The Bells of St. Mary’s

Classic for a Reason

The Bells of St. Mary’s, 1945, RKO Pictures. Starring Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman. Directed by Leo McCarey. B&W, 126 minutes.

Father Chuck O’Malley (Bing Crosby, in a reprisal of his role from Going My Way) has been assigned to pastor a school with a flagging reputation, in large part because of its dilapidated building. When he meets Sister Mary Benedict (Ingrid Bergman), he learns of her faith that one of the town’s wealthiest men, Horace P. Bogardus (Henry Travers) will deed them the new building next to the school. It seems an impossible belief, but nuns are known to have confidence in the impossible.

Father O’Malley and Sister Benedict share a pleasant relationship, but they don’t always see eye-to-eye. When two boys are caught scuffling on the playground, the solution is a point of friction between the leaders of the school. A more important area of disagreement is the…

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