The Bells of St. Mary’s

The Bells of St. Mary’s works much better for its battle of wills between a parish priest and a head nun than the dopey musical interludes that pepper it, but Bells is still a winning, emotionally satisfying film. This sequel to Going My Way has Father O’Malley (Bing Crosby) taking over the St. Mary’s parochial school and finding himself at loggerheads with Sister Benedict (Ingrid Bergman, looking gorgeous even in a habit). There’s a wonderful balance to all of this: O’Malley takes a more worldly approach to administration and is wrong just as many times as the nun is when she insists on a more biblical approach. About four subplots suffuse the film, including the story of a young charge from the wrong side of the tracks, and the deteriorating state of St. Mary’s in the shadow of a brand-new building (the owner is played by the avuncular Henry Travers). A dear film.

Run Time: 126

Rating: Not Rated

Year: 1945