Friday, December 9, 2011

The Bells of St. Mary's

A Movie Review by Magdalen Aithne Arkwright

Few films can surpass this one for a feel-good theme that captures the hearts of all ages.  Father O'Malley (Bing Crosby) comes to be the new pastor to a parochial school that is in decline.  The building is old and in need of expensive repair.  The nuns have faithfully taught there for years, but growing financial problems could crash the school.  Mr. Bogardus is building a large, new building next door, and he has offered to buy the school.  Father O'Malley is reluctant to do so, however, because it is the nuns' whole life.

Sister Benedict (Ingrid Bergman) is a very faithful sister, and she and her sisters have been praying that Mr. Bogardus will donate the school to them.  Mr. Bogardus is a greedy man, however, and no one likes him.  Perhaps Father O'Malley, though, will have a few ideas.

Together, Sister Benedict and Father O'Malley resolve a conflict between two boys, help a girl with a broken family, bring a man and wife back together, solve the mystery of the "failing grades", and revive the school.  But it looks like Sister Benedict's days of working with children are coming to an end - with Father O'Malley have the heart to do what's best for her?

Father O'Malley and Sister Benedict often disagree with each other, but their chemistry on screen is incredible.  Sister Benedict is faith-filled, inspiring, and endearing.  Father O'Malley is a well-meaning, wise priest that immediately makes you laugh.  Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman work well together and their acting is superb.  This film (1945) will likely have you laughing and crying.

Rating: A
Points: 10


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