“This young man and I differ; we don’t see eye to eye.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
These days, opinions are decidedly mixed on whether Going My Way has stood the test of time. Crosby (the “No. 1 box-office draw” of the time) is certainly charismatic, and sings as nicely as ever, but the meandering storyline — in which “Crosby helps out a young woman (Carol James) who has left home and wants to be a singer, turns the tough neighborhood kids (all of whom say ‘fodder’) into angelic choirboys, looks up his opera-singer friend (Rise Stevens) …, gets money for the church by selling one of his songs, and wins over Fitzgerald” — lacks focus, and feels patently crafted to allow either Crosby and/or Stevens (who’s charming but smiles too much) “natural” opportunities to sing. With that said, if you’re in the mood for a feel-good film with some fine ditties sprinkled throughout (my favorite is Crosby leading the boys in “Swinging on a Star”), then this is certainly worthy viewing.
Note: Despite his claim that Going My Way was a “deserved Best Picture winner”, Peary actually gives the award to Double Indemnity in Alternate Oscars, noting that …Indemnity was “more deserving… if only because it has been much more influential.”
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: