Despite some slow moments, "Going My Way" is certainly the best picture to have hit Boston in many months, and is, in a modest way, something of a revolution in movie-making. The story itself is of the simplest. To the poverty-stricken parish of Father Fitzgibbons comes Father O'Malley, ex-ballplayer (St. Louis Browns), ex-songwriter, who whips up a few hit tunes, pays off the mortgage, solves most of the local problems, including juvenile delinquency and generaly makes himself useful.
But it is not the plot that matters, for at last Hollywood has discovered that character study is an end in itself. Character study is, of course, impossible without good acting and it is Barry Fitzgerald as Father Fitzgibbons who makes the picture. Fitzgerald, probably one of the greatest living actors, gives a flawless characterization of an old man teetering on the edge of senility, Bing Crosby, the nominal star of the picture, is wise enough to play second fiddle in the scenes with Fitzgerald. In his own scenes he is just Bing Crosby.
Not having covered "the cinema" in their courses, the culture kiddies will have their doubts about the aesthetic propriety of moviegoing, even in this case. But for the average fan, America's forgotten man, this is ample reward for his doglike devotion.