There is a misconception that I dislike musicals, but really I dislike specific musicals. White Christmas is a film that I loved as a kid, hated as a twenty something, and love again as a thirty something. Netflix currently has it available to stream and I found myself completely engrossed while watching it. The colors are beautifully vibrant and the music is mostly great. Not to mention, I enjoy the chemistry between the lead four and the touching story of Major General Thomas F. Waverly (Dean Jagger). I give the classic Christmas film, White Christmas, the Must See rating.
Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) joins Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) after their stint in the military as a song-and-dance team. They go to check out the Haynes sisters after receiving a letter from an old army buddy. It’s not long before Phil Davis and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen) are playing matchmakers with Bob and Betty (Rosemary Clooney). The four end-up on an unexpected trip to Vermont where they run into their old General who now runs a failing ski-lodge. The four devise a plan to try and bring people to the currently snowless resort.
The songs and dances in this film are all pretty great. There are a couple I could do without, but when they sing “Snow” it sticks with me for days. I’ve been randomly saying “Snow” for the last twenty-four hours and there is none in sight. It’s hard to not mention the title song of White Christmas, which is a classic favorite of mine. However, this film is full of joy and comedy so Kaye and Crosby dressed as the Haynes sisters lip-syncing the aptly titled song, “Sisters” is great. In fact, it’s probably one of my favorite moments in the film, but there are plenty of others.
Plenty of story and emotions in this Christmas classic
The comedic timing that Kaye brings to the film is one of my favorites. I laughed quite a bit during this classic film. It could be the subtly rubbing of Phil’s arm to remind Bob that he saved his life back in the war. A move he makes anytime Bob hesitates to do what Phil is trying to convince him to do. Of course, comedy isn’t the only emotion this movie makes you feel. I get frustrated with Emma Allen (Mary Wickes) and her nosiness that causes some of the conflict. Bob and Betty have to get together as they clearly complete each other. The joy I feel at the end when the General sees what he meant to his men during the war. It’s such the right tone for a Christmas film and it really works for me still.
If you’ve not seen this or haven’t watched it in a while, now is the perfect time. Gather the family, make some hot chocolate, and get ready for some musical goodness. This is a film that passes the test of time and will likely be in my Christmas rotation for years to come. A beautiful film full of great dancing and singing with the right amount of story to connect it all. Something other musicals don’t take the time to do, which is simply explain why they keep singing.