Tuesday, December 29, 2009

White Christmas

Bob Wallis & Phil Davis are old Army buddies that turned into a musical act after the war, one of the most successful and popular acts in the country. When Phil decides he wants Bob to get a girl so that Bob will be distracted and he can get a break from constant work the Haynes sisters seem like the perfect pair of girls to aid in Bob’s distraction. Judy Haynes and Phil team up to try and get Betty & Bob together and the boys follow the girls to Vermont where they find a lack of snow and their former General instead of the packed show and vacationers they are expecting. In order to save the General’s Vermont resort Phil & Bob hatch a plan to move their show to the resort under the guise of rehearsal and they incorporate the Haynes sisters into their act.

White Christmas is a Christmas classic and it deserves this distinction. I cannot go through a holiday season without watching the antics of Phil and Bob at least once. This is a pitch perfect film in casting, concept, and execution. The musical numbers a superb, the jokes funny and the chemistry palpable. This is the kind of movie that the American studio system of its day was known for, it is a grand, visual treat meant to entice viewers away from their televisions and into the theatre to experience a world they would want to be a part of.

For me one of the best things about White Christmas is the interaction between Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. As Bob & Phil the two are perfectly matched. Bing delivers his performance with the deadpan sentimentality of a crooner and experienced performer, and Danny Kaye combats Bin’s relaxed ease with a frenzy of humor, excitement and quirkiness that makes the pair a perfect odd couple and a treat to watch interact with one another. This is a pairing along the caliber of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, people that have perfect chemistry and know how to match one another in a way that plays incredibly well to an audience.

White Christmas is a film I think everyone should watch around the holidays. If this film can’t help get you into the holiday spirit, nothing can.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Writers: Norman Krasna & Norman Panama
Bob Wallace: Bing Crosby
Phil Davis: Danny Kaye
Betty Haynes: Rosemary Clooney
Judy Haynes: Vera Ellen
Major General Waverly: Dean Jagger
Emma Allen: Mary Wickes

Phil Davis: When what's left of you gets around to what's left to be gotten, what's left to be gotten won't be
worth getting, whatever it is you've got left.
Bob Wallace: When I figure out what that means I'll come up with a crushing reply.

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