Festive Film Review: White Christmas (1954)

White Christmas is defiantly one of my favourite Christmas films. Made in 1954, this Paramount film stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as the performing duo Wallace and Davis, who meet in the army during WW2. After meeting the performing sister duo, The Haynes sisters, who are Rosemary Clooney (auntie of George) and Vera-Ellen to give suggestions on their act, all four travel to Vermont as the sisters are booked to perform at an Inn over the Christmas holidays. After finding their old army general is the owner of the Inn, but he has fallen on hard times, the foursome have to think up a plan to get business back and booming for their old general.

The song White Christmas had previously appeared in 1942s Holiday Inn, also starring Bing Crosby. The song was so popular that this film was named after it, and the song serves as the first and final song of the film. The music is written by Irving Berlin, a legend of American musicals, and the film is directed by Michael Curtiz, who also directed the classic Casablanca.

The cast of White Christmas are perfectly picked, and all bring their own qualities to the film; Bing Crosby is the perfect lead man, Danny Kaye is excellent comic relief, Vera-Ellen is a wonderful dancer and Rosemary Clooney has a beautiful singing voice. But untimely, the cast work together so well on screen that you can actually believe they are friends and lovers.

When the film was released, it was a huge critical success. It was the highest grossing film of 1954 in the US. Although it has the word ‘Christmas’ in the title and includes the famous song White Christmas, the plot is generally not too Christmas related. The beginning and the end of the film are set during the festive period, but mostly the film is a general musical with songs and dancing about a variety of themes regarding friendship and romance. This makes the film perfect for viewing at any time of the year – whether during December or August!

Despite being 60 years old in 2014, White Christmas is still a very enjoyable film. Although not particularly aimed at a young audience, children can still enjoy this film with the family, and if nothing else, it is worth seeing just to see the amazing song and dance routines. I would recommend this film to anyone, at any time of the year, for a sweet musical with a great story about love and friendship.

Read the article at firstinstinctmagazine.com


About writingsuzanne

History graduate. Freelance writer and reviewer. Passionate about film, theatre and music (film soundtracks!).
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