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The Bells of St. Mary’s

  • Directed by Leo McCarey
  • United States, 1945, 126 mins.

In one of her most radiant roles, Ingrid Bergman stars as good-natured Sister Mary Benedict, a Catholic nun at the dilapidated St. Mary’s school, which faces abrupt closure. Enter newcomer Father Chuck O’Malley (Bing Crosby), with whom Sister Mary immediately strikes up a friendly rivalry. The two must band together, however, to find a new building for the school, and fast. Meanwhile, Sister Mary endears herself to the students, helping them through tough times and even teaching one boy how to properly fistfight. One of RKO’s biggest successes of the 1940s, Bergman’s performance singlehandedly lifts the film from the sentimental, showcasing her considerable talents in a way that no other film in her career would.

Preserved in 4k digital by the Paramount Archives; scanning, picture restoration and color correction by Technicolor; audio restoration by Audio Mechanics.

Genres: Drama

Other Films by Leo McCarey

The Awful Truth

Produced in the same year that McCarey directed Make Way for Tomorrow, The Awful Truth is the opposite of that tearjerker, throwing Cary Grant and Irene Dunne into a delightful, screwball scenario as a husband and wife headed towards splitsville, despite the fact that neither one of them really wants out of their marriage. While

Duck Soup

Despite its relative box-office failure upon initial release (a fact that remains shocking to this day), Duck Soup has become one of the best-loved comedies in cinema history and perhaps the preeminent Marx Brothers film—in addition to the most cinematic, foregoing the asides and interludes normally characteristic of their work and due in part to