Never Seen It!, Holiday Edition: White Christmas

NSI_HE_White_Christmas_poster

BY ERIN TORRANCE

Date released: 1954

The gist: White Christmas follows the story of Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) from serving together in the army under Major General Thomas F. Waverly (Dean Jagger) to having their own post-war entertainment show. When the boys receive a letter from an old army friend, they go to scout out the soldier’s sisters, Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Hanes (Vera Ellen), who are also performers. There’s an instant spark between Davis and Judy, and the four eventually find their way to Vermont in search of snow, where they discover that the venue the sisters were to perform at is actually owned by General Waverly—and that Vermont is green. The boys scheme to create a show at the hotel in hopes of bringing in some business for the green Vermont resort, but they end up bringing much more to the lonely resort.

Why I Grinch-ed out and avoided it: White Christmas may be nearly three-times my age (so the obvious answer would be that I wasn’t born during its release), but it’s a holiday staple for many; I know my parents enjoy it and our fille Ashley LOVES it (there is no way to exaggerate that). I don’t really have much of a reason for not seeing it aside from it just not being one of the films that I remember watching every year during my childhood. My staples have always been Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original!), and more recently, Elf. So in the interest of expanding the number of films to watch during the holiday season (and save my boyfriend from having to watch Elf more than twice in less than a day), it’s time to give White Christmas a watch.

Merry mistakes:

They’re all fairly small, but there are a couple:

  • Mr. Wallace threatening to remove the Hanes sisters from their room on the train by dragging them by their hair… Never cool
  • After hearing “Sisters” so many times, it kept playing on repeat in my head while I was trying to sleep, which is very detrimental to me during Christmastime, when every bit of shuteye counts
  • Creepy red tambourines with faces on them

Magical moments:

  • Pretty much every time they break out into song (but especially the sound effects by “Non-Wallace during their “Snow” number on the train
  • Wallace and Davis performing the “Sisters” number
  • Wallace’s announcement for “Operation Waverly” on the Ed Harrison Show (nearly cried)
  • When Waverly entered the entertainment hall to applause and “We’ll Follow the Old Man” (cried)
  • Final rendition of “White Christmas” was simply just a perfect ending

Happy holiday or ho-ho horrible? Starting out, I was looking to add another film to my holiday must-watch list. White Christmas may have fit the bill; it’s absolutely an adorable and touching love story in every sense of the word. The musical numbers are very entertaining and, honestly, the film did not seem anywhere near two hours long. For me, I was a little surprised that Christmas wasn’t stressed more throughout, as it just kind of seemed like they mentioned having a show on Christmas Eve and all of the musical numbers they were rehearsing didn’t really have any Christmas ties, the only exception being “White Christmas” both at the very beginning and the very end and, of course, the snow. Overall, I enjoyed this movie and I’m sure I’ll watch it again; but if you’re looking for a movie that’s all about the holidays, White Christmas just doesn’t seem to do it for me. Having said that, I would love to see the entire Wallace and Davis show featuring the Hanes sisters.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AB1ZD6JKxes]
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