WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954)
By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Starring: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, Dean Jagger, Mary Wickes, Anne Whitfield, George Chakiris
MPAA Rating: NR
Selig Rating: FULL PRICE
Runtime: 120 Min.
Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) are a song and dance team formed in war-torn Europe during December 1944. After ten years of success after success they meet the sisters of an old army buddy, Betty and Judy Haynes (Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen) at the night club where they are playing. There is chemistry between the couples (Bob/Betty and Phil/Judy) but the ladies are in big trouble with their landlord. It’s trouble which might prevent Betty and Judy from going to Vermont to work their next contract. Phil, true to his manipulative nature, gives the girls the train tickets the guys were about to use. Ushering the girls out the club’s back window and into a taxi, Wallace and Davis perform a lip sync version of the girls act.
Bob is NOT happy about losing his sleeping berth to the ladies but can’t make himself take it back when they meet the guys in the club car. Following a rendition of “Snow”, the group agrees to travel together to the Vermont ski lodge which has hired the ladies. Arriving in Vermont they experience a shock as the weather is WARM (i.e. NO snow). The guys experience a shock when the owner of the lodge turns out to be their commanding officer from the army, Major General Waverly (Dean Jagger)!
Bob Wallace dreams up the plan to bring their musical company to the lodge to “rehearse” a new show integrating the ladies and to bring the men of General Waverly’s division to the lodge to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Christmas Eve show on the front lines (and remind the General that he is loved and revered) while bringing much needed cash into the lodge.
White Christmas is a true classic. My family has made yearly viewings a tradition. The music by Irving Berlin is heart warming and the performances are amazing. I must admit that finally seeing this classic on the big screen I saw several interesting “oops!” My two favorite “oops” are Vera Ellen tripping over Danny Kaye’s left foot and barely catching herself and George Chakiris working in the dance company at the lodge but also performing in the night club in New York City when Betty runs away due to a misunderstanding about Bob’s true motives.
This film played at several different venues today. Both Alamo Drafthouse Cinema DFW in Richardson and Cinemark Theaters (several locations around the metroplex) are running Christmas-themed screening of classics and near-classics.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema DFW has the following films in their “Christmas Classics: Vintage and Modern” schedule (please note that not all of these films are “happy” films):
12/1 – WHITE CHRISTMAS
12/2 – EDWARD SCISSORHANDS
12/3 – AMERICAN PSYCHO
12/4 – Action Pack: BAD SANTA Party with props
12/5 – Prohibition Night in honor of the 80th anniversary of the repeal featuring LAWLESS with "Wettest County in the World" author Matt Bondurant, Prohibition-era cocktails, moonshine, 1930s music, 'Meet The Distiller' with Herman Marshall Whiskey, and more!
12/7 – HOME ALONE Pizza Party
12/8 – Action Pack: A CHRISTMAS STORY Party with props
12/10 – Action Pack: ELF Quote-Along
12/11 – Girlie Night: LOVE ACTUALLY
12/12 – Evening with THE HOBBIT double feature with LORD OF THE RINGS music live with a quartet from the Richardson Symphony Orchestra
12/13 – FRIDAY THE 13TH (in 35MM) on Friday the 13th
12/16 – SCROOGED
12/17 – NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
12/18 – Action Pack: CHRISTMAS VACATION Quote-Along
12/19 – XMAS Pop Sing-Along
12/21 – Cartoon Cereal Party: Christmas Edition
12/22 – IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
12/23 – GREMLINS
12/24 – DIE HARD
12/31 – New Year's Eve Sing-Along
To see more information and purchase tickets: http://drafthouse.com/calendar/dfw
Cinemark Theaters are showing:
WHITE CHRISTMAS: Sunday 12/1 (200 PM) and Wednesday, 12/4 (2:00 PM & 7:00 PM)
National Lampoon’s CHRISTMAS VACATION: Sunday 12/8 (200 PM) and Wednesday, 12/11 (2:00 PM & 7:00 PM)
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Sunday 12/15 (200 PM) and Wednesday, 12/18 (2:00 PM & 7:00 PM) with encore presentation Christmas Eve at (2:00 PM & 7:00 PM
To see more information and purchase tickets: http://www.cinemark.com/Cinemark-Classic-Series
Movie Site: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047673/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!