- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Well Produced Treacle
- Michael O'Farrell
Watching 'The Bells of St. Mary's' practically a half century since first seeing it on TV back in the early 1960s, this 70 year old baby boomer was impressed with the Old Hollywood production values and nostalgia factor of a more innocent time, while at the same time resisting the provincial mindset of Roman Catholicism that was rampant during my early school years. This movie whitewashes the sobering reality it was for many a Parochial School student who was humiliated on an almost daily basis by frustrated, mean-spirited nuns who did untold damage as teachers. plying their young students' minds with religious claptrap and a constant reminder of the evils of sin and the everlasting fires of hell promised to those who were bent on living an imperfect life. None of that is addressed in this vacuum of a film that does its best to promote a false sense of warmth and security in reel life opposed to the real life of the all powerful Corporate Church bent on managing its willful herd of human sheep.Starring the perfect 'Central Casting' icon Bing Crosby as everyone's favorite priest, Father 'Chuck' O'Malley, and supported by the most beautiful nun in the Hollywood universe at the time, Ingrid Bergman, the movie has nowhere to go but up in hope and inspiration even while the school itself is threatened with the inevitable wrecking ball. The nuns pray for a divine intervention that will save the school while Crosby and Bergman play a game of wiles in preserving the school and caring for the students. Major subplots include the curmudgeonly owner of the new office building adjacent to the school and newly arrived student, Patsy, who has trouble adjusting to the school's curriculum. By film's end all problems have been ironed out, save for an 11th hour humdinger of a treat jerker that just squeaks by in time to satisfy the faithful.
My Favorite Movie
- Susan Rohrer
This is my favorite movie of my life. Seeing it in my older age is as inspirational as when I was a child except that the pure motives of these wonderful people to show hope and help others seems to me even more beautiful. I think it shows a time period when the culture admired and revered those who lived to truly help others with no material compensation. I grew up in a parish like this and the movie brings back so many beautiful memories of a bygone time I always can remember through this film.
Movie for all ages
Watched this movie when I was a kid and still enjoy watching it. Wish the movie didn't end the way it did. Wish they made a sequel. LOL. Haven't seen it on TV for a while. Hoping TCM will air it soon.
A Genuine Hollywood Classic
If you've never seen this heartwarming film yet you are in for a real treat. Hollywood at its most endearing and charming. Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman both give dazzling, unforgetable performances. A Leo McCarey masterpiece. Don't miss it.
A Sequel Not Worth Seeing!
Made in 1945, The Bells of St. Mary's garnered 8 Academy Award nominations & was awarded only one. Stephen Dunn won for for Best Sound Recording. I don't know what Leo McCarey was thinking of while helping to write the screenplay, during production and direction of this film. He may have thought he had a shoe-in due to the tremendous success of "Going My Way" but the screenplay was so uneven it was difficult to sit through. The character development was practically nil and the only thing I wished for were the end credits so I could see who portrayed Patsy's mother. It was she, Martha Sleeper, who gave the only performance worth mentioning in this disappointing movie. The cast should have shone through in this story but it didn't. They had some big names of the day...Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman, Henry Travers, Ruth Donnelly, Rys Williams, William Gargan. Even Una O'Connor portrayed the housekeeper...but nothing helped this dud. Bergman should have come off as a rigid, strict and failing nun but she came off as helpful & hopeful from the time the cameras rolled. Even Henry Travers, a talented addition to any cast, was ms-cast in the role of a miserly man who sees the run down school as nothing but a future parking lot! Even the music was a flop. Crosby, who relied heavily upon music to help in his portrayals, was disappointing in a bevy of songs that were not at all memorable. In "Going My Way" he had a function as a necessary replacement for an aging priest in a failing parish but what his role was in this film is quite beyond me. The superb comedic talents of Ruth Donnelly were not at all tapped. There were no comedic or dramatic overtones to her role as second in command of a school who had to contend with an unlikeable, unsympathetic straight backed superior. This should have been a great sequel but it wasn't. The cast was talented but the foundation of a great story, well written script, thoughtful production and fine direction were simply not present.
Ingrid Bergman's greatest performance
Ingrid Bergman is amazing in this movie. This is definitely her greatest performance, one of the best acting performances ever put on film. That she won the Oscar the previous year for Gaslight (a role more suited to Diana Wynyard in the 1940 version, imo) probably prevented her winning for this, though she was nominated. Also very good are Joan Carroll, Ruth Donnelly, Henry Travers, and the actor who plays the doctor. Bing Crosby? - I have a bit of an allergy to him, I guess. The movie itself is a bit uneven and a little too long. (For example, I think they should have cut out the over-cute scene of the first graders' skit.) But this is a must-see film, and more than once, just to experience the wonderful character that Ingrid makes so real.
A Genuine Christmas Classic
If you haven't seen this heartwarming film yet you are in for a real treat. Hollywood at its most endearing and charming. Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman both give dazzling, unforgetable performances. A Leo McCarey masterpiece. Don't miss it.
Bells of St. Mary's has been a Christmas tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. Growing up I can remember watching it, Going My Way, The Miracle on 34th Street (With Edmund Gwenn), The Ten Commandments, King of Kings and others. Bells of St. Mary's is a classic inspirational film and you can't help but like it. Fantastic movie.
needs to be played on Tmc true classic
As a child this was one og my favorite movies. But it seems like these classics are fading away just like Going My Way.please bring great classics back more than once every few years and maybe more than once then on the shelves to be fotgotten. I am prerry yoing but those movies with Bing and Bergman etc bring me back to a nicer time. Please have a day shoimg thise clasics. I thing when a 40 something asks it should make you realize we want to keep these movies alive thank you. Kathy Emma
Bells of st marys
- Susan campese
Awsome movie love this Chirstmas watch every yr my all time favorite!
The Bells Of ST Mary's
I look foreward to seeing this Movie every year right around X-mas time , I think that if more and more people see this movie I feel that people would see the true meaning of Christmas, and what it is all about on helping others out like the young and the old . I just wish that they would show this more often. I hope to see this movie before Christmas is here - it is a very good movie to see.
The Bells of St. Mary`s (1945)
- Jay Higgins
A very fine film with a very sweet story. A worthy sequel to Going My Way. As one would expect, it is very sentimental, but the acting is great, particularly Ingrid Bergman and Henry Travers. A great Christmas classic.
Good casting, use of setting and development of characters.
Hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed this well acted movie. I'm a Bing fan, but it was Ingrid Bergman that really made this such a great movie. I highly recommend it.
A conservative movie with a liberal priest
- Jeff Boston
There's a reason Bing Crosby was the number one entertainer of the forties: movies like The Bells of St. Mary's. Mr. Crosby was a man of the people, yet had high standards. He was an everyman, yet not like any other. He was at the top of the charts and the box office in his day, and his songs and movies lifted spirits. They did not debase. I wonder if contemporary Hollywood will make, or is even willing to make, a movie like the many great ones in which Bing was the main attraction. I'm waiting.
Xmas time memories/
Movie brings back many <font color=red>Christmas</font><font color=green> memories</font> for me and my family.
a true classic
a great movie that i have watched with my family since i was a young boy. it's a movie that will make you feel good. bing crosby brings humanity to the clergy, and ingrid bergman reminds us of the good in all of us. crosby is great as usual. he's really one of a kind.