Barry Fitzgerald was nominated by the Academy for both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor awards for the same performance, for the same film, the only time this has happened. (Al Pacino received a Best Supporting Actor nomination and a Best Actor nomination for his role as Michael Corleone, but his nominations were for the first and second Godfather films, respectively.). Fitzgerald won the Oscar in the supporting category but lost in the lead category to co-star Bing Crosby. (This is no longer possible under Academy guidelines.) Due to wartime metal shortages, Fitzgerald received a plaster Oscar (instead of a gold-plated britannium one) for his performance. A few weeks after he won, he broke the head off his plaster Oscar while practicing his golf swing.
Singer Andy Williams debuted as one of the singing boys surrounding Bing Crosby during the song "Swinging On A Star". Williams and his three brothers were performing as the Williams Brothers and were all cast in the scene.
Banned in several Latin American countries because Bing Crosby wore a white shirt as a priest.
The film was actually written after its "sequel" The Bells of St. Mary's (1945); in order to borrow Bing Crosby from Paramount for that film, RKO had to allow Leo McCarey to write and direct "Going My Way", based on the same character. Oddly, however, "Going My Way" was released first.
Bing Crosby sang "Swinging on a Star" by Jimmy Van Heusen, which went on to win an Academy Award for Best Song. Crosby sang four different Oscar-winning songs in his films.
Although Barry Fitzgerald played a Catholic priest in this film--and several others--he was in real life not a Catholic but a Protestant. Several times during this film when he is "crossing" himself he does it wrong, going from right to left instead of from left to right.
Risë Stevens' character Genevieve Linden plays the title role in "Carmen" at the Metropolitan Opera in 1944. Ms. Stevens would not make her debut in this role at the Metropolitan until December 28, 1945.
Fr. O'Malley's favorite baseball team is the St. Louis Browns. The year "Going My Way" was released, 1944, was the only season the Browns reached the World Series while in St. Louis.
Filmed in St. Monica Catholic Church near the beach in Santa Monica, California. Leo McCarey based the Barry Fitzgerald character in part on the church's real (irascible) pastor, Msgnr. Nicholas Conneally.
In the film, Father Fitzgibbons said he has been a priest for 45 years. If this was true based on Barry Fitzgerald's actual age, he would have been 11 when he entered the priesthood, as Fitzgerald was only 56 at the time of filming.
"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 8, 1945 with Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald reprising their film roles.
The first public showing, on 27 April 1944, was at 65 military locations, "from Alaska to Italy, and from England to the jungles of Burma..." (but mostly in Europe).
One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Considered one of the centerpieces of the MCA/Paramount Film Library, it was initially telecast in Omaha Tuesday 11 November 1958 on KETV (Channel 7); it next launched the Paramount Collection in Minneapolis Monday 5 January 1959 on WTCN (Channel 11); its next telecasts took place in Toledo 7 January 1959 on WTOL (Channel 11), and simultaneously Saturday 10 January 1959 in Los Angeles on KNXT (Channel 2), in Philadelphia on WCAU (Channel 10), in St. Louis on KMOX (Channel 4) and in Chicago on WBBM (Channel 2); its television premiere in New York City took place Sunday 25 January 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2) and in Asheville, North Carolina Sunday 22 March 1959 on WLOS (Channel 13), launching the MCA/Paramount Library on those cities also. In Milwaukee it was first telecast 10 April 1959 on WITI (Channel 6), in Phoenix 11 June 1959 on KVAR (Channel 12), in Grand Rapids 6 August 1959 on WOOD (Channel 8), in Detroit 23 September 1959 on WJBK (Channel 2) and in Seattle 6 November 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7); on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday 26 November 1959, it enjoyed its initial airing in both Pittsburgh on KDKA (Channel 2) and in San Francisco on KPIX (Channel 5). In Johnstown it first aired 22 December 1959 on WJAC (Channel 6). Universal first released this one on DVD 2 November 1999 in tandem with Holiday Inn (1942), again, as a single, 6 February 2007, and again 11 November 2014 as one of 24 titles in Universal's Bing Crosby Silver Screen Collection. Since that time, it's also received an occasional airing on Turner Classic Movies.
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on 3 May 1954 with Barry Fitzgerald reprising his film role.
Gene Lockhart, Porter Hall, and William Frawley costarred in Miracle on 34th Street (1947).
Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
The first ever film to have two actors win Academy Awards for their performances: Bing Crosby for Best Actor and Barry Fitzgerald for Best Supporting Actor.
Leo McCarey became the first person to win Academy Awards for directing and writing (in this case Original Story) for the same film.
The first film to win the Best Picture at the Academy Awards and the Golden Globe Awards.
Barry Fitzgerald became the first actor to win Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards and the Golden Globe Awards, for his role in this film.
Barry Fitzgerald's double acting nominations for this film, for which he was awarded the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, are his only Academy Award nominations.
The only Best Picture Oscar nominee of the year to be also nominated for Best Story.
The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Song, for 'Swinging on a Star".
The first Best Picture Oscar winner to also win Best Original Song, which it won for: "Swinging on a Star".
One of 11 American Music/als to win Best Picture: 1)The Broadway Melody (1929), 2)The Great Ziegfeld (1936), 3)Going My Way (1944), 4)An American in Paris (1951), 5)Gigi (1958), 6)West Side Story (1961), 7)My Fair Lady (1964), 8)The Sound of Music (1965), 9)Oliver! (1968), 10)Amadeus (1984), 11)Chicago (2002).