Perhaps I'm showing my age, and heck, I'm only 44, but, I've seen this film on numerous occasions and I just never get tired of it. It's film making at it's best during the hay day of Hollywood. Most of our younger generation may not have seen this film since it was released in 1945, and they probably wouldn't watch it because it's black and white.Father O'Malley (Bing Crosby) continues his role from an earlier film called Going My Way. This time he's in charge of a parochial school that is in deep financial trouble. Not to mention the roof is about to fall in, the gutters are about to fall off, in short, the place is in trouble. The interesting thing about Father O'Malley is that he's quite unconventional when it comes to being a priest. Probably one of the most easy going men you will ever meet, and he sings too!
Arriving at the new school, he meets Sister Benedict (Ingrid Bergman). She's the lady in charge of the nuns and classroom teachers. She and Father O'Malley don't hit it off too well to begin with, she doesn't agree with his methods. And that's what makes this film worth watching. While they don't necessarily agree with one another, as the film develops, you can see the deep respect each of them have for each other.
Just across from the run down old school is a brand new building that's going up. It's owned by Horace P. Bogardus (Henry Travers.) You'll most likely remember Travers from former films such as Clarence Oddbody from 1946 in It's A Wonderful Life. He's a persnickety old fellow and for him, well nothing seems to be going right, something is always wrong, he's very high strung. It's the hope of Sister Benedict that he will donate his brand new building to the church so a new school can take the place of the old.
This is classic film making folks, it just doesn't get much better than this. You have a cast full of kids as well, some as cute as a button. They're always pulling something as kids will do, and Father O'Malley is always willing to forgive with a lesson learned.
There's plenty of singing, plenty of comedy and just downright fine acting by a fine cast.For those of our younger readers, take a few moments and really give this film a chance. Yes, it's in black and white, but that will let you focus on the story, and after watching awhile, you'll forget all about the absence of color. Run down to your local video store and grab it for a watch, you just won't be let down in any manner. For those of you who've seen the film, you know exactly what I'm talking about.