few years ago, I wasn’t really looking forward to seeing this film since it didn’t impress me very much.

So, when I finally got to this film, I wasn’t expecting very much from it.

Boy was I surprised because I really loved the way that it was done.

The story itself is quite simple yet they have the ability to keep it interesting the entire time due to some great story ideas and an enjoyable cast.

The characters are all great and they are able to constantly surprise us with their actions over and over.

Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman are great together and have wonderful chemistry.

Henry Travers [best known as Clarence in It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)] is also great here as a businessman developing  a building on a lot that the Parish wishes to use.

They are easily able to play off one another which helps the story stay enjoyable.

Crosby was the very first actor (of only 6 to date) to garner multiple Oscar nominations for playing the same character in more than one film.

This film was also the very first sequel to ever get an Oscar Nomination for Best Picture.

This is probably the most entertaining of the 5 Nominees that year.

I also think that the fact that I enjoyed this film so much means that I now need to rewatch Going My Way (1944) in the near future. (Keep an eye out for it)

Bottom Line – Very enjoyable film that takes a simple story and keeps it interesting the entire time.  The characters are all great and they keep surprising us the entire time. Crosby is notable as the first actor to receive multiple Oscar nominations for the same character and this film also has the honor of being the very first sequel to ever get a nomination for Best Picture. This is probably the most enjoyable of the 5 nominees that year. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia #1 – The production was overseen by a Catholic priest who served as an advisor during the shooting. While the final farewell sequence was being filmed, Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman decided to play a prank on him. They asked director Leo McCarey to allow one more take, and, as “Father O’Malley” and “Sister Benedict” said their last goodbyes, they embraced in a passionate kiss, while the offscreen priest-advisor jumped up roaring in protest.

Trivia #2 – At the 1945 Academy Awards, Bing Crosby and Leo McCarey won the Best Actor and Best Director awards for Going My Way (1944). When Ingrid Bergman won the Best Actress award for her role in Gaslight (1944), she told the audience at the awards ceremony, “I’m glad I won, because tomorrow morning, I start shooting the sequel to ‘Going My Way’ with Bing Crosby and Leo McCarey, and I was afraid that if I didn’t have an Oscar, they wouldn’t speak to me.”

(From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)

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10 thoughts on “90 Days of Oscar Nominees #61 – The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945)

  1. Another interesting piece of trivia – is that Barry Fitzgerald – the year before – in GOING MY WAY – was nominated for BOTH Best Actor and Best Supporting actor – for the same role in the same movie! He won for Supporting while Crosby took home the prize for Best. And the Academy had to change their rules so it never happened again.

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