My review of "White Christmas"
"White Christmas" (1954)
Although it sounds like holiday time in Klanville, "White Christmas" was actually named after the lovely Christmas classic written by Irving Berlin, a Jew named after the city from which the Holocaust was planned and directed. That makes about as much sense as the plot of this movie, which being a musical, isn't--by definition--going to make any sense. The only musical that ever had a logical plot was "West Side Story," and in that one of the two main characters ends up dead and the other emotionally scarred for life. Perhaps the mercenary, thick-skulled idiots who ran Hollywood during the musical era actually knew something that audiences didn't.
The film stars all-American serial adulterer and child beater, Bing Crosby, as Bob Wallace. His co-star in this go-Christianity Christmas spectacular is Jewish entertainer, and all-around mensch, Danny Kaye, as Phil Davis. As the story opens, Wallace and Davis are W.W.II G.I.'s attempting to do a Christmas Show somewhere in the European Theater during the middle of a firefight. Davis saves Wallace's life, the two become show biz partners, and the fun begins. Along the way, Davis tries to marry off Wallace, the middle-aged confirmed bachelor, by introducing him to one of a duo of show-biz sisters. The female foils are played by dancin' anorexic, Vera-Ellen, who has about a 10 inch waist, as Judy Haynes, and future Coronet toilet paper spokesperson, Rosemary Clooney, as her sister, Betty Haynes. An interesting side note about Clooney is that in the late fifties as her and Peggy Lee's careers began to tank, they appeared to enter into a contest to see who could become the fattest over-the-hill middle-aged bottle blond entertainers in show business. I'm not sure who won, but California fast food chain, Bob's Big Boy, will be forever in their debt. Here, Vera-Ellen plays a sweet-natured ditz with the body of a contortionist and Clooney puts in a command performance as the Christmas bitch, having one fit of temper after another. Not surprisingly, Davis keeps Judy and tries to push Battle-ax Betty onto Phil. As the mating ritual spirals out of control, the happy foursome end up at a ski lodge in Vermont. Coincidentally, the lodge is owned by the two former soldier's beloved Army General (Dean Jagger). Oddly, this general, who was smart enough to run the Army during W.W. II, was stupid enough to buy a ski lodge in a part of Vermont where it tends not to snow. Naturally, the boys and girls come up with a plan to put on a show that will save the lodge! During the ensuing planning, rehearsing, and scheming, there is plenty of dancin' and singin' and carryin' on. The choreography is histrionic. The sets and costumes for the musical numbers seem to have have been designed by Salvador Dali on acid. To tell you the truth, I can't even remember whether or not Bing Crosby gets laid. But who cares? It's a Christmas movie, and the only thing that matters is that it has a happy ending. Which it does, even if I can't remember it.