White Christmas

White Christmas

4.6 45
Director: Michael Curtiz

Cast: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney

     
 

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White Christmas, Paramount's belated follow-up to the 1942 hit Holiday Inn, was the studio's first VistaVision production. A veritable warehouse full of oldie-but-goodie Irving Berlin tunes are woven into the film's simplistic plotline, along with a handful of new songs, of which "What Can You Do With a General?" is the least memorable. BingSee more details below

Overview

White Christmas, Paramount's belated follow-up to the 1942 hit Holiday Inn, was the studio's first VistaVision production. A veritable warehouse full of oldie-but-goodie Irving Berlin tunes are woven into the film's simplistic plotline, along with a handful of new songs, of which "What Can You Do With a General?" is the least memorable. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye (replacing an ailing Donald O'Connor) play nightclub entertainers Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, while Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen are cast as singing-sister act Betty and Judy. The foursome travel to Vermont to visit Bob and Phil's WII commanding officer, General Waverly (Dean Jagger, who looks and sounds like Dwight D. Eisenhower!), who now runs a rustic old inn. Discovering that the general is in dire financial straits, the four entertainers secretly make plans to bail the old guy out with a big musical show, enlisting the aid of Bob and Phil's army buddies. Corny in the extreme, White Christmas evidently struck a responsive note with film fans; it was the high-grossing picture of 1954, and a decade later proved to be a ratings bonanza when it was given its network-TV premiere. Of the four stars, Crosby comes off best, especially when singing the title song at the beginning and end of the film; Kaye is a bit overshadowed this time out, though he's quite funny camping it up in a "drag" version of Irving Berlin's "Sisters." Still a big favorite on the home-video circuit, White Christmas may not be the best Bing Crosby musical on the market, but it's certainly one of the most heartwarming.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A top-flight score by Irving Berlin and the inspired teaming of Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye made White Christmas the biggest money-maker of 1954, and after nearly six decades its appeal hasn't diminished at all. Bing and Danny play Army buddies who become popular song-and-dance men after World War II. Accompanied by gal pals Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen, they vacation one winter at the failing Vermont resort owned by their former commanding officer, Dean Jagger. Their Christmas benefit performance pulls Jagger out of the red while at the same time affording us a plethora of famous Berlin tunes -- including "Blue Skies," "Heat Wave," and the Oscar-nominated "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep" -- performed in production numbers imaginatively staged by director Michael Curtiz (Casablanca). A partial reworking of the 1942 Paramount smash Holiday Inn, which also starred Crosby and introduced this film's title song, White Christmas is a colorful, high-spirited extravaganza, a clear standout among the tunefests made during the waning years of the Hollywood movie musical. A natural for holiday-season viewing, it's equally enjoyable at any time of the year, and a movie you'll want to revisit often.
All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Considering the amount of talent involved, it's surprising -- and rather a shame -- that White Christmas is only an enjoyable little trifle rather than a truly classic movie musical. The talent involved -- Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, Irving Berlin, Michael Curtiz -- is a perfect embarrassment of riches. And yet they're all in service to a screenplay that is, at best, derivative and very rarely inspired. There's simply too little script, and what there is doesn't try hard enough. Still, the screenplay does provide excuses for a number of marvelous Berlin tunes, performed to a fare-thee-well by the quartet of stars, and these are well worth watching under any circumstances. Beyond the legendary title song (written for an earlier film), there's also the delightful "Sisters," which in both its original and reprised forms is considered a classic. But pay special attention to Clooney's creamy, entrancing rendition of the beautiful "Love, You Didn't Do Right by Me"; this is a genuinely superior musical performance. Throw in such other treats as "Blue Skies" and "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep," as well as the amusing antics of Kaye, the laid-back playing of Crosby, and the effervescent dancing of Vera-Ellen, and most people will be more than willing to sit through the corny script.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/02/2010
UPC:
0097360829044
Original Release:
1954
Rating:
NR
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:00:00
Sales rank:
9,876

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by Rosemary Clooney; Backstage stories from White Christmas; Rosemary's old kentucky home; Bing Crosby: christmas crooner; Danny Kaye: joy to the world; Irving Berlin's white christmas; White christmas: from page to stage; White christmas: a look back with Rosemary Clooney; 2 Theatrical trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bing Crosby Bob Wallace
Danny Kaye Phil Davis
Rosemary Clooney Betty
Vera-Ellen Judy
Dean Jagger Gen. Waverly
Mary Wickes Emma
John Brascia Joe
Anne Whitfield Susan
Les Clark Actor
Mike Pat Donovan Actor
Lorraine Crawford Actor
Bea Allen Actor
George Chakiris Unnamed Dancer in Club
Barrie Chase Doris
Robert Crosson Albert
Marcel dela Brosse Maitre d'
Gavin Gordon Gen. Carlton
Johnny Grant Ed Harrison
Percy Helton Train Conductor
I. Stanford Jolley Station Master
Dick Keene Assistant Stage Manager
James Parnell Sheriff
Richard Shannon Adjutant
Grady Sutton General's Guest
Herb Vigran Novello
Sig Rumann Landlord
Vera Ellen Actor
Laura Lamb Actor

Technical Credits
Michael Curtiz Director
Robert Alton Choreography
Roland Anderson Art Director
Irving Berlin Score Composer,Songwriter
Frank Bracht Editor
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Robert Emmett Dolan Producer
Melvin Frank Screenwriter
Grace Gregory Set Decoration/Design
Loyal Griggs Cinematographer
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Norman Krasna Screenwriter
Joseph Lilley Musical Direction/Supervision
Norman Panama Screenwriter
Hal Pereira Art Director

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- White Christmas
1. Chapter 1 [:00]
2. Chapter 2 [:00]
3. Chapter 3 [:00]
4. Chapter 4 [:02]
5. Chapter 5 [:00]
6. Chapter 6 [:00]
7. Chapter 7 [:00]
8. Chapter 8 [:00]
9. Chapter 9 [:20]
10. Chapter 10 [4:40]
11. Chapter 11 [:16]
12. Chapter 12 [7:33]
13. Chapter 13 [5:14]
14. Chapter 14 [1:06]
15. Chapter 15 [6:43]
16. Chapter 16 [6:12]
17. Chapter 17 [1:17]
18. Chapter 18 [7:39]
19. Chapter 19 [2:14]

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