Bing Crosby stars with Danny Kaye as an Army captain and private at the end of WWII who form a song and dance team named Wallace and Davis, when the war is over. They find themselves moving on to producing and head to a Florida supper club in mid December to check out a sister act, the Haynes sisters ( Betty and Judy) portrayed by Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. The two pairs travel to Vermont for a gig and find themselves trying to rescue the fate of an old inn, owned by their former commanding officer played by Dean Jaeger.
Wallace and Davis launch an elaborate scheme to increase business for the general’s inn while reuniting their Army division on Christmas Eve. The plot of course involves mistaken intentions and people leaving on a train without telling others.
But it’s Hollywood , so we know there is a happy ending, and director Michael Curtiz does not disappoint. Bing takes hat in hand and goes to NYC to find Betty, and make things right. They trick the general into wearing his uniform to dinner, the regiment arrives by train from all points and it starts to snow ! Cue the Irving Berlin standard, cue the open barn door, cue the knight on a horse and cue Christmas enjoyment!
A few observations and facts:
Even though the movie bears the name of the song “White Christmas”, the song actually debuted in the movie “Holiday Inn” a full dozen years before.
The set from “Holiday Inn” was reused for “White Christmas”.
Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney are the main love interest story but there was a 25 year age difference between them at the time. Clooney was only 26 when she made the movie.
Danny Kaye could do anything…include breaking up the famously grumpy Bing Crosby, which he did during the “Sisters” performance. You can actually see Bing break character during the act.
I wish I had the velvet and fake fur concession for this movie. Costume shop definitely cornered the market for the movie. There is a velvet dress in every scene I think. The best is the forest green one that Clooney wears during the cast party.
Mary Wickes plays the housekeeper in the film and delivers some of the best lines in the movie including – “it used to be a barn, now it’s a Tyrolean haunted house”.
Vera-Ellen ( the youngest ever Rockette at 17) has the smallest waist known to womankind, surpassing Scarlett O’Hara…seriously, you can see her hip bones THROUGH her costumes..