Film Review – White Christmas (1954)

They don’t call it a classic film for nothing! Michael Curtiz’s White Christmas is nothing but a joyous twirl through simple holiday cheer. Not too much into the holiday itself, but Christmas has its way of lingering around the narrative and it plays well all through to the end.

White Christmas

(left to right) Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and Danny Kaye performing “Mr. Bones”

This musical classic follows Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye), two army fellows who eventually make it big in showbiz after World War II as the sing-and-dance act “Wallace and Davis.” One day they get a letter from an acquaintance asking that they go and see “The Haynes Sisters,” a singing duo of two beautiful women. Besides romance, the wartime buddies soon cook up a plan to show just how much they appreciate their old general, who had left their 151st Division and was now working at a Vermont Inn.

White Christmas has such a charming finesse to it that you can’t help but think about the film afterward. Admittedly, I still have “Sisters” and “Back in the Army” stuck in my head. But it’s got comedy, romance, music, dancing, and that good ole’ holiday feel to top it off! One of my favorite dance sequences was the first performance at the hotel where Judy Haynes (played by the ever so talented Vera-Ellen) danced away to “Mandy“… Completely mesmerizing. The late-great Rosemary Clooney plays Betty Haynes and what a darling she was.

A film like this one has a few things to its name. Fun fact: Under Paramount Pictures, White Christmas is actually the first film ever shot on Vista Vision, that is, wide screen. It was 1954’s most successful film and even today I know some folks that watch it every year during this holiday season. It’s become some sort of tradition now; a true Christmas classic if you will.

White Christmas is a film that made my heart so happy. It’s not waist deep into complete Christmas antics and celebrations, but it is touching the surface just right. It’s a film built around the holiday cheer and the things that brought everyone and everything together toward the end. One of the best feel-good holiday flicks.

 “May your days be merry and bright; and may all your Christmases be white.”

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