What’s it about?
White Christmas is a 1954 American musical film starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. These four talented entertainers play four talented entertainers who go to perform at a Vermont Ski Lodge. On their arrival however, they are dismayed to discover that there is no snow in Vermont!?! This means they have no audience and the lodge is facing financial ruin. When Bob (Bing) and Phil (Danny) realise that their old army general runs the lodge they decide to sing and dance him out of the red. In true Hollywood magical movie fashion, their final number, and the title track of the film, brings the one thing Major Waverly really needs.
Why should you watch it?
It’s the best Christmas film ever.
What makes it great?
Bing Crosby’s faultless crooning and Danny Kaye’s dazzling dancing (if labouring the point a bit too much in Choreography) are amazing. The climax of the picture, where they surprise Major Waverly with an army reunion, always brings a tear to my eye. My favourite characters are, however, the female sister act Betty and Judy Haynes: the original Elsa and Anna. Vera-Ellen’s dancing is off the scale and Rosemary Clooney’s voice is so good she sang both parts of the iconic song Sisters.
Betty and Judy are a great sister act, not just because they are super talented but also because they have each other’s backs. But like Elsa, miscommunication and confusion sends older sister Betty running, not to the top of a snow-capped mountain (chance would be a fine thing!), but back to New York City. Clooney’s portrayal of the stoic but tender-hearted Betty is all the more poignant because she flees after singing / yearning her way through Count your blessings. The film’s timeless ending is what makes it memorable but this film is brilliant because there is so much more to it than snow at Christmastime….If you haven’t watched it, you really should: this Christmas and every Christmas.