What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2019) with… The Bells Of St. Mary’s (1945)

And now we’re coming back to that wonderful movie, The Bells Of St. Mary’s with Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman!

Father O’Malley (Bing Crosby) is sent to be the pastor at a parochial school, and soon finds out what it means to be “up to his neck in nuns.” He and the head nun, Sister Mary Benedict (Ingrid Bergman), butt heads over how to run the school, and what they want to teach the students. Their most fervent disagreement is over Patsy Gallagher (Joan Carroll), who is in the school at Father O’Malley’s insistence, after her single mother asks him if Patsy could come there, since she was getting old enough to realize her mother was essentially a prostitute, which seemed to be one of the few ways she could pay the bills after her husband left her. Patsy isn’t as interested in school, hoping to get a job on her own, until Father O’Malley helps her build her confidence (at least, until she sees her father coming out of her mother’s apartment, mistaking him for somebody else). Father O’Malley and Sister Mary Benedict are also trying to figure out how to save the school, which is in bad shape and in danger of being condemned by the city council (with businessman Horace P. Bogardus, played by Henry Travers, building a new office building next door and hoping to use land from the school for parking space). Of course, the nuns are all praying that Mr. Bogardus will end up giving them his building for them to use for the school.

Well, since I already reviewed this movie and Going My Way previously, and I really don’t have anything new to add, then I’ll just make my comments on the new release. On November 26, 2019, Olive Films re-released the movie as part of their “Olive Signature Collection,” which features a new transfer of the movie (compared to their previous release) and a host of other extras. As far as the new transfer is concerned, it looks wonderful, better than I’ve ever seen the movie look! And, finally, one minor nuisance has been removed, the mask in the opening credits that had long covered up the fact that this movie was originally released by RKO Studios (since the movie is currently owned by Paramount through Republic Pictures)! Among the extras, there are two radio adaptations by the Screen Guild Theater, both featuring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman in their roles from the movie, along with a featurette on director Leo McCarey, one on the history of film franchises, and another discussing faith and how it worked within the movie, plus an essay written by Abbey Bender (which is both on the disc and in a written booklet that comes with the set). Overall, I would definitely say that this is the best way to view this movie! The movie is about two hours and six minutes long.

My Rating: 10/10

Audience Rating:

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Going My Way (1944) – Bing Crosby (original review of The Bells Of St. Mary’s) (here) – Road To Utopia (1946)

Gaslight (1944) – Ingrid Bergman (original review of The Bells Of St. Mary’s) (here) – Notorious (1946)

Coming Up Shorts! with… Klondike Casanova (1946)

(available on Blu-ray and DVD as part of Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s Volume 2 from Warner Archive Collection)

Disclaimer: On the disc case, it is noted that the set is intended for the adult collector, which is because these shorts were made at a time when a lot of racist and sexist stereotypes were prevalent. All I’m trying to say is, parents, be careful about just sticking these on for your kids.

Welcome to my new feature on various theatrical shorts! Sometimes my comments will be on shorts included as extras on a disc set I am reviewing, and other times, they will be completely unrelated to the movie being reviewed (and I will try to indicate which). Hope you enjoy!

(Length: 8 minutes, 5 seconds)

Popeye and Olive run a saloon in the Klondike, when Dangerous Dan McBluto comes in and kidnaps Olive. Yet again, we have Popeye and Bluto fighting over Olive in a different setting. Still a lot of fun, with enough fun gags to keep me laughing throughout! From Olive performing on stage and holding her movements/notes when her piano player, Popeye has to double as the waiter for the all the customers, to the bears at McBluto’s place randomly going into a “radio”-type advertisement for McBluto’s furs, everything worked well for me! While it was still Harry Welch as Popeye, it still worked well enough for me to enjoy this one as I have the others!

And stay tuned for more of Coming Up Shorts! featuring more of Popeye (and the eventual post on the entire 1940s Volume 2 set), along with other shorts!

2 thoughts on “What’s Old Is A New Release Again (2019) with… The Bells Of St. Mary’s (1945)

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