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.



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Is it better or worse than IAWL

TMundo's picture

It's a wonderful life

I've never been able to stand Bing(I beat my kids)Crosby

Rajah's picture

Give me Jimmy Stewart anyday

"You wan (hic) wan tha mooooo(hic)...

michael3b's picture tha wha you wan, Jenny?  you (hic) wan tha mooooon? Kate? Evelyn? No? Shit...Aw (hic) where's my friggin' lasso?"

<sticks head inside of own sweater>

"I think I left it next to my (hic) horse...heeer horsie horsie."

<pulls pants down, grabs penis, passes out puking>


There's NO WAY *I* could answer a question like THAT

Coaster's picture

I'd had to have watched both films to give an informed opinion, and the possibility that White Christmas might be just as bad or worse than It's a Wonderful Life is too awful to ponder.  Should that indeed be the case, I'd rather have my pubic hair plucked out in its entirety by a rabid iguana than sit through a screening. 

By the way, great review, Oddball. 

A movie review?   At

Wulfgar's picture

A movie review?


At Crankyland?


What is The World coming to...?

~I'm going to Hell and I just don't care.~


Have you seen the original version?

FearlessFreep's picture

WHITE CHRISTMAS is a remake of the black & white musical HOLIDAY INN (which introduced the song "White Christmas"). Crosby appears in both versions, while Fred Astaire plays the Danny Kaye character in the earlier version.  In Astaire's big dance number he smokes a cigarette and lights firecrackers with it.

They gave Vera-Ellen's costumes high necklines because her anorexia gave her a bosom like an old lady! 


The artist formerly known as Zorro.

Thanks, Coaster

Oddball's picture

I've been trying to see a few Christmas "Classics" that I've never seen before. I've got "Holiday Inn" on my list, too. And this should turn your blood cold: I'm trying to convince my wife to watch the five hour version of Ingmar Bergman's "Fanny and Alexander."

Has anybody seen "Christmas With the Kranks?"


FearlessFreep's picture

That movie lost me when they had the kids appearing in two places at once. (Paging Robert Blake!)


The artist formerly known as Zorro.

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