White Christmas

My perennial childhood favorite, Michael Curtiz’s White Christmas has been nudging me into the holiday spirit for decades. My family used to watch this film every year when it came on network television (think pre-DVR, pre-Internet, even pre-DVD and VHS!). By the time I was ten I knew most of the songs by heart. With an outstanding Irving Berlin score, what little gay boy didn’t love singing along to Sisters, Geee! I Wish I Was Back in the Army, The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing, SnowChoreography and the insanely beautiful Count Your Blessings. Such amazing memories. Nowadays, I play this while I’m baking Christmas cookies which I did a week and a half ago. Having this run in the background is better than holiday music. I picture the scenes in my head while I’m busy measuring, mixing, baking and cooling. Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera Ellen, and a perfect Rosemary Clooney star in this light and breezy story about a couple of army pals who make it big in show business. One night they meet a sister act and end up in Vermont together helping their old Captain save his Inn. Dean Jagger and Mary Wickes add a wonderful depth to the story as the Captain and his housekeeper. You’ll laugh, you’ll sing along, you’ll shed a few tears and wonder why no one has considered doing a remake of the perfect holiday movie. A 5 out of 5 for longevity, mood elevating, and a glimpse at the greatness of Rosemary Clooney. Take a minute and watch her perform the best number from the film, Love You Didn’t Do Right By Me featuring a pre-West Side Story George Chakiris as one of her back-up dancers.  It doesn’t get any better than this.

12/21/12:  White Christmas – Blu-ray! You haven’t seen White Christmas until you’ve watched the Blu-ray edition. In fact you can tell how truly fantastic Blu-ray is by watching something you’ve seen a million times. Okay, I haven’t seen White Christmas a million times, but at least close to 40. The detail in the sets and costumes is stunning. The color so rich. The audio over the top! Loving this medium and I don’t see these disks going away anytime soon. Meanwhile, I cried more during this viewing than I have in years, yet another testament of the magic of this perennial favorite. I watched it yearly on network TV as a kid, with all the edits and commercials. I owned the VHS, then the DVD, now the Blu-ray. I never tire of this feel-good film.

12/24/14: First Christmas without my Mom.  I had to watch White Christmas on Christmas Eve – really sit down and watch it, not just background. Loved every moment of it. All the corniness, doesn’t matter – it’s a part of my childhood and I’ll forever be grateful for the memories. Love, love, love. 5 out of 5. Happy 60th Anniversary White Christmas.

12/6/15: Screened the perennial classic, White Christmas this weekend at the library’s Classic Holiday Film series. Had a blast digging up lots of factoids for the audience including Danny Kaye being choice #3 for the Phil Davis character. Fred Astaire and Donald O’Connor were #1 and #2. I can’t imagine anyone else other than Kaye in that role. He brought a level of comedy to the film that continues to be appreciated over 60 years later. A perfect way to greet the holiday season this year.


2 Responses to “White Christmas”

  1. thejewels18 Says:

    The Rosemary Clooney number…OMG! That dress! The back of that dress! Those earrings, that hair, those gloves, that Gorgeous George! Loved it.


    • reelcharlie Says:

      “to send me a Joe who had winter and snow in his heart wasn’t smart…” Love the on the back of the black dress positioned at the base of her spine – gorgeous!!! Rosemary was one in a million! 25 when she filmed WC – Der Bingo was 51!


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