Oy, vey, talk about your Catholic guilt! Going My Way was an odd choice for best picture. This was the year of Gaslight, a movie so great it actually became a verb. And also the noiriest of the noir, Billy Wilder’s sublime Double Indemnity. Those James M. Cain movies never got their due. Sigh. Mildred.
We’ve really been on a Bing binge lately: We caught White Christmas at the spectacular Music Box theater in Chicago just before Christmas. If you live near the Chicago area you should make it a priority to head on over to the Music Box on Southport to catch the sing-a- long White Christmas or It’s A Wonderful life program they put on during the holidays. Nothing make a grinchy heart grow 2 and 1/2 times it’s size like a good old fashioned movie show. The organ player dressed up like a Christmas tree is worth the price of admission alone. The Going My Way DVD I have comes with a second feature that we enjoyed Christmas day; the wonderful, weird, totally un-pc Holiday Inn. More Bing for the buck!
Going My Way was fun, a nice light way to end an enormously heavy year. The timing was good too: truly nothin’ says Christmastime like Bing Crosby. The Ava Maria rendition between him and Rise Stevens was really quite lovely.
There is no one cuter than Barry Fitzgerald. Ever. You could juxtapose Mr. Fitzgerald next to a basket full of puppies (poor helpless puppies, they actually do that in Going My Way). And Barry would win. Hands down. Most of us felt he looked like a chess piece. Some of us (ok, me) felt he looked a bit more, um, more like this–
Barry Fitzgerald also was the only actor ever to be nominated for two different (leading & supporting) awards for the same role in the same year. It would have been great if he won for both. But I guess they had to give Bing one, too. But I could easily have given Bing’s to Charles Boyer. I heart Gaslight.
Because this movie was a bit slow and there were opera parts (shudder), it made the mind wander. And when my mind wanders it tends to generate some bits o’ trivia. Did you know that Katharine Hepburn, William Holden, Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Edward G. Robinson, Barbra Streisand, Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell (and a cast of thousands) never appeared in an Academy Award Winning Best Picture? But Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer did. And so did William “Fred Mertz” Frawley. Interesting.
We did Going My Way at lunch time and my husband, good Catholic boy he, when he heard all the priesty Irishy names he totally jonesed for corned beef. This, of course, meant sandwiches. Which we picked up a deli. Max’s in Highland Park. Nice place, not terribly Irish. Max’s patrons tend to be a bit pushy: a woman actually bumped me away from my husband so she could be *next* in line. And then she totally totally totally invaded Jim’s personal space. Gotta love that North Shore sense of entitlement.
But you also gotta love the North Shore sense of delicatessen. I’ve lived in the western suburbs of Chicago for over fifteen years and I’ve yet to find a deli that comes even close to those in the city and up along the lake.
My Idea of the Perfect Corned Beef Sandwich.
A little unsalted butter on the bread
A shmear of yellow mustard (plochman’s)
proper corned beef, from a deli you trust, freshly sliced.
Assemble accordingly. Eat. Toora Loora Lorral, indeed