Thursday, December 18, 2014

White Christmas

Irving Berlin worked on a series of films featuring new songs he'd written. 1944 brought the film Holiday Inn, which introduced the world to a new Christmas song, as crooned by the man himself, Bing Crosby. This song, "White Christmas," would later inspire and become the title song for a 1954 film, White Christmas, also featuring Crosby.

Bob Wallace (Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye, and yes, dad, we know...) meet in the army while serving in World War II and soon become big Broadway stars. They check out a sister act, consisting of Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen). The two ex-army men become smitten with them and after romancing them, they help them escape an irate landlord to their next stop in a little hotel in Vermont, Bob and Phil forgoing a previous engagement to tag along.

The group is surprised to find a Vermont without snow, and the inn they arrive at is doing poorly because of it. Bob and Phil are surprised to find that their beloved old General Tom Waverley (Dean Jagger) is the owner. Bob calls in a favor to get word to all their old army buddies, which is misunderstood by Betty as an attempt to embarrass the General. Thinking Betty wants to go after a relationship with Bob, Phil and Judy announce a phony engagement, which causes Betty to leave. Following her to New York, Bob tries to convince her to come back and then makes his television pitch to get all the General's men to arrive at the lodge for a surprise. Betty realizes her mistake and returns.

In the musical finale, snow finally falls at the lodge, drawing visitors. Phil, Bob, Betty and Judy lead the appreciation show for the General, and then finish in a big finale of "White Christmas."

The film doesn't have a lot to do with Christmas, to be sure, but it certainly has a good bit of goodwill in it. It's a fun, musical comedy with a slight bit of romance in there. While definitely a big classic, this one isn't quite for everyone. Still worth watching at least once.

No comments: