Bob Wallace: We came up here for the snow. Where’re you keepin’ it?
Emma Allen: Well, we take it in during the day!
Betty Haynes: [singing on the train] I wanna wash my hands, my face, my hair with snow.
Review by Elliott
Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can finally start preparing for Christmas., which of course means watching classic holiday movies like Elf, Home Alone 2, and It’s a Wonderful Life. I’ve recently(past couple years) added another movie to that esteemed list of must-watch-every-year movies and that would be White Christmas.
I’m not sure if it was before or after we got married, but my wife is responsible for introducing me to this excellent piece of entertainment. It has quickly become one of my favorite Christmas movies. Oops, did I just give away my conclusion…
White Christmas was released back in 1954 and became the top grossing film of that year. I would classify it as a musical romantic comedy. It’s full of witty humor from that era, songs you can’t help yourself from humming for a week afterwards, and a great cast of entertainers.
Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace
Danny Kaye as Phil Davis
Rosemary Clooney as Betty Haynes
Vera-Ellen as Judy Haynes
Dean Jagger as General Waverly
White Christmas starts out just before the end of WWII. In the first scene Bob Wallace and Phil Davis are performing a Christmas show for the troops. Once the war is over, they go back to the states to start a song and dance act, which ends up becomes very popular. Through somewhat “random” events, they meet the Haynes sisters. Betty and Judy Haynes also have their own act, which they have scheduled to perform for several months at a small Inn in Vermont. Bob and Phil begin to take interest in the girls, so they decide to follow them up to Vermont. Shortly after arriving, they discover that the owner of the Inn is General Waverly, Bob and Phil‘s former commanding officer. After retiring from the Army, General Waverly spent all he had to buy and restore this Inn. Unfortunately business has been slow, due to the lack of snow. In an attempt to help General Waverly, Bob and Phil, along with Betty and Judy, decided to perform a Christmas show at the Inn. The big question is, will there be snow in time for Christmas?
In a scene at the inn, Betty can’t sleep so she leaves her room and “happens” to run into Bob downstairs. After a little bit of conversation, he sings the song “Counting Your Blessings, Instead of Sheep” to her, which was written by Irving Berlin. I couldn’t help but think of the Hymn “Count Your Many Blessings.” So often we focus on negative things in our lives. It was refreshing to see the focus placed on the positive and how we’ve been blessed. Below are the lyrics that Bob sings:
When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep
Counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep
Counting my blessings
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
If you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep
Counting your blessings
I won’t go into all the details, but in a scene halfway thru the movie, the hotel manager decides to eavesdrop on a phone conversation between Bob and Ed Harrison. She only pick up on part of the conversation, but it’s enough that she jumps to the conclusion that Bob and Phil are trying to take advantage of the General. She passes this information onto a few others, one of which is Betty. This causes all sorts of problems between the Betty and Bob, and demonstrates quite well the dangers of gossiping. A verse that comes to mind is:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Gossip is not only a dangerous thing, but a sin. Although the passage above, is not speaking directly about it, it does tell us that we should always have an attitude of love. I really like the last part of the verse: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
I really enjoy the cast and how they interact with each other. Bing Crosby has all kinds of great/weird phrases that he uses throughout the movie. Many of his lines weren’t even part of the original script, but the directors like his ad-libing so much, that they kept a lot of it in the final cut. The music and singing are great, which I suppose to some would be a negative, but I enjoy most of the songs. The story is very predictable and a bit clichéd, but that doesn’t bother me. As far as Christmas movies go, this is one of the best. My wife would say that it is the best. If you haven’t already, add this to your list of must see movies before Christmas.
Entertainment Score: 4.5 out of 5
Moral Application Score: 3 out 5 (There was some moral application, but no moral themes or dilemmas where present.)
The “Sisters” comedy act that Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye perform was not originally in the script. They were clowning around on the set and the director thought it was so funny that it was written in.
Third of three films to feature Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas”. The other two are Holiday Inn (1942) and Blue Skies (1946).