Friday, December 21, 2012

Weekend Cinema Spotlight: White Christmas

"White Christmas" (1954)

White Christmas is a must watch film during the holiday season. It stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen doing what they do best-singing, dancing, and just being wonderful in their roles.

It begins in the midst of World War II, Wallace (Crosby) is performing for the troops and Davis (Kaye) is assisting when they have to bid their farewells to General Waverly (Dean Jagger-isn't that a fabulous name!!??) who has commanded their troop successfully but because of an injury has to leave his post. It was an emotional farewell and the first song, "The Old Man" is one of my four favorite scenes.

Bidding their General farewell with a performance of "The Old Man"

During a bombing attack Davis (Kaye) saves Wallace's (Crosby) life. When Wallace asks how he can repay Davis he shows him songs he has written hoping they could become a duet. Although Wallace is convinced and before he knows it they become a successful duo called Wallace & Davis. After a few years Davis becomes exhausted by the rigorous schedule they keep and hopes that Wallace could fall in love with a nice girl so they could slow down their pace.

Enter the Haynes sisters, Betty (Clooney) and Judy (Vera-Ellen) who happen to be the sisters of a fellow they were acquainted with during the war. I thought it was neat that the photo of "freckled faced Haynes" was actually of Carl Switzer who was the star of the "Our Gang" series playing the wonderful "Alfafa".

Betty finds out Judy wrote the letter to get Wallace & Davis to see them perform and possibly get some useful advice about their work. Davis notices Wallace taking a liking to Betty and Judy who wants to be away from the "mother hen" (aka Betty) notices as well. Before you know it they are all on their way to Vermont!

 Clooney actually sang both parts of the "Sisters" song

 To help the girls out, Wallace & Davis perform "Sisters". At the end when Wallace starting cracking up is authentically Crosby laughing out loud because he couldn't contain it any longer-I love that bit!

This is my second favorite scene when they all sing "Snow"-Love it!

 General Waverly! What are you doing here in Vermont? In this Inn? Hummmm...
Mary Wickes (his housekeeper) and Anne Whitfield (his granddaughter, Susan) are a wonderful addition to this film as well!!!

When they arrive in Vermont there is no snow and the girls almost have their gig canceled but the owner of the Inn just happens to be Wallace & Davis's beloved General Waverly! He asks the girls to stay and Wallace & Davis decide to help the old man out they will bring their whole show to the Inn to help him get more business.

 Crosby, Kaye, and Clooney practicing for the big show!

There are moments of misunderstandings, lying, false engagements, and lots of warm milk for sleepless nights. In a surprise move Wallace goes to New York to get on the Ed Harrison show to ask all the men from their troop to head out to the Columbia Inn in Pine Tree, Vermont to surprise General Waverly and remind the old man that he still means something to so many.

My third favorite scene is when they sing "Gee, I wish I were back in the Army" and when all sing "White Christmas". 

Betty and Wallace kiss and make up!

This film is beautiful to look at-especially because it was filmed in Technicolor but also because of all the stunning costumes, props, dance numbers...oh my! It was also funny, touching, moving, ans sweet.  A girl cannot ask for much more!

It brings joy to my heart to watch this film and I am sure it does the same for so many of you!

May we all have a White Christmas!



  1. Lovely! They had such great costumes in this movie. It's been a few years since I've seen it thanks for the recap:))

  2. Ooohhh, I was so hoping that you'd do a post about White Christmas this year (especially after your wonderful recent one on Bing). This is, bar none, one of my favourite movies of all. Not just Christmas movies, but movies in general. Looking back on my childhood, though there were certainly others that were quite influential (A League of Their Own, Meet me in St. Louis, Grease, etc), I really don't think there was any other movie that stirred my young passion for the past (specially the 40s and 50s) quite like White Christmas did. Then, as now, it's annual tradition that we watch it at least once every year - during which I always love to sing along to all the songs (especially "Sisters"). :)

    ♥ Jessica

  3. I was watching it the other night telling the girls look how they throw that little blond around like a doll. No wonder she was so tiny, lot's of energy!


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