Thursday, 16 December 2010

Best Actor 1945: Bing Crosby in The Bells of St. Mary's

Bing Crosby received his second Oscar nomination for portraying once again Father O'Malley in The Bells of St. Mary's.

I actually do not hate Going My Way, in fact one facet of it I enjoy quite a bit. The Bells of St. Mary's though is very plodding and rather dull. I do not mind films which just seek to be pleasant but this one did not work. Also how did they honestly think Henry Travers could play a villain?

Bing Crosby's performance is not a performance there really can be said all that much about. He sings well I guess as he usually does but that is not an acting performance. He mostly just looks and smiles in this performance. Even when he tries to change someone's mind about something he just tells them smiling in his usual way. There really is not all that much to his performance and O'Malley's character is rather strange in this film actually. For example he really undercuts the Sisters for no reason many times, and why exactly did he praise the bully for beating up the kid exactly? O'Malley is rather odd with his imperfectness in this one that does not work, and I think the just about perfect guy in Going My Way works much better.

Crosby actually stays in the background a lot of the time, and the little good cheer that is in the film is mostly brought by Ingrid Bergman as the Mother Superior Sister Benedict. Her performance is not anything amazing but it really shows how little Crosby does in his entire performance. He just smiles, or sings that is it, except perhaps his final goodbye to Sister Benedict at the very end of the film. He actually has some emotion in that scene rather than just relaxed happiness of the rest of his performance. That one scene, well not even a scene more of a moment is not much but at least it is something, unlike the rest of his performance, this really is the sleepwalking style of performance.


dinasztie said...

Well, yeah. This one does not deserve more than this rating.

dinasztie said...

I felt that this movie was made so that Crosby can sing. And it's so damn annoying. Poor Ingrid, she's trapped in this bad movie.

Anonymous said...

Horrible! How the Academy fell for this movie I'll never know.

Anonymous said...

I think this is truly a brilliant film in my opinion, but I agree about the writing of his character, his moral values are surely messed up in this film and they weren't in Going My Way. I think Bergman was amazing and incredibly funny.