White Christmas is a classic musical from 1954. There is nothing objectionable in the entire film, which makes it suitable for the whole family (it’s not rated, and it doesn’t need to be). The music is by Irving Berlin, and stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney (George’s aunt), Vera-Ellen and Dean Jagger. Edith Head, the grande dame of film couture, designed the costumes.
White Christmas is mainly a romantic comedy set to music and dancing, with a sentimental bent and nod to those who served in World War II. The story is about a show business duo, Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye), who end up at a Vermont resort just before Christmas with the Haynes sisters, Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy (Vera-Ellen), who have their own song and dance act.
Bob and Phil encounter their former general from the army (Dean Jagger) who is now owner of the resort in Pine Tree, Vermont. The trouble is there is no snow to bring in the guests. Thus begins an elaborate plan to get folks up to the resort, and pay tribute to the general at the same time.
Meanwhile, Bob and Betty are falling for each other. Interspersed through all of this are great musical numbers. Vera-Ellen is an incredible dancer. She looks like she’s about a size 2 with legs that just won’t quit. Danny Kaye does a very good job singing and dancing his role, and his comedic timing couldn’t be better. The segment where Phil and Bob dress up like the sisters to mime their act is hilarious, and I read, filmed on the first take.
If you have older folks, grandparents and such, coming to your house for Christmas, this is the perfect film to rent or buy. Watching it reminded me of my parents and aunts and uncles who loved watching these stars and this film, and introduced me to them. I grew up dreaming of a White Christmas, and welcomed the snow that would magically transform our dreary winter world into a carpet of white. I hope White Christmas brings some of that magic to you.