White Christmas (1954)
Now into the 50’s with the quintessential Christmas classic White Christmas. As many know, the title song is the most popular song of the film’s soundtrack and has been on the radio since the day Irving Berlin signed his name on it. Yet, I always wondered: what the hell is White Christmas about?
Two war buddies Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) set out after the war (and after Wallace saves Davis’ ass in the war) to start becoming entertainers. In a brief montage, the two become a vaudeville act to top dog producers in the entertainment industry. One day, they get a letter from their old mess sergeant Freckle-Faced Haynes from the war days asking them to take a look at his two sisters in a sister act, Betty and Judy (Rosemary Clooney & Vera-Ellen respectively). these two not only see the act, but fall head over heels for the two. Cue hilarity and possible dramatic tension that come with these problem. The pairs team up to help save the failure that Vermont Inn that their former Major General Thomas F. Waverly (Dean Jagger) runs.
The film remains timeless as it is a product of the 50’s in general. The humor is very cheesy and not too harmful and the acting is top notch. Crosby and Kaye play of each other so well that these two can practically be brothers. Crosby is the straight man to Kaye’s more vibrant and dopey comic relief. Even in the musical numbers, these two have more chemistry in each song and step than they actually due with the sisters. The two sisters played by Clooney & Ellen is quite interesting as they are just suited perfectly for Kaye and Crosby. They chemistry is perfect. The musical numbers are great as hell from “Sisters” to the tituliar song, which is still the standout and it’s clear why. The one complaint is that this film feels very run-of-the-mill these days and would probably bore those who can see things coming. It’s a fun classic and worth checking out if you haven’t.
From the 50s, we will head to the sixties to talk about to important television films that change Christmas as we know it today.