Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)

At a big city Catholic school, Father O'Malley and Sister Benedict indulge in friendly rivalry, and succeed in extending the school through the gift of a building. [imdb]

Nominated for 8 Oscars:

Best Picture
Best Director: Leo McCarey
Best Actor: Bing Crosby
Best Actress: Ingrid Bergman
Best Original Score
Best Original Song
Best Editing
Best Sound (WINNER)

I usually like to put here the original poster of a film, but I just couldn't do that for Bells of St Mary's because it was way too ridiculous: the original one has Crosby & Bergman on it, but in street clothes, as if just coming home from dinner. :)) how silly is that, considering they stay in their priest / nun outfits during the entire film.

Also good to note that this is the first sequel to get nominated for Best Picture. It is, of course, the sequel of Going My Way, the film that had won way too many Oscars in the previous year, including Best Picture, Director & Actor. Considering I wasn't a fan of it (look for my review in the tags on the right), I had hoped that the new presence of Ingrid Bergman might bring a breath of fresh air and avoid another dull film. It succeeded in a way, but not completely.

Ingrid is fine, though the role could've been richer. Crosby, I thought, was actually better than in Going My Way, mostly because of the emotional scenes at the end. The biggest problem can be found in the screenplay which, sometimes predictably, goes for plenty of cheesy moments, mostly boring ones and any excuse to make Bing Crosby sing another song. I was actually well prepared to give it a 5 until the last 10 minutes, which completely changed the quality of the film; not only is Bergman fantastic in the end, but the screenplay finally brings some emotion to the leads.

My rating for the film: 7/10. Too bad it didn't make the right choices earlier that it did; but better than Going My Way, for sure.


  1. I think Ingrid was great. :) But I always love her. I hate when she's criticised.

  2. geee... i hope I don't give u reasons to hate :)

    but she's very... tricky with this performance. definitely thought it was better the 2nd time I watched it (with the 2 viewings just a week apart)

  3. No, I mean I hate when she's given hate. Feel free to criticise. :) I hate when she's called disgusting for instance (for For Whom The Bell Tolls which I'm about to review now).

  4. I shall have to watch this again, from memory it seems totally forgettable - including the last 10 minutes which I have literally forgotten.