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White Christmas

Posted by admin on December 22, 2012

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How many of you have seen an actual white Christmas? Coming from southern California, white is the last color I think of on Christmas day. One of my goals would be to spend the holidays in New England during this time. From what I hear, Christmas comes alive with the fresh blanket of snow. I love Christmas already, but there’s something about the idea of snow around the holidays I like. Maybe it’s simply part of the cold weather that just makes the gatherings much warmer. Once we arrive at the evening party and we toss our jackets from the ice, we can bask in the warm home of our friends.

I guess I will have to settle for having a green Christmas. But then again, I can also listen to “White Christmas”. Once Bing Crosby croons through my radio, I see a different December; one that’s full of outdoor fun and snowman greeting me outside the party. So it’s no question that I should watch White Christmas. Though one of the most classic holiday movies of all time, I had never seen it until now. It’s not that I’m reluctant to watch it; it’s just that I have many other films to watch.

In the darker of Europe in 1944, Bob Wallace (played by Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (played by Danny Kay) are two army buddies who perform a warm Christmas show to remind their fellow men in arms of the holiday memories from home. Despite a somber feel, they manage to brighten everyone’s spirits. At the same time, their commanding officer, Major General Thomas Waverly (played by Dean Jagger) is being relieved of command. The success of Bon and Phil’s performance encourages them to take their skills to the stage. For years, they become successful performers and producers, taking care of each other.

While performing in Florida, they are called upon to audition two girls. They see a performance of Betty (played by Rosemary Clooney) and her sister Judy (played by Vera Ellen). Becoming smitten by the two women, Bob and Phil follow them to the Colombia Inn in Pine Tree, Vermont where the sisters are set to perform during the holidays. Despite some argument over their Christmas plans, Everyone arrives in the North to more of a green Christmas. If the missing blanket was something, they all find out that the hotel they’re staying at is loosing business. At the same time, the two men run into Thomas, who has sunk his retirement fund into the place. To save it, Bob and Phil decide to bring their show to the Inn to try and save it.

Given the fame of the song, you would think that White Christmas still holds up? Well, not as much as you think. The situation of saving an Inn is not bad, but the story runs out of steam too soon, and gets lost in a soap opera like romance that I lost interest in. The film has the unfortunate of becoming more like an antiqued piece of fluff.

The story may be harmless, but that’s 1950’s safe writing for you. The saving grace are the performances by Bring Crosby and Danny Kay. Not only are their singing and dancing a delight, but they bring a surprising amount of class to this story. While staying charming, they are actually good men of action that would go out of anyone’s way to help them, even if it means countless hours of practicing dance. I found myself entertained by the amount of effort they out into their musical numbers.

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I’ll give this three blankets of snow out of five. White Christmas will bore a lot of people, but if you want a classic piece of fluff, then White Christmas may be a nice little trip to the fifties for you.  

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