White Christmas

White Christmas (12/20/12) AMC (1954 ***) Directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen. Two song-and-dance men (plus their love interests) decide to “put on a show” in a quaint Vermont inn to help out their former WWII commanding general. This movie was clearly intended to cash in on the popularity of the song “White Christmas,” which had been introduced in the film Holiday Inn (1942), starring Crosby and Fred Astaire. White Christmas (the movie) borrowed many of the elements from the earlier film, including its setting in a New England Inn. The casting of the female leads was curious. Vera Ellen was clearly cast for her dancing ability and the fact that she wouldn’t outshine Rosemary Clooney in the looks department. As beautiful as her voice was, George Clooney’s aunt Rosemary wasn’t exactly a bombshell in the same league as Marilyn Monroe. She was attractive, but not in a traditional leading lady sense. Further, Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby were definitely out of their depths in some of the dance numbers, but it was fun to watch Kaye do his damnedest to keep up with Vera Ellen. Along those lines, keep an eye peeled for a young George Chakiris (West Side Story‘s Bernardo) as one of the dancers. On a side-note, this was the first time in a long time I’d watched a movie on AMC and thank God I DVR’d it. With all the commercials, the running time was stretched from two hours to nearly three!

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