A successful musical act joins together with a sister duo to help
save their former commanding officer's failing Vermont inn.
White Christmas (1954)
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Written by Norman Krasna, Norman Panama, Melvin Frank
Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney,
Vera-Ellen, Dean Jagger, Mary Wickes
Oscar Nominations - Best Original Song (Count Your Blessings
Instead of Your Sheep)
White Christmas is loaded with gooey, sentimental, 50's Christmas joy, and because of this, the film is incredibly dated. There's just not an audience for films like this anymore because pop culture moved on and left clean, safe, predictable crooner musicals behind. Crosby and Kaye are good, but they're good for their own time. I found it difficult to get invested in the film for many reasons, especially the nonsensical story that doesn't really go anywhere. There's a great deal of the film that could've been cut for time, especially the on-the-line "minstrel" number. Overall, it's just trapped in 1954.
Crosby and Kaye play former soldiers turned entertainers Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, one of the most successful song-and-dance duos in the country, or so we're led to believe. They meet sister act Betty and Judy Haynes (Clooney and Ellen), and they maybe, kinda but not really fall in love with them. It's not too clear, and by the end of the movie, you're still not sure. Together, they strive to perform a show so fantastic that it shines a spotlight on the failing Vermont Inn that belongs to Wallace and Davis's former commanding general. In musical world, that would totally work 100% of the time, and nobody finds it completely ridiculous.
I acknowledge that the film isn't too be taken seriously. It's a Christmas musical/comedy starring Crosby and Kaye. It's the goofiness and sentimentality that's made it last this long in the first place. It's just not for me. I don't feel like it's earned the staying power that other Christmas movies have. It's forgettable and at times, the performances aren't great. But it's entertaining overall and if you have to watch it this holiday season to humor your grandparents, you could do far worse.